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Cole’s Notes From Around the League: 4/25/21-5/1/22

The latest in transaction news from across the NHL.

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Anaheim Ducks Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Professional Hockey Writers Association has announced their nominees for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. You can read in depth on the nominees and the reason for their nominations in the link, but under each team is a brief TL;DR on their respective nominee.

Anaheim Ducks

The Ducks recalled right wingers Hunter Drew and Buddy Robinson and defenceman Trevor Carrick from AHL San Diego. They reassigned Drew, Robinson, Carrick, and defenceman Simon Benoit.

Centre Ryan Getzaf has retired from pro hockey. Drafted in the first round, 19th overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Getzlaf has 1019 points (282G, 737A) in 1157 games, as well as 120 points (37G, 83A) in 125 playoff games, for the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and Anaheim Ducks (2005/06-2021/22). Getzlaf was undoubtedly one of the better players of the draft, which is impressive considering the 2003 draft is considered one of the greatest in the league’s history in terms of the number of players that became fixtures in the league. Getzlaf for his part is second in points among 2003 selections, behind only Eric Staal, who has a meagre 15-point lead that, all things considered, likely won’t be expanded upon. As his assist count would suggest, considering he is first among 2003 draftees in career regular season assists by a whopping 144, he excellently played the role of the first line playmaking centre, but he was also a five-time 20-goal scorer, demonstrating some goal-scoring chops too. He was also a reliable physical presence, throwing at least 100 hits ten of his 17 total seasons; a quality leader, if him succeeding such a luminary as Scott Niedermayer as team captain and holding the position for 12 years is any indication; and no slouch on the defensive side of the puck, judging by eight seasons in his career in which he received Selke Trophy votes. Getzlaf’s career highs are the 91 points and 66 assists he scored in 2009 and the 31 goals he scored in 2014. Getzlaf won the Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007, as well as Second-Team All-Star honours in 2014, All-Star Game appearances representing the Ducks in the 2008, 2009, and 2015 All-Star Games, and Gold Medals at both the 2010 Vancouver and 2014 Sochi Olympics. There is a question of whether he is Hall of Fame material or not. A member of the 1000-point club, his overall case does have merit, but he isn’t that far removed from his 1000th point, wasn’t necessarily a true key component of the roster he won the Cup with, and hasn’t reached 50 points in a season in four years, or 20 goals in seven. Perhaps the most obvious knock against his case is the fact that he never won a major award, the closest thing he has being the aforementioned Second-Team honours. Ultimately, given he was a Cup winner, an Olympic Gold medalist, and a 1000-point scorer, I would feel comfortable saying he will be inducted, but he may not be in his first year of eligibility. So far, the only other player who for sure will be eligible for induction in 2025, the year Getzlaf will be eligible, will be Dustin Brown, who’s no lock for induction himself, and obviously if my ongoing Case For the Hall series is any indication, there are at least a handful of players who have been waiting on their call to the Hall, for whom an undeveloped 2025 field may be their chance. Getzlaf finished his last NHL season with 37 points (3G, 34A) in 56 games. Getzlaf, 36, announced he’d be retiring at the end of the season back in early April, and played the final game of his NHL career on April 24, being a healthy scratch for the final two games of the Ducks’ season, presumably as those were road games and he wanted his last game to be a home game.

Masterton Nominee: Ryan Getzlaf (Centre-#15) - Scored his 1000th NHL point in his 17th NHL season, as well as his 12th as team captain, en route to his retirement.

Arizona Coyotes

The Coyotes recalled defenceman Victor Soderstrom from AHL Tucson. They reassigned left winger Bokondji Imama. They reassigned right winger Jan Jenik. They recalled Imama.

Masterton Nominee: Andrew Ladd (Right Winger-#16) - Came back to 11 points in 49 games after having played 30 games total across the preceding three NHL seasons.

Boston Bruins

The Bruins recalled centre Oskar Steen, right winger Chris Wagner, and defenceman Jack Ahcan from AHL Providence.

Masterton Nominee: Jake DeBrusk (Left Winger-#74) - Bounced back from a disappointing first half of the season to finish with 25 goals and 42 points, his best totals in three

seasons, under the shadow of an unfulfilled trade request.

Buffalo Sabres

The Sabres recalled goaltender Aaron Dell from AHL Rochester. They reassigned Dell and defenceman Casey Fitzgerald and recalled goaltender Michael Houser from ECHL Cincinnatti.

Masterton Nominee: Kyle Okposo (Right Winger-#21) - Scored 21 goals and 45 points, a legitimately strong comeback season after having not reached 10 goals or 20 points since 2019, 40 points (or 30) since 2018, or 20 goals since 2016, after being limited by injuries to 35 games last season.

Calgary Flames

The Flames reassigned goaltender Dustin Wolf to AHL Stockton.

Masterton Nominee: Christopher Tanev (Defenceman-#8) - While he had a genuinely strong season in terms of underlying numbers, such as based on this tweet from March 21, and his six goals and 28 points this season are far and away his best showing in raw offensive production, his nomination comes from having not missed a game the last two seasons after years of mixed injury luck, his mentor role on a post-Giordano Flames blueline, and his shot-blocking.

Carolina Hurricanes

The Hurricanes made no moves this week.

Masterton Nominee: Antti Raanta (Goaltender-#32) - Played his first games since the death of his father on top of working to get his career back on track after his star turn in Arizona was derailed by injuries the last few seasons.

Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks reassigned defenceman Alec Regula to AHL Rockford. They signed centre Sam Lafferty to a two-year contract extension.

Masterton Nominee: Dylan Strome (Centre-#17) - Worked his way to finish the season with 22 goals and 48 points in 69 games to keep his career alive in a season in which he was healthy scratched 10 times and missed three more due to the COVID-19 protocol.

Colorado Avalanche

The Avalanche reassigned goaltender Justus Annunen from AHL Colorado. They recalled Annunen and defenceman Jacob MacDonald. Defenceman Kurtis MacDermid has been fined $2187.50 for kneeing Minnesota’s Marcus Foligno and right winger Logan O’Connor has been fined $1812.50 for cross-checking Minnesota’s Dmitry Kulikov.

Masterton Nominee: Jack Johnson (Defenceman-#3) - When one talks about Johnson, there’s always the memory of him being cheated out his career earnings by his parents, which makes it all the sadder that his already unimpressive results have given way to very bad performances in recent years. It’s mostly on the analytics side of the game, so the PHWA at large probably didn’t make it a consideration, but he did played 74 games this season, playing the 1000th of his career, after being bought out in 2020 and playing only 13 games last season.

Columbus Blue Jackets

The Blue Jackets made no moves this week.

Masterton Nominee: Justin Danforth (Centre-#14) - Persevered through being undrafted and not getting serious looks from the major NCAA programs. He joined Sacred Heart University when it entered Division I and became their first alumnus to reach the NHL this season, totalling 19 points in 45 games at age 29.

Dallas Stars

The Stars recalled Adam Scheel from AHL Texas and reassigned centre Fredrik Karlstrom.

Masterton Nominee: Tyler Seguin (Centre-#91) - Despite the fact that his 49 points were the worst points total in a season not shortened due to injuries or a lockout since he was a rookie in 2011, he played 81 games after being limited to three last season.

Detroit Red Wings

The Red Wings signed centre Turner Elson for the remainder of the season. They recalled centre Kyle Criscuolo and right winger Riley Barber from AHL Grand Rapids on an emergency basis. They reassigned Criscuolo following his emegency recall and reassigned centre Joe Veleno and left winger Taro Hirose.

Masterton Nominee: Marc Staal (Defenceman-#18) - Staal played his 1000th NHL game this season. The PHWA members who nominated him pointed to his plus/minus, the only positive one among Red Wings players with more than 60 games played at the time the nominees were revealed, as evidence of his continued quality on-ice play, though his final rating is -1.

Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers recalled defenceman Philip Broberg from AHL Bakersfield. They reassigned Broberg.

Masterton Nominee: Kris Russell (Defenceman-#4) - Since the NHL began tracking shot blocks in 2005/06, Russell’s 2044 leads the entire NHL in career blocked shots.

Florida Panthers

The Panthers recalled centres Aleksi Heponiemi and Cole Schwindt, and defenceman Matt Kiersted from AHL Charlotte. Centre Ryan Lomberg has been suspended one game, and head coach Andrew Brunette fined $10000, for instigating a fight against Tampa Bay.

Masterton Nominee: Anthony Duclair (Right Winger-#10) - Duclair is a member of the Hockey Diversity Alliance. He also bounced back to score 31 goals and 58 points in 74 games this season after only 10 goals and 32 points in 43 games last season.

Los Angeles Kings

The Kings made no moves this week.

Masterton Nominee: Blake Lizotte (Centre-#46) - Evidently, the Los Angeles chapter of the PHWA didn’t know Kings captain Dustin Brown was going to hang up his skates once the Kings’ playoff run was over, so Lizotte, who set career highs of 10 goals and 24 points in a fourth-line role and also set new career bests in hits and faceoff win percentage, got the nomination.

Minnesota Wild

The Wild reassigned centre Joseph Cramarossa to AHL Iowa. They signed defenceman Simon Johansson to a two-year entry-level contract.

Masterton Nominee: Jared Spurgeon (Defenceman-#46) - Spurgeon has long been an underrated defenceman in the NHL, a small puck-mover in a position where so many still prize size and physicality and see puck skill and offensive ability as a detriment. He scored 10 goals and 40 points, his fifth double-digit goal season and second reaching 40 points, and led the Wild to their third straight playoff appearance, second straight since being named the Wild’s second permanent captain.

Montreal Canadiens

The Canadiens reassigned goaltender Cayden Primeau to AHL Laval.

Masterton Nominee: Carey Price (Goaltender-#31) - The Canadiens went from the Cup Final last season to the first 32nd place finish in NHL history this season, despite having more money going out in player salary than any other NHL franchise this season. Amid that, Price, the longtime star goaltender, missed nearly the entire season due to recovery from knee surgery. He returned on April 15, showing serious perseverance, even if he had a 1-4-0 record and 0.878 Save% in the five games he played.

Nashville Predators

The Predators recalled left winger Mathieu Olivier from AHL Milwaukee. They recalled goaltender Connor Ingram.

Masterton Nominee: Mark Borowiecki (Defenceman-#90) - The veteran depth defenceman got the nomination for the Predators for his mental health advocacy, a worth cause.

New Jersey Devils

The Devils recalled defenceman Reilly Walsh from AHL Utica. They recalled left winger Alexander Holtz.

Masterton Nominee: Nico Hischier (Centre-#13) - The Devils’ captain was limited to 21 games last season, due to a broken leg, COVID-19 diagnosis, and sinus fracture from taking a deflected puck to the face. This season he had 21 goals and 60 points, both career highs.

New York Islanders

The Islanders recalled defenceman Robin Salo from AHL Bridgeport on an emergency basis.

Masterton Nominee: Zdeno Chara (Defenceman-#33) - As a veteran defenceman and longtime team captain averaging nearly 20 minutes per night while mentoring younger up-and-comers, Chara would be the natural pick for the nomination, even before remembering he’s doing this at age 45.

New York Rangers

The Rangers recalled defenceman Zac Jones from AHL Hartford. They reassigned Jones. They recalled Jones; left winger Tim Gettinger; right winger Lauri Pajuniemi; defencemen Jarred Tinordi, Nils Lundkvist, and Matthew Robertson; and goaltender Keith Kinkaid.

Masterton Nominee: Chris Kreider (Left Winger-#20) - Nobody knows how long it will last, but Kreider’s out-of-nowhere 52-goal and 77-point season at age 30 was a great story on the season.

Ottawa Senators

The Senators recalled goaltender Filip Gustavsson from AHL Belleville and reassigned goaltender Kevin Mandolese. They recalled centre Mark Kastelic and right winger Scott Sabourin. They reassigned Sabourin and recalled centre Viktor Lodin. They reassigned Gustavsson, Kastelic, Lodin, and centre Parker Kelly.

Masterton Nominee: Anton Forsberg (Goaltender-#31) - Went from being placed on waivers by each of Edmonton, Carolina, and Winnipeg during the 2020/21 season, Forsberg posted a 22-17-4 record and 0.917 Save% as the Senators’ starter and inked a three-year extension at age 29.

Philadelphia Flyers

The Flyers reassigned Linus Hogberg and Egor Zamula, and goaltender Felix Sandstrom to AHL Lehigh Valley.

Masterton Nominee: Kevin Hayes (Centre-#13) - It’s hard to bounce back from a medical procedure, but Hayes has bounced back from three, including two abdominal procedures before the season, and one for the adductor mid-season. He has scored seven goals and 22 points out of his 10-goal and 31-point in 48-game total in 28 games since his March 5 return. All that, while taking on a leadership role following the Claude Giroux trade, and while grieiving the death of his brother, former NHLer Jimmy Hayes.

Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins recalled left winger Drew O’Connor from AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Masterton Nominee: Brian Boyle (Centre-#11) - Scored 11 goals and 21 points in a bottom-six role after not playing in the NHL at all last season and joining the Penguins on a PTO. He won the Masterton in 2018 after playing following a cancer diagnosis.

San Jose Sharks

The Sharks recalled centre Lane Pederson from AHL San Jose.

Masterton Nominee: Brent Burns (Defenceman-#88) - Though his best years are considered behind him, he still scored 10 goals and 54 points, while posting in the top-five all-time in minutes played by a player over 36.

Seattle Kraken

The Kraken recalled defenceman Dennis Cholowski and goaltender Joey Daccord from AHL Charlotte. They reassigned Daccord and defenceman Cale Fleury.

Masterton Nominee: Jaden Schwartz (Left Winger-#17) - No this has nothing to do with going from a recent Cup champion to an expansion team. Schwartz had 20 points in 29 games before going down with an injury in late December, and only played eight games after coming before being sidelined again for the remainder of the season. This while grieving the death of his father.

St. Louis Blues

The Blues made no moves this week.

Masterton Nominee: Vladimir Tarasenko (Right Winger-#91) - It can turn a player’s career upside-down to be picked in the expansion draft. They move from an established team with players they’re familiar with, possibly a contender or recent champion, and all of a sudden they’re toiling away with a team whose bottom-five finish is almost a foregone conclusion. Now imagine how it must feel to be available in an expansion draft and not be picked. That’s the situation Tarasenko found himself in last summer after being limited to seven goals and 24 points in 34 games across the last two seasons, having surgery done his left shoulder three times in 28 months. Despite that, he bounced back in a big way. His 34 goals were the most he’s had since he scored 39 in 2017, and his 82 points are a new career high.

Tampa Bay Lightning

The Lightning recalled centre Riley Nash from AHL Syracuse.

Masterton Nominee: Alex Killorn (Left Winger-#17) - Killorn was very active in the community and raised funds for charity. On the ice, he scored 25 goals and a career-high 59 points after breaking his fibula during last season’s Cup Final.

Toronto Maple Leafs

The Maple Leafs recalled left winger Nick Robertson from AHL Toronto on an emergency basis and reassigned defenceman Carl Dahlstrom following his emergency recall. They reassigned Robertson following his emergency recall. They signed centre Bobby McMann to a two-year entry-level contract. They recalled right winger Joey Anderson on an emergency basis.

Masterton Nominee: Ondrej Kase (Right Winger-#25) - Was an underrated pickup with decent skill, and scored 27 points in 50 games before being sidelined with a concussion.

Vancouver Canucks

The Canucks recalled goaltender Arturs Silovs from AHL Abbotsford on an emergency basis.

Masterton Nominee: Luke Schenn (Defenceman-#2) - Schenn was nominated for his veteran leadership role on the Canucks.

Vegas Golden Knights

The Golden Knights recalled goaltender Jiri Patera from AHL Henderson. They signed centre Ivan Morozov to a two-year entry-level contract. They signed centre Brendan Brisson to a three-year entry-level contract.

Masterton Nominee: Jack Eichel (Centre-#9) - It’s a bit of a joke that Vegas acquired Eichel, only to be crippled by ballooning salary numbers which contributed to their downfall this season, their first non-playoff finish in franchise history. After all, Eichel was supposed to be a great addition, only to score 25 points in 34 games, and many fans delighted in the Golden Knights missing the playoffs for the first time after years of Sin City flashiness and cocky Twitter presence. But let’s not get Eichel’s situation mistaken. He had been suffering a neck issue for months that wasn’t getting better and wanted to get a disk replacement surgery so he could get back in action. The Sabres refused to grant his request, preferring a spinal fusion that would limit his range of motion and cause potential future complications, despite Eichel’s preferred option having been used on MMA fighters. Eichel wound up sidelined 11 months before being traded to Vegas and having his request granted.

Washington Capitals

The Capitals reassigned left winger Joe Snively to AHL Hershey for long-term conditioning purposes. They signed goaltender Garin Bjorklund to a three-year entry-level contract.

Masterton Nominee: Nicklas Backstrom (Centre-#19) - Backstrom, the longtime running mate of superstar scorer Alex Ovechkin, scored 31 points in 47 games, for a career total of 1011, after missing the first 28 games of the season rehabbing from hip surgery.

Winnipeg Jets

The Jets signed centre Chaz Lucius to a three-year entry-level contract.

Masterton Nominee: Josh Morrissey (Defenceman-#44) - Set career highs of 12 goals and 37 points and raised money for cancer after the death of his father to cancer.