The 2023 Hockey Hall of Fame inductees have been announced, and the class is headlined by New York Rangers legend Henrik Lundqvist. The class also features two of his goaltending peers, Tom Barrasso and Mike Vernon.
On Wednesday, the Hockey Hall of Fame revealed the class of 2023 inductees. Lundqvist, Barrasso, Vernon, Pierre Turgeon and Caroline Ouellette were all selected as players. Ken Hitchcock and Pierre Lacroix will also be inducted as builders.
Lundqvist played in 887 games — all for the Rangers — and was one of the best goalies of his generation. Lundqvist won the Vezina Trophy in 2012 after posting a 1.97 GAA and .930 save percentage that season. He was a finalist for the award four more times throughout his career. Lundqvist was a five-time All-Star, and he ranks sixth all-time in wins (459), 13th in save percentage (.918) and 17th in shutouts (64).
Lundqvist never won a Stanley Cup, but that was no fault of his own. He had a 2.30 GAA and .921 save percentage in 130 playoff games.
Barrasso won the Vezina Trophy as a rookie with the Buffalo Sabres in 1983-84, and he was a runner-up for the award the following season. In 1991 and 1992, Barrasso backstopped the Pittsburgh Penguins to back-to-back Stanley Cup victories, and he managed to play 10 more seasons after that. Barrasso finished his career with a 3.24 GAA, .892 save percentage and 38 shutouts in 777 games played.
Like Barrasso, Vernon was a two-time Stanley Cup champion. Vernon powered the Calgary Flames to their first Stanley Cup in 1989, and he won a Stanley Cup as the Detroit Red Wings’ starting goaltender in 1997. En route to his second Stanley Cup, Vernon earned a GAA of 1.76 and a save percentage of .927. Vernon was a five-time All-Star, and he was known to mix it up after the whistles, especially against the Colorado Avalanche.
Turgeon spent 19 seasons in the NHL, and he was a prolific goal-scorer in his prime. From 1988-89 to 1993-94, Turgeon scored a total of 242 goals, which ranked eighth in that time span. After that, Turgeon was a consistent 20-goal scorer, and he hit the 30-goal mark three more times. Turgeon, who played for six different franchises, finished his career with 515 goals, 812 assists and 1,327 points in 1,294 games.
Caroline Ouellette had a highly-decorated career with the Canadian women’s national team. Ouellette recorded 30 points in 20 Olympic games and 68 points in 59 World Championship Games. Between the Olympics and the World Championships, Ouellette racked up 10 gold medals throughout her career. Ouellette also played 10 years in the NWHL and CWHL, and she recorded 199 goals and 264 assists in that time.
Hitchcock is the fourth-winningest coach in NHL history with 849 victories over the course of 22 seasons. Hitchcock led the Dallas Stars to their first and only Stanley Cup in the 1998-99 season, and he took them to the Stanley Cup Final the next season before losing to the New Jersey Devils. Hitchcock coached five different NHL teams, and he went to the playoffs in 14 of his 22 years behind the bench.
Lacroix served as general manager of the Quebec Nordiques and Colorado Avalanche from 1994 to 2006, and the franchise reached the playoffs in every season. Lacroix built two Stanley Cup champions in 1995-96 and 2000-01, and the Avalanche won eight division titles with him at the helm. Lacroix, who died in 2020, will be inducted posthumously.
Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid won the Hart Trophy as the league’s MVP during the NHL Awards ceremony on Monday. McDavid edged out the likes of Boston Bruins star David Pastrnak and Florida Panthers star Matthew Tkachuk to win the award.
It marks the third time (2016-17 & 2020-21) that McDavid has won the Hart Trophy in his eight-year NHL career. It’s also the third time in four seasons in which an Oilers player has earned MVP honors. Leon Draisaitl won the Hart Trophy during the 2019-20 campaign while McDavid captured the league MVP in the 2020-21 season.
McDavid racked up a career-high 153 points (64 goals & 89 assists) during the 2022-23 season. The Oilers star produced the highest point total since former Pittsburgh Penguins legend Mario Lemieux had 161 points in 1995-96.
The Oilers forward led the league in points, goals and assists while ranking second in power-play goals (21) only behind Draisaitl. McDavid had never produced more than 123 points in a single season, which he racked up during the 2021-22 campaign.
After just eight NHL seasons, McDavid already has the fifth-most points (850) in franchise history behind only Wayne Gretzky (1,669), Jari Kurri (1,043), Mark Messier (1,034), and Glenn Anderson (906). McDavid could likely pass Messier for the third spot on the Oilers’ all-time points list next season.
McDavid wasn’t the only player to take home some hardware on Monday evening. Here are the rest of the NHL Award winners:
Vezina Trophy: Linus Ullmark (Boston Bruins) The Boston Bruins had the best regular season in NHL history as they amassed 135 points. Goaltender Linus Ullmark was a big reason why and received some validation when he won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender.
Ullmark topped Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets and Ilya Sorokin of the New York Islanders to win the prestigious award.
Ullmark became the fifth goaltender in Bruins history to win the Vezina Trophy and the first since 2014 when Tuukka Rask earned the honor. Pete Peeters became the first Bruins goaltender to win the award in 1983 while Tim Thomas earned the honor in both 2009 and 2011.
Ullmark had a phenomenal regular season as he tied the Bruins’ single-season wins record (40) while also posting a league-leading 1.89 goals-against-average and .938 save percentage in 49 games (48 starts). The 29-year-old also had a pair of shutouts throughout the year as he helped lead the Bruins to an NHL record 135 points alongside fellow goaltender Jeremy Swayman.
Norris Trophy: Erik Karlsson (San Jose Sharks) Erik Karlsson became just the second player in San Jose Sharks history to win the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman. Karlsson won the award over Adam Fox of the New York Rangers and Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche.
Karlsson joins Brent Burns (2016-17) as the only two players in Sharks history to win the Norris Trophy.
Karlsson became the first defenseman to top the 100-point mark in a season since former Rangers blue-liner Brian Leetch reached that plateau with 102 points during the 1991-92 campaign. The Sharks defenseman finished the 2022-23 season with 101 points (25 goals & 76 assists) in 82 games.
In addition, Karlsson’s 76 assists were tied for third in the league behind only Connor McDavid (89) and Tampa Bay Lightning star Nikita Kucherov (83). He accomplished that while playing for a Sharks team that earned the fourth-fewest points (60) in the NHL.
Calder Trophy: Matty Beniers (Seattle Kraken) Matty Beniers has become the first player in Seattle Kraken history to earn some major hardware. Beniers won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie on Monday as he earned the honor over Buffalo Sabres defenseman and former University of Michigan teammate Owen Power and Edmonton Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner.
Beniers finished the regular season with 57 points (24 goals & 33 assists), which was fourth on the team. The 2021 No. 2 pick led all NHL rookies in the point department as he edged out Arizona Coyotes forward Mason Matias Maccelli (49) and Anaheim Ducks forward Mason MacTavish (43) for the league lead.
Selke Trophy: Patrice Bergeron (Boston Bruins) For the second consecutive season, Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron has won the Selke Trophy as the league’s top defensive forward. Bergeron beat out New Jersey Devils forward Nico Hischier and Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner for the honor.
It marks the sixth career Selke Trophy for Bergeron, who has spent all 19 seasons of his career as a member of the Bruins. Bergeron also won the award three times over four seasons, spanning from 2012 to 2015. The 37-year-old blocked 54 shots while forcing 38 turnovers in 78 games this season.
Jack Adams Award: Jim Montgomery (Boston Bruins) Sensing a pattern here? The Bruins had a historic season, which means that they won the majority of the regular-season awards at the league’s ceremony.
Considering that the team racked up an NHL record 135 points, Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery took home the Jack Adams Award as the league’s top head coach. Montgomery topped the likes of Dave Hakstol of the Seattle Kraken and Lindy Ruff of the New Jersey Devils. This marked Montgomery’s third season as an NHL head coach and his first with the Bruins.
Ted Lindsay Award: Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers) Connor McDavid won his second award of the night as he took home the Ted Lindsay Award. McDavid beat out San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson and Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak to earn the honor.
The Ted Lindsay Award is handed out to the NHL’s most outstanding player as voted on by his peers. This marks the fourth time that the Oilers star has won the Ted Lindsay Award during his professional career. McDavid shattered his previous career-high in goals (64) after never having more than 44 in a single season.
Lady Byng Trophy: Anze Kopitar (Los Angeles Kings) Los Angeles Kings forward Anze Kopitar won the Lady Byng Trophy for displaying the best sportsmanship in the league. Kopitar edged out New Jersey Devils star Jack Hughes and Tampa Bay Lightning star Brayden Point to win the award as he earned 77 first-place votes.
The award is given to the player that was “adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”
It’s the second time that Kopitar has taken home the Lady Byng Trophy as he won the award following the 2015-16 season. Kopitar is coming off of a season in which he registered a team-high 74 points (28 goals & 46 assists) in his 17th NHL season. He led his team in scoring for the 15th time in his career, which is the third-most in NHL history behind only Wayne Gretzky (19 times) and Gordie Howe (17 times).
Bill Masterton Trophy: Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang won the Bill Masterton Trophy as he edged Arizona Coyotes star Clayton Keller and Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock. The award is given to the player that “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”
During the 2022-23 season, Letang suffered the second stroke of his NHL career in November 2022, but returned to the ice just 12 days later. The veteran defenseman also lost his father, Claude Fouquet, and Letang was forced to be away from the team in order to mourn the horrific loss. Letang became the first Penguins player to win the Bill Masterton Trophy since Mario Lemieux won the award in 1993 following being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma that season.
The Philadelphia Flyers are making moves ahead of Wednesday’s NHL Draft. Philly traded forward Kevin Hayes to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a 2024 sixth-round pick, the team announced on Tuesday.
The Flyers are also retaining 50% of Hayes’ $7.142 million salary in the deal.
Hayes just completed his fourth season with the Flyers after signing a seven-year contract with the franchise in the summer of 2019. After a strong first season in Philadelphia, Hayes has battled health and off-ice tragedy (his brother and fellow NHLer Jimmy Hayes died in 2022 at 31), and his production has taken a step back as a result. Over the last three years, Hayes has tallied 40 goals and 76 assists in 184 games.
In 2022-23, Hayes did have somewhat of a bounce-back season by tying his career high in assists with 36 and posting 54 points, which is the second-highest total in his eight NHL seasons. If Hayes can play at that level more often in St. Louis, this deal will prove to be a bargain for the Blues, especially at just over $3.5 million per year.
Hayes has three years remaining on his contract, and he joins a talented forward group in St. Louis that already includes Jordan Kyrou, Robert Thomas, and Brayden Schenn. That foursome should be able to provide plenty of offense for the Blues.
The Flyers were able to move out some salary and create more flexibility as they continue their rebuild under new general manager Danny Briere. There is a good possibility that more moves are on the way for Philadelphia this summer.