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Andrew Shaw Jersey

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The Chicago Blackhawks have had their fair share of bad luck so far this season. Things were looking up in the offseason when former player Andrew Shaw returned to the roster, but he recently fell to the injury bug that has plagued their locker room. He was placed on long-term injured reserve in late November due to concussion-like symptoms. Despite not being very active on the scoresheet, his absence continues to hurt the Blackhawks’ season.
Shaw’s Style

Before being traded to the Montreal Canadiens in the summer of 2016, Shaw won two Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks and tallied a total of 70 goals and 67 assists over 322 games. He always kept the crowd on the edge of their seats with his rough style of play and entertaining antics. He was a fan-favorite for his physicality on the ice, something the Blackhawks lacked before his return. Ryan Hartman and John Hayden were quality enforcers before they were both traded, but they didn’t have the same dominant on-ice presence that Shaw had. Some current players like Calvin de Haan, Olli Maatta, and Ryan Carpenter show some signs of being an enforcer, but nobody embodies his role quite like Shaw.
Should Shaw Be Moved? (Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)

His style did not change during his time with the Canadiens and doesn’t plan on changing anytime soon, as he told NBC Sports Chicago, “I find if I’m not playing on the edge, I’m not playing great, I need to play physical. Even in preseason, I was just finishing checks — clean, shoulder-to-shoulder — and was getting penalty after penalty. Hockey still is a physical game. There’s still hitting; it’s still legal. So I’m going to go out there and play hard, make it hard on my opponents, make it hard on them physically, do what I do. Not going to change who I am now.”

Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman echoed a similar sentiment, as he told NHL.com, “He’s a fearless player, and he plays much bigger than his actual size. He’s got an underrated skill set. When people talk about Shaw, they always talk about his intensity and competitiveness. He does go to the net, and he scores a lot of goals from in tight, and he gets a lot of shots from around the net. That’s where you need to be if you want to score in today’s game.”

Fans and players alike were ecstatic when Shaw returned to the roster in October. He was excited for his return, as he told NHL.com, “I feel I still have a lot to give. I came off a pretty good year, and I’m excited, feeling healthy, feeling energized. To come back to a city that’s given me so much love and helped me grow to who I am, I have nothing but smiles.”

An enforcer was what the Blackhawks needed, but the bliss was short-lived.
Back with the Blackhawks

With three goals and seven assists in 26 games, Shaw didn’t have the offensive start that fans were hoping for. However, he still found a way to make his presence known on the ice, as he told the Chicago-Sun-Times, “I’m going to play the ice that’s given to me and just go out there and compete, battle, make sure we can sustain pucks, help out on faceoffs, forechecking, keeping pucks alive, that sort of thing.” (from ‘Andrew Shaw finally finding niche on present-day Blackhawks roster’ best all-around player through 4 games’ – Chicago Sun-Times – 11/22/19).
Andrew Shaw, Canadiens sign Andrew Shaw
Andrew Shaw (Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports)

He didn’t waste time on returning to his old ways by getting under the skin of his opponents. Teammate Patrick Kane praised one of his hits after a 3-1 victory against the Edmonton Oilers on Oct. 14. He told NBC Sports Chicago, “You look at Shawzy’s hit, the stuff he’s been doing early in the season — whether it’s scoring big goals or sticking up for guys after they get hit — it’s been awesome for the team. That’s something that can really help us. We also need to play a little bit more with the puck, but it’s a way we can get the puck back.”

Despite not scoring as many goals as expected, the physicality Shaw brings to the game isn’t something to be shoved under the rug. The Blackhawks have a record of 2-5-1 since Shaw’s injury, and it’s safe to say that the lack of physicality on the ice has been one of the many factors contributing to the losing record.

His physical style of play not only creates a strong and intimidating force on the ice but also helps boost morale among teammates. Shaw’s many brawls have one thing in common: teammates cheering for him on the bench and having his back on the ice. He isn’t afraid to stand up for himself and other players, creating a strong team bond. Without a strong team bond, nobody will ever reach their full potential.
What’s Next?

Shaw will likely return to the ice on the Dec. 27 game against the New York Islanders. Despite the likelihood of him returning soon, the Blackhawks need to find other players to help increase the strong presence on the ice that he does. De Haan, Maatta, and Carpenter have a bit of an edge and could learn from Shaw, who is beginning to embrace his new leadership role with the Blackhawks. He told Madeline Kenney of the Chicago Sun-Times, “I’m a little bit more of a leader. I think just show them that hard work can keep you in this league for a long time.” (from ‘Blackhawks’ Andrew Shaw embraces role as veteran leader’ – Chicago Sun-Times – 11/30/19).

The best way to see how Shaw’s influence affects other players is to look at the statistics of hits-per-game. Shaw is second overall in for the most hits-per-game with an average of 2.9. De Haan is the only player who surpasses Shaw with an average of 3.2. His average has decreased to three hits per game since Shaw’s departure. It’s important to note that he has only played five games since Shaw’s injury due to an injury of his own, but the decrease in hits is something worth noting.
Andrew Shaw Chicago Blackhawks
Andrew Shaw of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrates a goal. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Other players with a similar playing style to Shaw have also decreased their hits-per-game averages in hits-per-game since his departure. Carpenter’s average has gone from 1.9 to 1.88, and Maatta’s has dropped from 2.1 to 1.2. These differences may be small, but it is solid evidence that the Blackhawks have become a softer team since Shaw’s injury.

The current injury bug sweeping through the Blackhawks’ locker room isn’t helping their bad luck so far this season. Shaw’s placement on injured reserve has eliminated their strong physical presence on the ice. Shaw is likely to return near the end of December, but the damage his los caused won’t go away overnight.

All stats obtained from NHL.com and Foxsports.com

Dominik Kubalik Jersey

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Dominik Kubalik is a logical fit on the wing with Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad. He’s an accurate, shoot-first finisher who can bury the chances that Toews and Saad, two elite puck-movers, regularly create but so often can’t translate into goals themselves.

So the fact that Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton waited two months — stubbornly forcing a square peg, Alex Nylander, into a round hole even after Nylander’s early chemistry had long since evaporated — before trying Kubalik in that role was perplexing.

On Sunday against the Coyotes, Colliton finally did so — and the early results were promising.

“They just told me to be open, because both of them like to play with the puck, and especially in the corners,” Kubalik said Monday. “I’m just trying to be in the slot or in front of the net to give them the opportunity to shoot [or pass] it.

“I was just trying to fit in, and I think it was right.”

The switch resulted in the best night the Hawks’ official first line has experienced in weeks. The Toews-Saad-Kubalik line accounted for both of the Hawks’ five-on-five goals in an eventual 4-3 shootout loss — the first a goal by Toews off a feed by defenseman Calvin de Haan, the second a tip-in by Kubalik of a shot by defenseman Connor Murphy after Toews won a faceoff in the offensive zone. The first line also dominated possession throughout the night, finishing with a lopsided 11-5 advantage in scoring chances.

For Kubalik, who began his rookie season brilliantly alongside Saad and David Kampf but endured a rocky November, a game like that had been a long time coming.

“I’m trying to do my best, but I know that during this season [there have] already been a couple up-and-downs, when I didn’t play the right way,” he said. “Especially without the puck, I’ve got to still work on it. So [I’m] really happy I get the opportunity to play with those two guys.”

Colliton has been hard on Kubalik for his defensive work ethic and his consistency from shift to shift, and although he admitted after practice Monday that Kubalik was “really skating and making confident plays” against the Coyotes, he implied he still hasn’t seen the 24-year-old Czech winger reach the desired level of consistency.

Kubalik will likely never be a defensive specialist, but improved off-puck play could nonetheless give him more opportunities to showcase his skills with the puck.

“I’m trying to use my strength, and that’s my speed and my shot,” he said. “But you need to have the puck to use it, so I’m just trying to be the quickest possible to get the puck on my tape again.”

Even before Kubalik reaches his peak potential, he already seems like a good option for the first-line wing. Since the start of training camp, that final top-six spot has been a hole in this lineup; Kane, Toews, Alex DeBrincat, Dylan Strome and Saad are all clear top-six scorers, but there’s no obvious sixth guy on the roster. Colliton tried Nylander, Andrew Shaw and Kirby Dach, but none stuck.

Kubalik could buck that trend. His skills, combined with Toews’ and Saad’s, cover all the bases.

And even if Colliton isn’t fully convinced yet, his lineup decisions Sunday showed he’s open to the idea.

“Different guys are going to get the opportunity [to fill that spot] based on how they’re playing, and that’s just part of the process we’re going through,” Colliton said. “We have a lot of young players who have the potential to break through and do that for us. It’s just a race to try to make that happen.”

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Throughout the season we will be taking an occasional look back at some significant moments in NHL history. This is the PHT Time Machine. Today we look back to when a fan mocked Steve Sullivan for getting hit in the face by a high stick … and was then later hit in the face by a puck.

With the Chicago Blackhawks and Colorado Avalanche facing off on Wednesday Night Hockey (watch live on NBCSN at 8 p.m. ET) we are hopping in the ole time machine to take a quick look back at the most absurd moment to happen between these two teams. Yes, it’s the Steve Sullivan fan incident from Jan. 26, 2001, when a heckler in the stands ended up getting a taste of his own medicine.
Chapter 1: The matchup

During the 2000-01 season the Blackhawks and Avalanche were two trains going in two very different directions.

The Blackhawks were stuck in the middle of the most irrelevant stretch in franchise history and looking completely hopeless. It was an impossibly bad 10-year run where they made the playoffs one time, were in the process of ruining the relationship with fans, and were on their fifth different head coach in four years.

The Avalanche, meanwhile, were one of the elite teams in the league. They had an All-Star laden roster that was five years removed from a Stanley Cup, had been in the Western Conference Final three more times since then, and were on their way to winning a second Stanley Cup a few months later.

It was a mismatch, and the game started exactly as you would expect with with the Avalanche racing out to an early 3-0 lead.
Chapter 2: Steve Sullivan gets high-sticked

It was at that point, midway through the second period, that an otherwise random high-sticking incident took place involving Sullivan and Avalanche forward Alex Tanguay.

As Tanguay attempted to clear the puck out of the Avalanche zone, his stick inadvertently clipped Sullivan in the face leaving a cut on the bridge of his nose. When Sullivan skated back to the bench, slumped over and in pain with a towel to his face, a glass-banger in the front row decided to start heckling the injured forward.

It did not go unnoticed by Sullivan.

Steve Sullivan Fan Incident

Banging on the glass is annoying, but I’m not going to stop you.

If you want to try to heckle the other team, just keep it clean and within the lines of good taste. You’re the fan paying the money to sit in the good seats, do what you want (again, within reason).

A good rule of thumb, though, is do not mock the injured players.
Chapter 3: Sullivan gets some revenge on the scoreboard

Maybe he was feeling some extra motivation. Maybe it was some good luck. Whatever the case, Sullivan did his best to bring the Blackhawks closer on the scoreboard by scoring a pair of shorthanded goals against Patrick Roy on the same penalty kill to cut the deficit to 3-2 late in the second period.

Sullivan was one of the few bright spots on an otherwise bad Blackhawks team, finishing the season with 34 goals including a league-leading eight shorthanded goals.

A good way for a player to silence a heckler is to do something during the game that impacts the result. For a few minutes, it looked like Sullivan might be able to do that. But again, the gap in talent between these two teams was so much that not even two shorthanded goals in less than a minute were enough to swing the result in Chicago’s favor (the Avalanche went on to win 5-2).
Chapter 4: Sullivan strikes back

It turned out to the best way to get even for Sullivan in this case was simply the opportunity to return the favor.

With the second period coming to a close, Roy attempted to clear the puck off the glass and accidentally put it in the stands where it hit an unsuspecting fan in the head.

You will never guess which fan it ended up hitting.

In the video posted above, Sullivan points out that he didn’t realize what happened until teammate Tony Amonte pointed it out to him. Sullivan then skated over to the glass and shared some “choice words” with the fan who had done the same earlier in the period.

Probably the best part of the exchange is the fans wife/girlfriend/friend holding the towel on the fan’s head, laughing, and giving Sullivan a thumbs up.

You can see everything, as well as Sullivan’s commentary, in the video above.

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Just call Alex Ovechkin a road warrior.

The Washington Capitals forward scored the 346th road goal of his NHL career Friday in a 6-3 victory against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center, tying Hall of Famer Marcel Dionne for sixth on the all-time list. Ovechkin needed 561 road games to reach 346 goals; Dionne scored his 346 road goals in 668 games.

Ovechkin leads the NHL with 16 road goals in 20 games this season; no other player has more than 12. He has led or tied for the League lead in road goals eight times, the most in NHL history.

The goal ended a three-game drought for Ovechkin, who hadn’t scored since Dec. 9 against the Columbus Blue Jackets. He’s had a goal drought of at least four games during the regular season 10 times in his NHL career, most recently Dec. 19-27, 2017 (four games). That’s tied for the fifth-lowest total in NHL history among players to skate in at least 1,000 career games.

Acciari’s second straight hat trick powers Panthers

Noel Acciari scored three consecutive goals in a span of 3:59 in the second period, powering the Florida Panthers to a 7-4 win against the Dallas Stars at BB&T Center. The forward, who also scored three goals in a 6-1 victory against the Ottawa Senators on Monday, became the second player in Panthers history to score three goals in consecutive games, joining Hall of Famer Pavel Bure from Feb. 10-14, 2001.

Acciari is the eighth player in the NHL’s modern era (since 1943-44) to have each of his first two career hat tricks in consecutive games. Before Friday, the last player to do so was Ziggy Palffy of the New York Islanders on March 3-5, 1996.

Five players in the League pre-modern era (before 1943-44) scored each of his first two career hat tricks in consecutive contests, including three during the first week of games in NHL history: Cy Denneny (Dec. 19-22, 1917), Joe Malone (Dec. 19-22, 1917), Reg Noble (Dec. 19-22, 1917), Billy Boucher (Feb. 22-25, 1922) and Hooley Smith (Jan. 26-28, 1926).

Acciari set a Panthers record for fastest three goals by one player, eclipsing the previous mark set by Steve Reinprecht, who had a natural hat trick in 5:11 on Oct. 30, 2009. The only other players to score a natural hat for the Florida are Bure (March 3, 1999 and Feb. 14, 2001), David Booth (Nov. 9, 2008) and Jonathan Marchessault (March 25, 2017).

Acciari wasn’t the only player making history at BB&T Center.

Fellow forward Jonathan Huberdeau scored one goal and assisted on three others for his second straight four-point game. He’s the second player in Panthers history to have four points in consecutive games, joining Jozef Stumpel from Dec. 16-19, 2006.

Defenseman Keith Yandle made history of a different kind by playing in his 831st consecutive regular-season game dating to March 26, 2009. He passed Andrew Cogliano (830 from Oct. 4, 2007-Jan. 13, 2018) for the fourth-longest consecutive-game streak in NHL history. Next up: Steve Larmer, who played in 884 consecutive games (Oct. 6, 1982-April 15, 1993), third all-time.

Doug Jarvis holds the NHL record with 964 consecutive games played, followed by Garry Unger with 914.

Stars forward Joe Pavelski, a seventh-round pick (No. 205) by the San Jose Sharks in the 2003 NHL Draft, had an assist playing in his 1,000th regular-season game. He’s the 25th player selected in the seventh round or later of the NHL Draft to skate in 1,000 games; his 777 points are the ninth-most among that group.

Penguins continue domination of Oilers

The Pittsburgh Penguins extended their point streak against the Edmonton Oilers to 19 games with a 5-2 win at Rogers Place. Goalie Tristan Jarry, who won the Memorial Cup with the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League in 2014, made 26 saves for the Penguins. It’s the longest regular-season point streak by Pittsburgh against a single opponent since entering the NHL in 1967 and the longest active run by any team in the League.

The Penguins are 15-0-4 against the Oilers since a 3-1 win by Edmonton in Pittsburgh on Jan. 10, 2006. The Oilers haven’t defeated the Penguins in Edmonton since winning 4-3 on Dec. 6, 2003.

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There hasn’t been a lot to celebrate over the last few years when it comes to Detroit sports. It’s been a string of losing seasons, missing playoffs and rebuilding.

As the decade comes to a close, we wanted to take a look back at some of the biggest Detroit sports moments from the 2010s.

Note: These are listed chronologically and in no particular order.
May 4, 2010 – Ernie Harwell dies at the age of 92

The decade started off on a somber note as legendary Detroit Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell died at the age of 92 in May.

His death came less than a year after he gave a farewell speech at Comerica Park on Sept. 16, 2009.

“In my almost 92 years of this earth, the good lord has blessed me with a great journey. The blessed part of that journey is that it’s going to end in the great state of Michigan,” Harwell said during the speech. “I deeply appreciate the people of Michigan, I love their grit, I love the way they face life. I love the family values they have. And you Tigers fans are the greatest fans of all, no question about that.”

He was the team’s broadcaster from 1960 until 1991 after a controversy where the team didn’t renew his contract. After Mike Ilitch bought the Tigers in 1993, he brought back Harwell as the broadcaster, until he retired in 2002.

June 2, 2010 – Armando Galarraga’s Imperfect Game

June 2, 2010. The Imperfect Game. Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga was one out away from a historic Perfect Game against the Cleveland Indians, when umpire Jim Joyce called Jason Donald safe at first on a grounder, but the call was wrong.

“I know that I pitched a perfect game” – Armando Galarraga

The game went down in history for what happened, and for the apology after. In 2019, Fox Sports premiered a documentary about the game, featuring interviews with Galaragga and Joyce.

“I know that I pitched a perfect game, I believe I got it,” Galarraga said at the time. “I said before, I got a perfect game.”

June 1, 2011 – Tom Gores buys the Detroit Pistons

Two months after an announcement was made, the sale of the Detroit Pistons and Palace Sports and Entertainment to Tom Gores was official on June 1, 2011.

The team was put up for sale by Karen Davison, the widow of Bill Davidson, the team’s former owner.

“I am very excited at the opportunity to lead this great franchise into the future,” Gores said in a statement at the time. “The passion and commitment of Pistons fans is legendary, and our goal is to meet every one of their expectations. That starts with the hard work and values necessary to compete for championships. It also includes being a real partner in the community, and we intend to do that as well.”

“I know the new guy that’s coming in here is really passionate about this,” former Pistons player Rodney Stuckey said at the time. “I think we’re all ready to see what changes are going to be made and we’re all excited for it.”

Fall 2011 – Justin Verlander wins AL Cy Young and MVP

Justin Verlander threw his second-career no-hitter in 2011, in what would become one of the best seasons of his career. He won the Triple Crown of pitching in the American League, leading the AL in wins with 24, strikeouts with 250 and ERA with 2.40.

Verlander also was awarded the American League Cy Young Award, a unanimous decision, and the AL MVP Award.

Jan. 7, 2012 – First Detroit Lions playoff game since 1999

There was a party like it was 1999 when the Detroit Lions made the playoffs in 2012. It was the first time Detroit had made the playoffs since 1999.

Detroit took on Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, and got on the board first with a Matthew Stafford pass to Will Heller for 10 yards. After the Saints answered early in the second, Detroit scored once again on a pass from Stafford to Calvin Johnson, taking a 14-10 lead into halftime.

New Orleans came out firing on all cylinders, scoring two touchdowns in the third quarter, but a late touchdown from Stafford cut the lead to 24-21.

Drew Brees and Darren Sproles each had a touchdown in the fourth, giving New Orleans a 38-21 lead, and the Lions couldn’t come back. Stafford and Johnson connected for another touchdown late in the game, but the Lions ultimately lost 45-28.

Oct. 2, 2012 – Miguel Cabrera wins the Triple Crown

Miguel Cabrera became the first player in 45 years to win the Triple Crown on Oct. 2, 2012. He was the 15th player in MLB history to lead the league in batting average, home runs and RBIs.

“”It’s an unbelievable feeling. I can’t describe the feeling right now” – Miguel Cabrera

He batted .330 for the season with 44 home runs and 139 RBIs, joining the likes of Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams and Lou Gehrig.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” he said at the time. “I can’t describe the feeling right now.”

Oct. 24-28, 2012 – Detroit Tigers swept in World Series

Cabrera’s Triple Crown was one of many highlights of the 2012 MLB season that saw the Tigers get back to the World Series.

Detroit went 88-74 during the season and won the AL Central, and beat both the Oakland Athletics in the ALDS and the New York Yankees in the ALCS to advance to the World Series.

The Tigers had a dominating starting pitching lineup with Justin Verlander leading the league in strikeouts, Max Scherzer in second and Doug Fister setting an American League record with nine consecutive strikeouts.

Their season came crashing down in the World Series as they were swept by the San Francisco Giants – 8-3 in game 1, 2-0 in game 2, 2-0 in game 3 and 4-3 in game 4 in 10 innings. Pablo Sandoval was named MVP of the series.

Detroit hasn’t made it back to the World Series and most recently finished with one of the worst records in the majors.

April 8, 2013 – Michigan Men’s Basketball appears in the NCAA Championship

The Michigan Wolverines Men’s Basketball team would get the No. 4 ranking in the 2013 NCAA tournament and take down several high-ranked teams on its way to the national championship, including No. 1 Kansas in the Sweet 16 and No. 3 Florida in the Elite 8.

After beating No. 4 Syracuse in the Final Four, Michigan would take on No. 1 Louisville in the NCAA Championship.

The game went back-and-forth throughout, and Spike Albrecht made a name for himself after hitting four straight 3-pointers for Michigan replacing Trey Burke who was in foul trouble.

The Cardinals would beat the Wolverines 82-76 despite 24 points from Burke, but didn’t have enough time for the comeback.

Louisville would later vacate the 2013 title after the NCAA denied an appeal of the sanctions against the Louisville program in a sex scandal case.

Jan. 1, 2014 – Winter Classic held at the Big House

History was made when the Toronto Maple Leafs took on the Detroit Red Wings in the Winter Classic in 2014.

Fans struggled through snowy conditions and bitter cold in Ann Arbor but set an NHL attendance record of 105,491 at the Big House.

While the game was scoreless in the first period, Daniel Alfredsson put the Wings on the board first before James van Reimsdyk tied the game. In the third, each team scored again with Justin Abdelkader tying it late in the third.

It stayed scoreless through overtime, but the Maple Leafs won the shootout 2-1 with goals from Joffrey Lupul and Tyler Bozak.

Jan. 1, 2014 – Michigan State wins the Rose Bowl

The busy sports day to start the new year continued when the Michigan State Spartans took on the Stanford Cardinals in the 2014 Rose Bowl.

It was the fifth time the Spartans played in the bowl game, and the Spartans had an incredible season, going 11-1 before beating No. 2 Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship. Their only loss was at No. 22 Notre Dame early in the season.

“It’s sort of living a dream.” – Mark Dantonio

While the Spartans offense with Le’Veon Bell wasn’t great, the defense was the best in the league, giving up just 273.3 yards per game and 16.3 points per game, ranking in the top 10 in the country in several categories.

That defense held on strong as the Spartans beat Stanford 24-20.

“It’s sort of living a dream. I woke up this morning, and I knew the day might be very very special. If we played hard, great things were going to happen, and that’s what we did,” Mark Dantonio said at the time.

March 9, 2014 – William Clay Ford dies at the age of 88

Longtime Detroit Lions owner William Clay Ford, who was also the last surviving grandchild of Henry Ford, died at the age of 88 on March 9, 2014.

Ford bought the team in November 1963 for just $4.5 million. He also moved the Lions back to the city in 2002 when Ford Field opened after the team played in Pontiac for 2012.

His influence also helped Detroit bring the Super Bowl to the city in 2006.

Dec. 30, 2014 – Jim Harbaugh hired at Michigan

A Michigan man came home on Dec. 30, 2014, when Jim Harbaugh was hired at Michigan.

He replaced Brady Hoke, who was fired two weeks before that after posting a 5-7 record during the 2014 season.

Oct. 17, 2015 – Trouble With the Snap

Arguably one of the biggest plays of the decade happened in October 2015 when No. 12 Michigan hosted No. 7 Michigan State.

The Wolverines were leading in the fourth quarter when they were forced to punt with just 10 seconds left. That’s when Michigan’s punter Blake O’Neill had “trouble with the snap.”

Sean McDonough had an epic call for ESPN as Michigan State’s Jalen Watts-Jackson picked up the ball and ran nearly 40 yards for a touchdown as time expired, giving Michigan State a 27-23 win over the Wolverines at the Big House.

It was an epic game that, for Michigan fans, will live in infamy along with the Appalachian State game. The Spartans would go on to the College Football Playoff and a 12-2 season.

Nov. 9, 2015 – Nick Lidstrom and Sergei Fedorov inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame

Two Detroit Red Wings legends were honored in 2015 when Nick Lidstrom and Sergei Fedorov were inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Both men were chosen along with Chris Pronger in the first year of eligibility.

“Sergei and I were roommates for a quite a few years when we played together in Detroit,” Lidstrom said to NHL.com. “Sergei helped me out a lot, seeing how he played and prepared every day.”

“I love you,” Fedorov said to Lidstrom during a teleconference when asked to describe their time together in Detroit. “I think we [climbed] as high as we possibly can.”

Dec. 31, 2015 – Michigan State in the College Football playoff

The Michigan State Spartans were on a roll as they entered the 2015 football season, coming off a Rose Bowl win in 2013 and a Cotton Bowl win in 2014.

They went on to win their first eight games before being upset by Nebraska, but continued on to win the rest of their games, beating No. 2 Ohio State and No. 4 Iowa in the Big Ten Championship.

The Mark Dantonio-led Spartans then were give the No. 3 ranking in the College Football Playoff, earning a spot in the second-ever CFP.

Michigan State traveled to Arlington, Texas for the second straight year to take on No. 2 Alabama in the Cotton Bowl, but couldn’t overcome the Crimson Tide’s offense and lost 38-0. Alabama would end up going on to defeat Clemson 45-40 in the College Football Playoff National Championship.

March 8, 2016 – Calvin Johnson announces his retirement

It was a shocking day in March 2016 when Calvin Johnson officially announced his retirement from the NFL.

The announcement was Barry Sanders-esque after playing nine seasons with the Lions, surprising many fans. The retirement announcement came via a statement, and was effective immediately.

“Let me assure you that this was not an easy or hasty decision. As I stated, I, along with those closest to me, have put a lot of time, deliberation and prayer into this decision and I truly am at peace with it,” he said in the statement.

Since his retirement, Johnson has spoken out about his frustration wit the Lions, since the team asked him to pay back part of his signing bonus after he announced his retirement.

In an interview, he said he would not have anything to do with the team until he gets his money back. He has helped other teams during the off-season and training camps.
June 10, 2016 – Gordie Howe dies at the age of 88

The Detroit Red Wings lost their greatest player on June 10, 2016, when Mr. Hockey, Gordie Howe, died at the age of 88.

Howe was the only player to have played in the NHL for five different decades; from the 1940s until the 1980s. Eventually, he played in a sixth decade with one game for the Detroit Vipers in 1997 at nearly 70 years old.

“As one of the greatest players to ever play in the NHL, the majority of his career being in Detroit, it was an honor to wear the same uniform, spend time with, laugh, joke and seek advice from him. Gordie’s humility and kindness left a permanent impression on me, greatly influencing how I tried to conduct myself throughout my career,” Steve Yzerman said in a statement.

Nov. 22, 2016 – Detroit Pistons announce move to Detroit

While there had been rumors of a Detroit Pistons move to Detroit in the past, team owner Tom Gores announced in November 2016 that the Pistons would join the Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena.

“This is a historic day for our franchise, and for the City of Detroit.” – Tom Gores

“This is a historic day for our franchise, and for the City of Detroit,” Gores said. “We’re moving to a beautiful new arena that will provide a state-of-the-art fan experience, and we’re investing in the future of Detroit.

The Pistons played their final game at The Palace of Auburn Hills on April 10, 2017. They had played there since 1988.

Feb. 10, 2017 – Mike Ilitch dies at the age of 87

Billionaire businessman Mike Ilitch, who founded Little Caesars Pizza and owned the Detroit Red Wings and Tigers, died at the age of 87 on Feb. 10, 2017.

His life was celebrated after his death with leaders from across the state reacting, and a public visitation held in downtown Detroit.

April 9, 2017 – Final game at Joe Louis Arena

The 2017 season would be the first time the Detroit Red Wings missed the playoffs in 25 years – and it was also the final season at the historic Joe Louis Arena.

Detroit celebrated the arena on April 9, 2017, with a red carpet before the game and a celebration after featuring Red Wings legends.

The Red Wings beat the New Jersey Devils 4-1 in front of a loud crowd, wrapping up 38 years at the Joe.

Oct. 5, 2017 – First home game at Little Caesars Arena

After years of anticipation, Little Caesars Arena held its first regular season Red Wings game on Oct. 5, 2017. The Red Wings beat the Minnesota Wild 4-2.

The arena opened in September with six straight shows from Kid Rock, followed by Red Wings preseason games.

Dec. 10, 2017 – Alan Trammell and Jack Morris elected into Hall of Fame

Detroit Tigers legends Alan Trammell and Jack Morris were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame through the hall’s Modern Baseball Era committee.

Both men were later inducted into the Hall of Fame during the ceremony in July 2018.

April 2, 2018 – Michigan Basketball in the NCAA Championship

John Beilein led the Wolveriens to their second national championship appearance during his tenure at Michigan.

The Wolverines took on Villanova at the Alamodome in San Antonio, but lost 79-62 in the final.

March 4, 2019 – Ted Lindsay dies at the age of 93

Detroit Red Wings legend Ted Lindsay died at the age of 93 on March 4, 2019 after being in hospice care.

Standing at just 5-feet-8 and weighing only 168 pounds, Lindsay was known as “Terrible Ted” and was part of the Red Wings’ “Production Line” with Gordie Howe and Sid Abel that won four Stanley Cups in 1950, 1952, 1954 and 1955.

June 27-30, 2019 – Rocket Mortgage Classic

Detroit’s first-ever PGA Tour event came to the historic Detroit Golf Club from June 27-30. With massive crowds and big names like Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson, it was a man not many people knew who led the tournament from start to finish.

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Throughout the season we will be taking an occasional look back at some significant moments in NHL history. This is the PHT Time Machine. Today we look back at the Boston Bruins’ 1970 Stanley Cup Final win over the St. Louis Blues and some of the significant moments in that series that were NOT Bobby Orr’s game-winning goal.

It is not uncommon to see replays of Bobby Orr’s 1970 Stanley Cup clinching goal around this time of year because it is one of the most well known plays in NHL history. It will no doubt be even relevant this season because the 2019 Stanley Cup Final between the St. Louis Blues and Boston Bruins is a rematch of that series.

For the Blues, it was the third year in a row they qualified for the Stanley Cup Final by coming out of the NHL’s “expansion division” and the third year in a row they were swept by one of the league’s Original Six powers.

That series has become known almost entirely for Orr’s game-winning goal (his only goal of the series, by the way) but it was far from the only notable development, play, or performance in that matchup.

We are using our latest PHT Time Machine to look at some of the moments that history may have forgotten.

Blues goalie Jacques Plante was saved (literally) by his mask

Following a four-year retirement in the mid-1960s, Plante made his return to the NHL at the start of the 1968-69 season as a member of the second-year Blues franchise, and alongside fellow future Hall of Famer Glenn Hall won the Vezina Trophy (which was at the time awarded to the goalies on the team that allowed the fewest goals in the league) and helped lead the Blues to the Stanley Cup Final.

The Blues relied on three goalies during the 1969-70 season (Ernie Wakely also saw significant playing time as Hall had retired after the 1968-69 season only to come out of retirement during the season) and entered the Stanley Cup Final against the Bruins with Plante in net.

But mid-way through the second period disaster struck when Phil Esposito deflected a Fred Stansfield slap shot, striking Plante squarely in the forehead and knocking him unconscious. He would spend several days in the hospital.

The recap and description of the play (this from the May 5, 1970 Edmonton Journal) is jarring.

This is the play.

Plante would never play another minute in the series, and it is impossible to wonder what would have happened in the series had he not been injured. He only played five games in the playoffs that year for the Blues, finishing with a 4-1 record and an almost unheard of (for the time) .936 save percentage.

The duo of Hall and Wakely finished with a 4-7 record (with all four wins belonging to Hall) and a sub-.900 save percentage in the playoffs, while both struggled in the series against the Bruins.

Wakely, who dressed as the backup at the start of the series, replaced Plante in Game 1 and surrendered four goals before giving up six in the team’s Game 2 loss. He was replaced by Hall for Games 3 and 4 in St. Louis, and while he fared marginally better he was no match for the Bruins’ relentless offensive onslaught.

Plante’s mask saving his life and from further injury came just a decade after he popularized the use of the goalie mask and helped to make a staple of NHL equipment.

This Was The Bruins’ Return To Relevance

Throughout much of the 1960s the Bruins were the laughing stock of the NHL’s original six.

Between the 1959-60 and 1966-67 seasons the Bruins won just 149 games, and were one of just two teams that had failed to win at least 230 during that stretch (the Rangers won 177). They never made the playoffs during that stretch, only twice finished out of last place, and never finished higher than fifth.

But in starting in 1966 things started to change for the Bruins.

Orr made his debut as an 18-year-old during the 1966-67 season and immediately started to transform the team, the league, and even the way the game was played, forever altering what we could expect from defenders with the puck.

One year later they made one of the most significant trades in franchise history when they dealt Pit Martin, Jack Norris, and Gilles Marotte to the Chicago Blackhawks for Phil Esposito, Ken Hodge, and Stanfield. It was a deal that turned out to be laughably one-sided in the Bruins’ favor and helped build the foundation of a team that would not only finally return to the playoffs after an eight-year drought, but also win two Stanley Cups between 1970 and 1972.

Esposito and Hodge were all-star level players on those Stanley Cup winning teams, while Stanfield proved to be an outstanding complementary star that was a virtual lock for at least 25 goals and 70 points every year he played in Boston.

This probably wasn’t the best of the early-mid 1970’s Bruins teams, but it will always be a significant one for snapping what had been a 29-year championship drought with a legendary postseason performance that included a 10-game winning streak. After winning Games 5 and 6 in Round 1 against the New York Rangers, the Bruins then swept the Chicago Blackhawks in Round 2 before sweeping the Blues in the Stanley Cup Final.

The series itself wasn’t really all that competitive, either. While the Blues had been swept in the Stanley Cup Final in each of the previous two seasons against the Montreal Canadiens dynasty they still managed to hold their own in each series, losing several games by just a single goal.

This series was not that. The first three games were all blowouts in the Bruins’ favor, while the Bruins held a commanding edge on the shot chart in every game and ended up outscoring them by a 20-7 margin.

John Bucyk was the feel good story and offensive star for Bruins

There is always that one veteran player on every championship team that has been around forever, experienced defeat, and never had their chance to lift the Stanley Cup. They become the sympathetic figure for the postseason and the player that “just deserves it because it is their time.”

For the 1969-70 Bruins, that player was John Bucyk.

Bucyk had been a member of the Bruins since the start of the 1957-58 season and was a rock for the team every year. And every year the Bruins just kept losing. Finally, at the age of 34, the Bruins broke through and got him a championship and few players on the team played a bigger role in that win.

Bucykfinished the series with six goals, including a Game 1 hat trick that helped the Bruins set the tone for the series.

He scored at least one goal in every game in the series, while his Game 4 goal tied the game, 3-3, late in the third period and helped set the stage for Orr’s winner.

It was a big moment for the entire organization as almost no one on the team had ever experienced a championship season.

That core would go on to win another Stanley Cup during the 1971-72 season. The Bruins would have to wait until the 2010-11 team to win another one after that.

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The 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship begins, and the Nashville Predators and Dallas Stars each play their final games before the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. But there are more stories to watch this week. Here are the top five along with fantasy can’t-miss players.

1. Four games open 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship

The 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship at Ostrava and Trinec, Czech Republic, begins with four games Thursday. The tournament runs through Jan. 5, with NHL Network broadcasting 20 games live. The top four teams in each group will play in the quarterfinals Jan. 2. The semifinals are Jan. 4, and the championship and third-place games are Jan. 5.

Switzerland and Kazakhstan, and Czech Republic and Russia, open round-robin Group A and B play, respectively, at 9 a.m. ET. Finland, the 2019 WJC champion, plays Sweden at 1 p.m. in Group A, with the United States taking on Canada in Group B (1 p.m. ET; NHLN).

[RELATED: Full 2020 World Junior Championship Schedule]

Goalie Spencer Knight, chosen by the Florida Panthers with the No. 13 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, and forward Cole Caufield, taken by the Montreal Canadians at No. 15, are among the spotlight players for the U.S. Forward Alexis Lafreniere, the projected No. 1 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, will skate for Canada.

NHL Network will also provide live coverage of Canada’s round-robin games. After opening against the U.S., Canada plays Russia on Saturday (1 p.m. ET).

2. Vigneault, Hayes renew acquaintances with Rangers for Flyers

Alain Vigneault will coach his first game for the Philadelphia Flyers against the New York Rangers at Wells Fargo Center on Monday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NBCSP, MSG 2, NHL.TV).

Vigneault is 20-11-5 in his first season with the Flyers after he was hired April 15. He was 226-147-37 in five seasons as Rangers coach and guided them to the Stanley Cup Final in 2013-14.

Kevin Hayes also plays his first game against the Rangers with the Flyers since he was traded by New York to the Winnipeg Jets on Feb. 25. The forward played his first five NHL seasons for the Rangers and had 216 points (87 goals, 129 assists) for them. Hayes was traded by the Jets to the Flyers on June 3 and signed a seven-year contract with Philadelphia on June 19. He has 20 points (nine goals, 11 assists) in 36 games this season.

Hayes nets opening PPG

00:38 • December 22, 2019

3. Lehner could face former Islanders teammates with Blackhawks

Robin Lehner might start for the Chicago Blackhawks against the New York Islanders on Friday (8:30 p.m. ET; NBCSCH, MSG+ 2, NHL.TV) for the first time since leaving New York as a free agent and agreeing to a one-year contract with Chicago on July 1.

The goalie had an NHL career-high 25 wins (25-13-5) and six shutouts in 46 games with the Islanders last season and was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, awarded to the NHL goalie voted the best at his position. Lehner is 9-6-4 with a 2.78 goals-against average and .926 save percentage in 20 games (19 starts) for the Blackhawks (15-16-6), sharing time with Corey Crawford.

4. Former Flames, Oilers face off in Battle of Alberta

Milan Lucic and Cam Talbot will be available for the Calgary Flames against Mike Smith, James Neal and the Edmonton Oilers when the teams play the Battle of Alberta for the first time this season at Rogers Place on Friday (9 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SNW, SNW, NHL.TV)

Lucic was traded to the Flames by the Oilers for Neal on July 19 after three seasons in Edmonton. Talbot played four seasons for the Oilers, was traded to the Flyers on Feb. 16, and signed a one-year contract with the Flames on July 1. Smith signed a one-year contract with Edmonton after two seasons in Calgary.

The Oilers (20-15-4), tied with the Vegas Golden Knights for second in the Pacific Division, are one point ahead of the Flames (19-14-5).

5. Predators, Stars play final games before Winter Classic

The Nashville Predators visit the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, ATTSN-PT, FS-TN; NHL.TV) and the Dallas Stars play at the Coyotes on Sunday (8 p.m. ET; FS-A, FS-A PLUS, FS-SW+, NHL.TV) in the final games for the Predators and Stars before facing off in the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Cotton Bowl Stadium on Jan. 1.

The Predators (17-12-6) begin the week four points behind the Stars (20-13-4) for the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. Dallas is 19-6-3 since starting 1-7-1 and 3-2-1 since coach Jim Montgomery was fired and replaced by Rick Bowness on Dec. 10 for what general manager Jim Nill said was “a material act of unprofessionalism.”

The 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship begins, and the Nashville Predators and Dallas Stars each play their final games before the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. But there are more stories to watch this week. Here are the top five along with fantasy can’t-miss players.

1. Four games open 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship

The 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship at Ostrava and Trinec, Czech Republic, begins with four games Thursday. The tournament runs through Jan. 5, with NHL Network broadcasting 20 games live. The top four teams in each group will play in the quarterfinals Jan. 2. The semifinals are Jan. 4, and the championship and third-place games are Jan. 5.

Switzerland and Kazakhstan, and Czech Republic and Russia, open round-robin Group A and B play, respectively, at 9 a.m. ET. Finland, the 2019 WJC champion, plays Sweden at 1 p.m. in Group A, with the United States taking on Canada in Group B (1 p.m. ET; NHLN).

[RELATED: Full 2020 World Junior Championship Schedule]

Goalie Spencer Knight, chosen by the Florida Panthers with the No. 13 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, and forward Cole Caufield, taken by the Montreal Canadians at No. 15, are among the spotlight players for the U.S. Forward Alexis Lafreniere, the projected No. 1 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, will skate for Canada.

NHL Network will also provide live coverage of Canada’s round-robin games. After opening against the U.S., Canada plays Russia on Saturday (1 p.m. ET).

2. Vigneault, Hayes renew acquaintances with Rangers for Flyers

Alain Vigneault will coach his first game for the Philadelphia Flyers against the New York Rangers at Wells Fargo Center on Monday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NBCSP, MSG 2, NHL.TV).

Vigneault is 20-11-5 in his first season with the Flyers after he was hired April 15. He was 226-147-37 in five seasons as Rangers coach and guided them to the Stanley Cup Final in 2013-14.

Kevin Hayes also plays his first game against the Rangers with the Flyers since he was traded by New York to the Winnipeg Jets on Feb. 25. The forward played his first five NHL seasons for the Rangers and had 216 points (87 goals, 129 assists) for them. Hayes was traded by the Jets to the Flyers on June 3 and signed a seven-year contract with Philadelphia on June 19. He has 20 points (nine goals, 11 assists) in 36 games this season.

Hayes nets opening PPG

00:38 • December 22, 2019

3. Lehner could face former Islanders teammates with Blackhawks

Robin Lehner might start for the Chicago Blackhawks against the New York Islanders on Friday (8:30 p.m. ET; NBCSCH, MSG+ 2, NHL.TV) for the first time since leaving New York as a free agent and agreeing to a one-year contract with Chicago on July 1.

The goalie had an NHL career-high 25 wins (25-13-5) and six shutouts in 46 games with the Islanders last season and was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, awarded to the NHL goalie voted the best at his position. Lehner is 9-6-4 with a 2.78 goals-against average and .926 save percentage in 20 games (19 starts) for the Blackhawks (15-16-6), sharing time with Corey Crawford.

4. Former Flames, Oilers face off in Battle of Alberta

Milan Lucic and Cam Talbot will be available for the Calgary Flames against Mike Smith, James Neal and the Edmonton Oilers when the teams play the Battle of Alberta for the first time this season at Rogers Place on Friday (9 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SNW, SNW, NHL.TV)

Lucic was traded to the Flames by the Oilers for Neal on July 19 after three seasons in Edmonton. Talbot played four seasons for the Oilers, was traded to the Flyers on Feb. 16, and signed a one-year contract with the Flames on July 1. Smith signed a one-year contract with Edmonton after two seasons in Calgary.

The Oilers (20-15-4), tied with the Vegas Golden Knights for second in the Pacific Division, are one point ahead of the Flames (19-14-5).

5. Predators, Stars play final games before Winter Classic

The Nashville Predators visit the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, ATTSN-PT, FS-TN; NHL.TV) and the Dallas Stars play at the Coyotes on Sunday (8 p.m. ET; FS-A, FS-A PLUS, FS-SW+, NHL.TV) in the final games for the Predators and Stars before facing off in the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Cotton Bowl Stadium on Jan. 1.

The Predators (17-12-6) begin the week four points behind the Stars (20-13-4) for the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. Dallas is 19-6-3 since starting 1-7-1 and 3-2-1 since coach Jim Montgomery was fired and replaced by Rick Bowness on Dec. 10 for what general manager Jim Nill said was “a material act of unprofessionalism.”

Fantasy can’t-miss picks

Patrik Laine, WPG: He’s scored four goals and has 14 SOG in his past four games skating on the top line with Mark Scheifele and Kyle Connor. The Winnipeg Jets play three games this week against the Montreal Canadiens and St. Louis Blues (twice). — Rob Reese

Viktor Arvidsson, NSH: The Nashville Predators wing is worth activating in all fantasy formats after returning from injury against the Boston Bruins on Saturday. Arvidsson, who has 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in 23 games, has three games this week and favorable lineup placement with center Ryan Johansen at even strength and elite defenseman Roman Josi on the first power play. — Pete Jensen

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Nothing new on the Blackhawks on Sunday.

Elsewhere in Chicago sports, Sam Kerr scored the game-winning goal in the 58th minute to lift the Red Stars past the North Carolina Courage 2-1 in front of club-record 17,388 crowd. The Sky extended their win streak to four with a 78-70 home victory over the Fever. The Cubs failed to sweep the Padres with a 5-1 loss. Dylan Cease gave up a grand slam to Travis d’Arnaud in the White Sox 4-2 loss to the Rays.

On Monday, the Cubs visit the Giants. The White Sox return home to host the Marlins.

(Photo: Martin Lapointe)

BLACKHAWKS

SCH Podcast: Reactions from Blackhawks prospect camp (SCH)

Blackhawks prospect camp: What we learned about the defensemen (SCH)

Blackhawks prospect camp: Analysis, takeaways, highlights (SCH)

Unique summer training regimen has transformed Dylan Strome (Chicago Sun-Times)

CENTRAL DIVISION

Blues avoid arbitration, re-sign Oskar Sundqvist to 4-year, $11M deal (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Jets sign Neal Pionk to 2-year, $6M deal (The Score)

‘Second quick’: How the Jets and assistant Todd Woodcroft build, coach and use their centres (The Athletic)

NHL

Should the NHL have an NBA-style summer league? (Yahoo!)

Analyzing various outcomes of Nikita Gusev, Golden Knights saga (Knights On Ice)

Kings Mailbag: Has the team ‘Gone Hollywood?’ What’s the plan with Alex Turcotte? Who will bounce back? (The Athletic)

Panthers mailbag: Who backs up Sergei Bobrovsky, and how close did they get to signing Artemi Panarin? (The Athletic)

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Kenny Wharram, who won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 1960-61, died Tuesday. He was 83.

Wharram played 14 seasons for Chicago and ranks 11th in Blackhawks history with 252 goals.

“Kenny Wharram will always be remembered as an important member of this decorated franchise and we are grateful to have him in the Blackhawks family,” the Blackhawks said in a statement. “A member of the 1961 Stanley Cup championship team, Ken was one of the most consistent scorers throughout his Blackhawks career. Our thoughts and heartfelt condolences go out to the entire Wharram family as we mourn his loss.”

Warrham was born July 2, 1933 in North Bay, Ontario. He played 766 games for the Blackhawks and scored 20 goals in seven consecutive seasons (1962-63 to 1968-69). He won the Lady Byng trophy in 1963-64.

Wharram retired after the 1968-69 season when he was diagnosed with myocarditis, a heart disease, the Chicago Tribune said. He lived in his hometown of North Bay and worked as a carpenter.

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Legendary hockey reporter and analyst Stan Fischler writes a weekly scrapbook for NHL.com. Fischler, known as “The Hockey Maven,” shares his knowledge, humor and insight with readers each Wednesday.

Today, he compares current Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid and Howie Morenz, a star with the Montreal Canadiens in the 1920s and 1930s who was named one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players in 2017.

Howie Morenz became the face of the NHL while starring for the Montreal Canadiens in the 1920s and 1930s. His speed and skill thrilled fans around the League.

More than 90 years later, Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers is that same kind of player — a Morenz for the 21st century, so to speak. McDavid’s speed and skill have been bringing fans out of their seats since he entered the NHL at the start of the 2015-16 season.

“No question,” wrote Matt Larkin, a columnist for The Hockey News, “McDavid is the dominant offensive force today.”

Much like McDavid now, Morenz didn’t need long to capture the imagination of writers in his era such as Elmer Ferguson of the Montreal Herald.

McDavid’s dazzling goal

01:01 • October 17th, 2019

“When Howie skated full speed,” Ferguson wrote, “everyone else on the ice seemed to be skating backwards.”

Morenz was the key player in selling NHL hockey to U.S.-based promoters such as Charles Adams in Boston and Tex Rickard, who represented Madison Square Garden in New York. Each was induced to visit the Montreal Forum for a viewing, and in no time at all was overwhelmed by Morenz’s version of lightning on ice.

Hall of Famer King Clancy, who spent much of his career trying to shut down Morenz as a defenseman with the Ottawa Senators and later the Toronto Maple Leafs, had a similar reaction.

“Howie could stop on a dime and leave you nine cents change,” Clancy said. “He was in a class by himself.”

Impressed with Morenz in particular and big-league hockey in general, Adams launched the Boston Bruins in 1924. One year later, Rickard helped place the Americans in New York, then saw to it that the Garden had its own team, the New York Rangers, for the 1926-27 season.

They wanted NHL teams because they were enthralled watching Morenz dazzle with his speed and skill. More than any other NHL player of the 1920s and into the 1930s, Howie was the best salesman the League had.

NHL100: Howie Morenz

03:04 • January 1st, 2017

After Jack Kent Cooke brought NHL hockey to Los Angeles during the 1967-68 expansion, the Kings owner was asked which player thrilled him the most when he was growing up in Toronto. “Howie Morenz was head and shoulders above any other man who ever played the game,” Cooke said during a 1969 interview.

A half-century later, people are saying the same things about McDavid.

In his four seasons, McDavid has won the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s top scorer twice, as well as the Hart Trophy, voted to the League’s most valuable player, in 2016-17 and the Ted Lindsay Award (presented by the NHL Players’ Association to the player voted by his peers as the most outstanding during the regular season) in 2016-17 and 2017-18.

Morenz played for three Stanley Cup winners with the Canadiens during his 15 NHL seasons and was a three-time Hart Trophy winner. His extraordinary skating enabled him to lead the League in scoring twice and in goals once.

McDavid’s reputation also has been built on speed, starting with his rookie season (2015-16) after being the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft. By age 21, McDavid had won the NHL scoring championship twice, matching Oilers icon Wayne Gretzky.

Leadership was a forte of Morenz’s game. McDavid followed suit in 2016 when at 19 he became the youngest captain in NHL history.

Another similarity is flair. Morenz had an overdose of charisma in his era, and fans today are magnetized by McDavid’s enormous appeal. Among his other accomplishments, he’s won the NHL’s Fastest Skater at each of the past three NHL All-Star Skills, the only player to win the competition three times.

What’s fascinating is that at age 22. McDavid sounds a lot like Morenz did when a young Howie said: “I believe I can get much better!”

Which he did. His counterpart of today, McDavid, figures to do likewise.