2019 NHL All-Star rosters announced

The NHL has announced the four rosters for the 2019 All-Star Game today, scheduled to be held on January 26th in San Jose. Earlier today, Alex Ovechkin, who was elected captain of Metropolitan Division squad, told the league that he wouldn’t be attending and will accept the punishment of missing one game either before or after the break. Connor McDavid, Nathan MacKinnon, and Auston Matthews will represent the Pacific, Central and Atlantic respectively, as the other captains. A replacement captain for Ovechkin has yet to be named.

The full rosters are as follows:

Pacific Division

John Gibson (ANA)
Marc-Andre Fleury (VGK)

D Erik Karlsson (SJS)
Brent Burns (SJS)
Drew Doughty (LAK)

Connor McDavid (EDM)*
Johnny Gaudreau (CGY)
Joe Pavelski (SJS)
F Elias Pettersson (VAN)
F Clayton Keller (ARI)

Central Division

Pekka Rinne (NSH)
Devan Dubnyk (MIN)

D Roman Josi (NSH)
D Miro Heiskanen (DAL)

Nathan MacKinnon (COL)*
Mikko Rantanen (COL)
Blake Wheeler (WPG)
Patrick Kane (CHI)

Mark Scheifele (WPG)
F Ryan O’Reilly (STL)

Atlantic Division

Jimmy Howard (DET)
G Carey Price (MTL)

Keith Yandle (FLA)
D Thomas Chabot (OTT)

F Auston Matthews (TOR)*
F Nikita Kucherov (TBL)
F Steven Stamkos (TBL)
John Tavares (TOR)

F David Pastrnak (BOS)
F Jack Eichel (BUF)

Full List

By Zach Leach

Patty Kane First Full American to Win Hart Trophy

Written by Chris Kuc at Chicago Tribune.com

In the summer of 2007, a grinning, fresh-faced Patrick Kane took the stage in Columbus, Ohio, moments after the Blackhawks made the Buffalo native the No. 1 selection in the NHL draft.

On Wednesday night in Las Vegas — nine years to the day he was drafted by the Hawks — Kane stepped on a different stage to accept the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league’s most valuable player.

Kane also took home the Ted Lindsay Award, presented to the most outstanding player as voted by fellow players, while teammate Artemi Panarin won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie.

In less than a decade, Kane has gone from that 18-year-old kid with a flashy smile, flashier offensive skills and a world of potential to a semi-grizzled veteran set to rake in $13.8 million in 2016-17 coming off his finest season. In between, Kane has racked up three Stanley Cups, the Calder Trophy, the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the 2013 postseason and five All-Star selections.

“I remember getting drafted and going through all the combine interviews and the whole process and thinking at the time I didn’t really care where I got drafted and what team it was,” Kane said after receiving the Hart. “Now you look back on it and say how lucky and fortunate I was to go to an organization like the Chicago Blackhawks and in a great city like Chicago.

“I feel very, very fortunate. It’s been quite a ride.”

Kane’s remarkable 2015-16 season featured a 26-game points streak that set a franchise record and is the longest by an American. The 27-year-old finished with career highs of 46 goals, 60 assists and 106 points to become the first U.S.-born player to lead the league in scoring.

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Patty Kane First in NHL to reach 100 Points

Written by Mark Lazerus at Chicago SunTimes.com

Nineteen shots in the first period alone. Goals on the power play, at 5-on-5, at 4-on-4. An 11-point eruption from the reawakened second line, including a hat trick for Patrick Kane and a second straight four-point night for Artemi Panarin. Total domination of the puck, of every facet of the game.

All without Corey Crawford, Duncan Keith and Andrew Shaw. All against a Boston Bruins team that was one point out of the playoff picture, and playing for their postseason lives.

The Blackhawks’ 6-4 victory over the Bruins was an emphatic reminder that, for all their flaws, all their injuries, and all their mediocrity over the last several weeks, they’re still capable of making good teams look comically bad on any given day. They’re still a threat to come out of the Central Division meatgrinder, and they’re still very much a Stanley Cup contender.

Of course, the way they flirted with becoming the first team in NHL history to lose a game they led 6-0 — giving up four goals in barely 10 minutes of play, and allowing 38 shots in the final two periods — is an unsettling reminder of all those flaws, all those injuries, all that mediocrity.

It’s just a matter of which Hawks team shows up next week when the playoffs begin, likely against the St. Louis Blues.

“This one was a little crazier than we envisioned at one point,” Joel Quenneville said. “Way more exciting than we needed it to be.”

But really, the only downside to the game was that Marian Hossa didn’t score his 500th goal, despite four or five golden chances at it. Hossa limped off the ice midway through the third period after a neutral-zone collision, and didn’t return, but Quenneville said he seemed OK and could play Tuesday against Arizona.

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Midseason Awards For the NHL

Written by Mathew McCormack at The Sports Quotient.com

The NHL has reached its midseason All-Star break, giving players, coaches, and fans some time to catch their breath and assess the state of the league at the halfway point. There have been some feel good stories (who thought the ageless Jaromir Jagr and the Florida Panthers would be this good?) and some…well, not so surprising developments (those pesky squads from Chicago and Los Angeles find themselves atop the Western Conference, again).

This season has so far provided many exciting individual performances. From theJamie Benn and Tyler Seguin show out in Dallas to Alex Ovechkin’s 500th goal and continual dominance in Washington, there has been no shortage of excitement and individual excellence.

Let’s take a look at some of this season’s very best performances through the first half.

Hart: Patrick Kane

Despite some of the very impressive numbers that players have put up this season, Patrick Kane’s play stands head and shoulders above the rest.

Before the season even started, Kane found himself in the midst of a rape investigation. Despite his off-the-ice indiscretions, however, Kane’s stellar season has demonstrated that he thrives on controversy.

Kane has managed to almost single-handedly propel the Blackhawks to the top spot in the Western Conference. His 30 goals have already tied a career high, while his 73 overall points are only 15 away from another career high.

His 26-game point streak was the longest ever for an American hockey player and included many highlight reel goals such as the one above.

Kane also has the chance to make even more history. He currently leads the entire league in both goals and assists (47). If he can stay in the lead in both of these categories, he will only be the seventh player in NHL history to lead the league to do so in the same season, and the first since Mario Lemieux during the 1995-‘96 season.

This feat would just be icing on the cake for one of the greatest offensive seasons in recent memory.

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