July 27 — NHL Offseason Losers & Dustin Brown’s Numbers

Last Night’s News 📰

PULJUJÄRVI AVOIDS HEARING: Yesterday, Jesse Puljujärvi and the Edmonton Oilers came to terms on a one-year, $3 million contract, avoiding the salary arbitration hearing scheduled for Friday. Puljujärvi’s extension tightens Edmonton’s cap crunch, as the Oilers still need to sign restricted free agents Ryan McLeod and Kailer Yamamoto.

QUINN FOR THE WIN: Every NHL head coach vacancy is filled after the San Jose Sharks tabbed the U.S. men’s national team head coach David Quinn to man their bench. Quinn led the New York Rangers and Boston College before guiding the men’s Olympic team’s fifth-place finish in Beijing last February.

SIEGENTHALER SIGNS: On Tuesday, New Jersey Devils and Jonas Siegenthaler agreed to a five-year, $17 million extension. The 25-year-old defenseman had 14 points (one goal, 13 assists) in 70 games last season and would have been a restricted free agent following this season.

FROM BROWN TO BRONZE: Kings fans will be circling Feb. 11, 2023, on their calendar, as Los Angeles will unveil a statue of Dustin Brown and raise his No. 23 to the rafters to honor the two-time Stanley Cup champion. Brown was the youngest captain ever named by the Kings in 2008, leading the franchise to its only two Cup victories. 

WINGS STILL FLUTTERING: After announcing that recently signed defenseman Mark Pysyk will be out 4-6 months after undergoing successful Achilles tendon surgery, the Detroit Red Wings signed unrestricted free agent defenseman Robert Hagg to a one-year, $800,000 deal. Hagg recorded one goal and eight assists in 64 games split between the Buffalo Sabres and Florida Panthers last season. 

Who Said It

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1) “We went to the Toronto Raptors practice facility, and I ended up playing basketball with him [Adam Sandler] and all of his buddies that were there for the film festival. I was sweating so bad in there competing. They were playing five-on-five full court, and I was exhausted, but it was cool meeting him. He’s one of my favorite actors, and he’s hilarious. He’s like the same personality that he is in all of his movies, how he is in real life, and I thought that was the coolest thing.”

A. Mitch Marner
B. Morgan Rielly
C. Auston Matthews

2) “Kind of crazy, I’m on the ice with those two guys, and I was only 20 years old. Too bad Sid [Crosby] didn’t just pass it to me, and I got the goal. My life would have changed a lot more if that happened.”

A. Drew Doughty
B. P.K. Subban
C. Jonathan Toews

3) “We got myself, Gronk [Rob Gronkowski], Chris Wagner, Ryan Donato, and Matt Grzelcyk. Gronk was making a video for [New England Patriots] Pats social [media], and he was getting all of us in it. He’s a character, man. He’s hilarious; he’s a goofball. He was coming over and cracking jokes, and that was a great day.”

A. Brad Marchand
B. Patrice Bergeron
C. Charlie McAvoy

Answers can be found at the bottom of the email.

The Biggest Loser: NHL Offseason Edition

A few short days ago, the Calgary Flames were a team that had already lost their leading scorer and looked to be on the outs with their second-leading producer. So credit to GM Brad Treliving for taking what looked to be a disastrous offseason for the reigning Pacific Division champs and salvaging it with the additions of Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar.

Not all teams have been as fortunate as the Flames. With free agents still available and summer just kicking off, it’s probably about time to start getting concerned about these clubs that haven’t exactly had the most encouraging offseason.

Winnipeg Jets

Coming off a disappointing 2021-22 campaign that sparked whispers of internal turmoil, the team fired Paul Maurice, and the Winnipeg Jets seemed poised for a rebuild. Instead, the club made a failed push for Winnipeg native Barry Trotz, and neither initiated a rebuild or improved their team substantially. You know it’s been a tough summer when arguably the best piece of news came from Pierre-Luc Dubois announcing that he did not request a trade.

Philadelphia Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers may not be great this year, but with John Tortorella behind the bench, they’ll be entertaining. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

How much of a difference can a head coach make? The Philadelphia Flyers better hope the answer is “a lot,” as they hired John Tortorella to step behind the bench but didn’t do much else. Newly signed defenseman Tony DeAngelo might help, but you can forgive Flyers fans for expecting more from an organization that finished last in the Metropolitan Division last year. GM Chuck Fletcher tried to land Johnny Gaudreau but couldn’t find a taker for James van Riemsdyk and his $7 million cap hit.

Vegas Golden Knights

In the summer of 2021, the Vegas Golden Knights traded then-reigning Vezina Trophy winner Marc-André Fleury for nothing. This summer, the club dealt All-Star winger Max Pacioretty away for less. With only “future considerations” coming from the Carolina Hurricanes, Vegas had to throw in versatile young forward/defenseman Dylan Coghlan as a sweetener. Sure, it helped clear the necessary space to re-sign Reilly Smith and make other moves, but how many teams have given away star talent in consecutive years?

Chicago Blackhawks

Alex DeBrincat (above) and Kirby Dach are out in Chicago (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

What a mess of a rebuild situation in Chi-town right now. It’s hard to fully commit to the necessary teardown with aging franchise pillars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane still making $21 million (to say nothing of Seth Jones, whose eight-year, $76 million deal kicks in this season). So the Chicago Blackhawks GM peculiarly started the process by unloading 24-year-old Alex DeBrincat and 21-year-old Kirby Dach, hardly the “old guard.” Heck, they even lost their TV analyst to free agency

By the Numbers – Dustin Brown

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Kings announced they will retire the No. 23 sweater worn by Dustin Brown on Feb. 11, 2023, before their game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Los Angeles will also unveil a statue honoring the 37-year-old forward, who retired following the Kings’ Game 7 loss to the Edmonton Oilers in the first round of the 2022 Playoffs. Brown, whom Los Angeles selected with the 13th overall pick in the 2003 NHL Draft, spent his entire 18-year career with the Kings. Here is a look at some other notable numbers from his career.

Dustin Brown (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

7 – Brown will be the seventh player in Kings’ franchise history to have his number retired, following Rob Blake (#4), Marcel Dionne (#16), Dave Taylor (#18), Luc Robitaille (#20), Rogie Vachon (#30), and Wayne Gretzky (#99).

2 – Stanley Cups Brown and the Kings won during his time in L.A. Brown scored 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists) in 20 games during their 2012 title run and 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in 26 games during the 2014 triumph. Brown finished his career with 49 points (19 goals, 30 assists) in 92 postseason games.

23 – Brown’s age when he was named captain of the Kings before the 2008 season, making him the youngest captain in team history and the first American to lead the club. In 2012, he became the second U.S.-born captain to win the Stanley Cup (after Derian Hatcher of the Dallas Stars in 1999). Brown served as team captain from 2008-16 and alternate captain from 2018-22.

16 – Professional games Brown played with a team other than the Kings. The New York-born forward spent the 2012 NHL lockout in Zurich, Switzerland, playing for ZSC Lions of the Swiss National League (NLA). He posted 13 points (eight goals, five assists) in 16 games. Brown also played internationally for the U.S. national team, winning a bronze medal in the 2004 World Championships and a silver in the 2010 Olympics.

1,296 – Career regular season NHL games Brown played, all with the Kings. He ranks first in franchise history and sixth in NHL history in games played by an American. In those contests, Brown totaled 712 points (325 goals, 387 assists).

Who Said It Answers

  1. Auston Matthews
  2. Drew Doughty
  3. Charlie McAvoy