Not only did Cale Makar take home the Norris Trophy as the league’s best defenseman and win a Stanley Cup after just his third season in the league, but he was awarded the Conn Smythe as playoff MVP. It wasn’t a close race. All 18 voters selected the young Colorado Avalanche defenseman as the winner, utterly demolishing his only real competition in Nathan MacKinnon, who appeared on all but one ballot (15 second place votes, two third place).
It has been an incredible start to a career for Makar, who currently sits at 180 points in 178 regular season games, 60 more in 55 postseason contests, and now has three major individual awards before he even turns 24. His 29 points in this postseason are the fourth-most ever for a defenseman in a single year, trailing only Paul Coffey (37 in 1985), Brian Leetch (34 in 1994), and Al MacInnis (31 in 1989).
- The Detroit Red Wings are getting closer to naming a head coach, now that they will be able to interview Tampa Bay Lightning assistants Jeff Halpern and Derek Lalonde. Ted Kulfan of The Detroit News writes that Lalonde is currently considered a slight favorite for the job after his impressive rise through the ranks as a head coach. The Tampa Bay assistant has previous stops as head man with the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL, Toledo Walleye of the ECHL, and Iowa Wild of the AHL, having never experienced a losing season at any stop.
- The New Jersey Devils have had preliminary contract talks with several pending free agents, including Mason Geertsen and A.J. Greer according to Ryan Novozinsky of NJ.com, but not Frederik Gauthier, who is set to hit the open market next month. It appears as though the 2013 first-round pick might have to find a new place to ply his trade, even after his best minor league season to date. The 27-year-old Gauthier had 32 points in 51 games for the Utica Comets but was held scoreless in eight NHL contests.