The expansion Seattle franchise doesn’t yet have a single player, but they do have a team award. The management group announced today that the organization will hand out a Guyle Fielder Award every season to the “player that embodies the sportsmanship and leadership of one of Seattle’s greatest hockey legends.” If you don’t recognize Fielder’s name, you’re not alone, as his story is one of the most overlooked in hockey history.
Fielder stands as the fourth-leading scorer in professional hockey history, recording 1,929 points over a long career spent mostly in the minor leagues. In fact, he didn’t register a single one of those points in his 15 NHL games, but routinely led the Western Hockey League—not the junior league it is today, but a minor professional one—in scoring. He played for the Seattle Bombers, Americans and Totems over his career and is a legend in the area for any hockey fan old enough to remember.
- Though there may be some Toronto Maple Leafs fans hoping Mike Babcock would find his way somewhere else today, Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic cleared up some confusion about the head coach’s contract. Babcock does not have an out clause in his contract as some had speculated, and “remains as committed as he’s always been” to leading the Maple Leafs. The team was eliminated by the Boston Bruins last night for the third time in six years, and still haven’t progressed past the first round since 2004. Babcock has four seasons left on the massive eight-year, $50MM contract that he signed with the Maple Leafs in 2015.
- The Carolina Hurricanes didn’t hold a morning skate today as they prepare for Game Seven against the Washington Capitals, so there wasn’t a chance for Andrei Svechnikov or Micheal Ferland to get back on the ice. Head coach Rod Brind’Amour told reporters including Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer that he isn’t sure whether Svechnikov will be ready to play tonight, but Ferland will probably not suit up in the do-or-die elimination game. The Hurricanes will rely on their captain Justin Williams, who has often been dubbed “Mr. Game 7” for his heroics in these situations, but has also been one of the team’s best players through the first part of the series. If the Hurricanes win it would mean that all four wild card teams have advanced to the second round, showing just how wide open the Stanley Cup playoffs really are.