That said, one palatable way to do it would be to create a player vote, for which the players select a guy based on likability, not ability. Goons, grinders, and old guys tend to top player polls for funniest/nicest opponent, anyway. Maybe Paul Bissonnette could get the call.
AM: The PA will go to the wall for Wideman on this, and they should, especially since the NHL appears to have accepted his concussed status but discounted it as a contributing factor. But I don’t see Gary Bettman relenting on appeal. There’s too much at stake, both in terms of that relationship with the officials and the precedent it would set for every player who is looking to avoid or diminish a suspension in the future. After that, though, who knows? The PA has the right to be heard in front of an independent arbitrator and there’s no telling how that might play out.
SP: Given the circumstances involved, I liked the trade for both teams and still do. Tyler Myers, because he skates so well, has a much higher ceiling than Zach Bogosian. And his improvement since he left Buffalo has validated that. The Jets will need all the giant, right-handed puck-moving defensemen they can get when Dustin Byfuglien bolts.
AM: One of those kids, Brendan Lemieux, is tearing it up since being traded to OHL Windsor earlier this season. He looks like he could be a middle-six player for the Jets down the road. I’m not sure if he tips the scales, but then again he might not have to. So far this looks like a rout for the Jets. Bogosian’s dealt with some injuries, but he just doesn’t look like the same player in Buffalo. You saw him get burned by Brad Marchand on Thursday night? Fly-bys like that are routine for him. He’s on the ice for 3.03 goals-against per 60 minutes according to War-On-Ice.com. That ties him with Jordie Benn for the worst mark in the league. And Kane? He hints at greatness, but he hasn’t delivered the offense they were expecting from him. I mean, the guy is on pace for 20 goals and 40 points.
If McDavid hits 65 points this season, that would make his season scoring rate 1.48 PPG. That would be third-best ever for a rookie, ahead of Peter Stastny but behind Teemu Selanne and some other guy who was on the Oilers once upon a time. To make a long story short: It’s possible!