COVID protocol-related absences: 03/31/21
Each day, the NHL will publicly release the list of players that are unavailable to their respective teams due to being in COVID-19 Protocol. Here is the list for today: © Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Anaheim – Alexander VolkovBoston – Jake DeBruskFlorida – TBALos Angeles – Brendan LemieuxMinnesota – Zach PariseMontreal – Joel Armia, Eric StaalNY Rangers – Brett Howden Vancouver – Adam GaudetteAs a reminder, inclusion on this list does not mean that a player has tested positive for Coronavirus or even that they have been confirmed as a close contact to another positive person.
© Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports Riley Nash is headed for Toronto.
Riley Nash might not play again during the regular season, but he’s now in a situation where the playoffs could be a possibility. The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired Nash from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for a conditional seventh-round selection in 2022. Nash is expected to miss four to six weeks with a sprained knee, meaning he essentially is a playoff pickup for the Maple Leafs. If he plays in 25% of the Maple Leafs’ playoff games this season, the seventh-round selection will become a sixth-rounder.
The veteran forward will likely be put on long-term injured reserve through the end of the season, meaning his cap hit is basically irrelevant to the Maple Leafs. Toronto had placed Frederik Andersen on LTIR earlier Friday as well, meaning the team can go further into the extra room with Nash placed there. Once the playoffs begin, the salary cap isn’t used, meaning Toronto could activate both players without penalty.
NHL postpones Wednesday's Calgary-Vancouver game
The NHL has decided to ere on the side of caution as a result of Adam Gaudette’s positive COVID-19 test. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports (Twitter link) that tonight’s game between the Canucks and Flames has been postponed. TSN’s Frank Seravalli tweets that the decision was made after more information has surfaced regarding Vancouver’s test results; that information obviously has not yet been made public.
It might seem complicated, but at the end of the day, this is the Maple Leafs exercising their financial power to grab some added playoff depth at a very low cost. Nash may not even be ready to contribute this season, but for just a seventh-round pick it’s a worthwhile gamble. The 31-year-old center isn’t much of an offensive presence, with just two goals and seven points through 37 games this season, but has long been lauded for his checking abilities and defensive prowess.
For the Blue Jackets, getting anything back for a player on an expiring contract who wasn’t going to play again this season is a win, but obviously, they would have rather moved him without the injury involved. The Blue Jackets aren’t technically out of the playoff race in the Central Division, but after losing Nash, Boone Jenner and Zach Werenski over the last few days, things aren’t looking good.
Trade-deadline primer: Toronto Maple Leafs
After bringing in some experience and character in the offseason, the Toronto Maple Leafs have been the unquestioned leader of the North Division for most of the season. They now sit seven points clear of the second place Winnipeg Jets, meaning if there was ever a year for GM Kyle Dubas to push his chips to the middle, this might be it. Dubas himself has admitted that the team’s cap situation may lend itself to going after a rental instead of a player with term this year, meaning nearly everyone on an expiring contract could be a target for the Maple Leafs.
This move does not take Toronto out of the running for another forward; in fact, it could give the Leafs even more cap flexibility depending on Andersen’s injury situation. GM Kyle Dubas has been open about his desire to improve the club with rentals, pushing some chips to the middle in this unique season.
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- Boone Jenner undergoes surgery, will miss rest of season
- Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski to have hernia surgery, miss remainder of season
- The 'Toronto Maple Leafs Hall of Famers' quiz
Related slideshow: Who has scored the most goals in a season for every NHL franchise? (Provided by Yardbarker)
Who has scored the most goals in a season for every NHL franchise?
The goal for NHL teams is to, well, score goals. If you are an NHL forward, one of your key jobs is to light the lamp for your squad. Some players have proven particularly good for it. This includes truly elite goal scorers, and also guys who had unexpected-prolific seasons. Here are the players who have scored the most goals in a single season for every NHL franchise, from the Original Six to the one in Vegas.
Anaheim Ducks: Teemu Selanne
This is the first, but not the last, time we will see Selanne on this list. Let’s just say the Finnish Flash hit the ground running in his NHL career. Selanne scored 52 goals in the 1997-98 season, and when he scored 47 the next year he became the first player to win the Maurice Richard Trophy for having the most goals on the season. The Hall of Famer is arguably the Ducks’ all-time greatest player.
Arizona Coyotes: Teemu Selanne
Hey, that name seems familiar. Remember, we are talking franchise records, and the original Winnipeg Jets became the Phoenix (now Arizona) Coyotes. While other leagues have given franchise’s back their history when they return (a la the Cleveland Browns and Charlotte Hornets), that isn’t the case for the new Jets. Anyway, Selanne scored 76 goals in his rookie season (1992-93). Yes, he won the Calder Trophy.
Boston Bruins: Phil Esposito
Once upon a time, scoring 50 goals in a season was a huge coup, Esposito was a big part in raising the bar when it came to scoring goals. Espo scored over 60 goals four times for the Bruins, but his top campaign came in the 1970-71 season when he scored 76 goals. Somehow, he finished second in the Hart voting, but it was to teammate Bobby Orr.
Calgary Flames: Lanny McDonald
When you think of Lanny McDonald, you probably think of him and his incredible mustache lifting the Cup for the Flames in 1989. By then, he was 35 and more a veteran presence than anything else. Back in his prime, though, McDonald was quite the goal scorer. In the 1982-83 campaign, he racked up 66 goals, which is the Flames’ record.
Carolina Hurricanes: Blaine Stoughton
This is the first name on this list that may leave you scratching your head. That is unless you were a Hartford Whalers fan in the 1980s. Stoughton came over from the WHA in the 1979-80 season and immediately made a splash, scoring 56 goals. He would have one more 50-goal season in the NHL but also be retired at 30 after the 1983-84 campaign.
Chicago Blackhawks: Bobby Hull
The Hulls are the top father-and-son goal-scoring duo in NHL history, and Bobby has the honor of holding the record for lighting the lamp for Chicago. The elder Hall led the league in goals four times in a row, culminating with 58 goals in the 1968-69 seasons. When he was older, Hull joined the WHA’s Winnipeg Jets and scored 77 goals, but those numbers don’t count here, obviously.
Colorado Avalanche: Michel Goulet
You may think of players like Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, and Nathan MacKinnon, but don’t forget about the Wild West days of the NHL in the 1980s, when goals were scored left and right. That’s not to knock Goulet, a Hall of Famer who played for the Quebec Nordiques. He racked up 456 goals in 11 seasons with Quebec, including a 57-goal campaign in 1982-83.
Columbus Blue Jackets: Rick Nash and Cam Atkinson
We want to give Nash the greater nod here, given that he scored 41 goals in the 2003-04 season, during the heyday of the trap and offensive suppression. Back then, 41 goals led the league. When Atkinson scored 41 in the 2018-19 season, he didn’t even finish in the top five. Still an impressive year, of course.
Detroit Red Wings: Steve Yzerman
“Mr. Hockey” Gordie Howe has the most career goals for the Red Wings, naturally, but the Captain Stevie Y is the one who had the best campaign in franchise history. In the 1988-89 seasons, Yzerman racked up a whopping 65 goals and 155 points, though scoring was high enough neither led the league. He didn’t win the Hart, but he did win the Pearson as voted on by the players.
Edmonton Oilers: Wayne Gretzky
Gretzky has the two highest-scoring seasons in NHL history, and they both came with the Oilers. When you’ve scored 87 goals in a season and it isn’t your best year, that’s truly astounding. Also a reminder of how easy it used to be to score goals in the NHL. Despite that fact, you have to be a once-in-a-lifetime talent to score 92 goals in one season, which “The Great One” did in the 1981-82 campaign.
Florida Panthers: Pavel Bure
Before injuries hindered his career, Bure was a truly incredible player. The “Russian Rocket” had some great years in Vancouver, but then he moved on to Florida and carried that franchise. In his first full season where he scored 58 goals, and the next season (2000-01) he bested that by one to set the new Panthers franchise record. Both years he led the league in goals.
Los Angeles Kings: Bernie Nicholls
No, it isn’t Gretzky. It isn’t even Luc Robitaille or Marcel Dionne. Instead of one of those Hall of Famers, it’s Nicholls who has the franchise record. Gretzky joined the Kings for the 1988-89 season, and Bernie was the big benefactor. Playing alongside the best playmaker of all-time, Nicholls scored 70 goals and added 80 assists. Yes, he had 150 points. Gretzky, of course, had 168.
Minnesota Wild: Marian Gaborik and Eric Staal
In 2007-08, Gaborik scored 42 goals for the Wild in his final full season with the team. After he moved to the Rangers he would score 42 goals in his first season there. Early in his career, Staal scored 44 goals for the Hurricanes, but by the time he had joined the Wild, he was a 33-year-old thought of as a depth player. Then he scored 42 goals out of nowhere. It was an incredible comeback.
Nashville Predators: Viktor Arvidsson
Sure, the Predators haven’t been around for that long, as an expansion team from the end of the ‘90s, but their franchise goal-scoring record is still a little lackluster. Arvidsson is a solid player, but the fact his 34 goals in the 2018-19 season is the best year for any Predators goal scorer is a bit of a surprise. In time, we expect this record to fall. We can’t say the same about the Oilers’ record.
New Jersey Devils: Brian Gionta
What got into Gionta in the 2005-06 season? He scored 48 goals that year, the first season after the NHL lost a campaign to the lockout. It was the only time he scored more than 30 goals in a season, let alone 40. Hey, he’ll always have that season, and it’s still the Devils’ record.
New York Islanders: Mike Bossy
It’s not unreasonable to wonder if Bossy and not Gretzky would have the goal-scoring record if injuries hadn’t cut his career short. Case in point, he only played in 10 seasons and still finished with 573 goals. He scored at least 50 goals in nine of those campaigns. His best year? That would have been in the 1978-79 season when he scored 69 goals.
New York Rangers: Jaromir Jagr
Jagr racked up Hart Trophies and Art Ross Trophies, but interestingly he never led the NHL in goals scored. That’s despite the fact he scored 766 goals in his career, third-most in NHL history. After the lockout year (which robbed Jagr of who knows how many goals), he joined the Rangers and tallied 54 goals, a new franchise record.
Ottawa Senators: Dany Heatley
Heatley liked scoring 50 goals so much he did it twice. In his first two seasons as a Senator – 2005-06 and 2006-07, Heatley scored 50 goals on the dot. He also had over 100 points in both of these campaigns. While his peak would be over fairly fast, it’s a reminder of just how skilled Heatley was at his pinnacle.
Philadelphia Flyers: Reggie Leach
Leach, somewhat famously, is the only forward to ever win the Conn Smythe for a team that didn’t win the Stanley Cup. That’s what happens when you score 19 goals in 16 playoff games. This was a continuation of his regular-season campaign. In the 1975-76 season, Leach scored 61 goals, which was good enough to lead the NHL.
Pittsburgh Penguins: Mario Lemieux
A big reason why Jagr never led the NHL in goals is that he spent many years as a teammate of Lemieux, one of the best players to ever lace up skates. He has three Harts, two Conn Smythes, and six Art Rosses. Lemieux scored 69 goals or more a staggering four times in his career. The peak came in the 1988-89 season, though, when he managed 85 goals, a number only two players have topped.
San Jose Sharks: Jonathan Cheechoo
Joe Thornton is an elite playmaker, and Cheechoo certainly knows that. He had 37 career goals going into the 2005-06 season. Then, out of nowhere, he scored 56 goals to lead the league. Cheechoo retired with 170 career goals. This one season, a Sharks record, represents one-third of his career goals, an incredible stat.
St. Louis Blues: Brett Hull
Only Gretzky has lit the lamp more in a single season. Hull had three seasons in a row for the Blues with 70 goals or more. In the middle campaign of that bunch, 1990-91, Hull tallied 86 goals. That’s the kind of number we will never see again. Bobby was a great goal scorer, but Brett was even better.
Tampa Bay Lightning: Steven Stamkos
Injuries and poor luck have kept Stamkos from truly reached his full potential, but early in his career, he showed why he was the first-overall pick and viewed as a franchise changer. Stamkos has led the league in goals twice, and when he scored 60 in the 2011-12 season it put him into truly rarified air, especially for a player from this millennium.
Toronto Maple Leafs: Rick Vaive
Vaive, far from a famous name, was one of those guys who racked up goals and penalty minutes in equal measure. In 1981-82, when he scored a franchise-record 54 goals, Vaive also had 157 penalty minutes. Imagine how many goals he could have managed had he stayed out of the box.
Vancouver Canucks: Pavel Bure
We’re back with the Russian Rocket, and like Heatley, before him, he’s tied with himself for a franchise record. However, for as good as Heatley was, he was never quite on Bure’s level. In back-to-back seasons (1992-93 and 1993-94) Bure notched 60 goals. There’s a reason he’s in the Hall of Fame even with a truncated career. Few have ever scored goals with as much gusto as Bure.
Vegas Golden Knights: William Karlsson
The Golden Knights have only been around for three seasons, so there has not been much time to set records. And yet, Vegas’ franchise record still beats a couple of teams. Karlsson stunned by scoring 43 goals in 2017-18, the Knights’ inaugural campaign. Wild Bill had 18 goals in three NHL seasons before that. While the Swede hasn’t lived up to that number since he did score 24 goals in his follow-up season.
Washington Capitals: Alex Ovechkin
Given how hard it is to score goals now relative to the ‘80s and early ‘90s, some argue that Ovechkin is the greatest goal scorer of all time. He’s notched 706 career goals and has lead the league in that category a whopping nine times. Fifty goals has proven to be nothing to Ovi, but in his best year (2007-08) he notched 65 goals, which you could consider a record of the modern era.
Winnipeg Jets: Ilya Kovalchuk
Yes, we have to talk Atlanta Thrashers. The Thrashers were an ignominious NHL franchise prior to moving to Winnipeg and giving Manitoba the Jets back. If not for Kovalchuk, they would have had basically nothing. They did have Kovy, though, and he scored 52 goals in both the 2005-06 and 2007-08 seasons.
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