Blues star Vladimir Tarasenko fully healthy, taking part in training camp
Even if there is a trade in the future, it appears as though Tarasenko is present, healthy and ready to help the Blues for the time being. Subscribe to Yardbarker's Morning Bark, the most comprehensive newsletter in sports. Customize your email to get the latest news on your favorite sports, teams and schools. Emailed daily. Always free! Sign up now ▸More must-reads:Blues sign Robert Thomas to two-year, $5.6M extensionBlues name Peter Chiarelli VP of hockey operationsThe 'St.
The first three members of each participating Olympic hockey nation are being announced this week, with top names like Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews, David Pastrnak and Victor Hedman already locked in to compete for their respective countries. Today, Germany, Switzerland, Slovakia, Latvia and Russia all revealed the first three names on their roster sheet. © Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin.
For Germany, it comes as no surprise that Leon Draisaitl leads the way. The Edmonton Oilers superstar is one of the most dangerous playmakers in the world, winning the Hart and Art Ross trophies in 2020. He’ll be joined by Philipp Grubauer, who gives the German squad an elite goaltending option for the tournament.
Travis Hamonic yet to join Canucks due to family health concerns
Training camp is well underway but the Vancouver Canucks are still awaiting the arrival of veteran defenseman Travis Hamonic. Now, with the deadline to opt out of the coming season arriving on Friday, the team is left to wait to see if they will have the reliable blue liner back after extending him this off-season. Yet, it appears that they will remain patient and calm with Hamonic, who has family concerns to take into account with his decision.
The third member is an interesting choice though, as Moritz Seider, the Detroit Red Wings prospect who has yet to even make his NHL debut, has already locked in his spot at the Games. The 20-year-old defenseman was the sixth-overall pick in 2019 and has is expected to make an impact for the Red Wings in short order.
Switzerland has a trio of impressive NHL talents, starting with Nashville Predators captain Roman Josi. The 31-year-old defenseman won the Norris Trophy in 2020 and has helped his small country take home two silver medals at the World Championship. In fact, in 2013 when Switzerland came in second, Josi was named tournament MVP. Josi will be joined by Timo Meier of the San Jose Sharks and Nico Hischier of the New Jersey Devils, two established NHL forwards that have represented Switzerland on several occasions in the past.
Walker Hayes Teams Up with Carin Leon for 'Awesome' Spanish-Language Remix of 'Fancy Like'
"Fancy Like (Carin Leon Remix – Amazon Original)" was released Friday to kick off Amazon Music's Whiskey & Tequila playlistThe singer, 41, is teaming up with regional Mexican star Carin Leon, 32, for a new version of the song that features a Spanish flair, and will kick off Amazon Music's new Whiskey & Tequila playlist, which combines regional Mexican and country music.
The Slovaks may now have quite the same star power, but there’s still plenty of NHL experience announced today. Andrej Sekera, Erik Cernak and Jaroslav Halak will all be donning their nation’s colors next year, bringing the building blocks of a strong defensive unit. Cernak, 24, has developed into an extremely valuable and versatile player for the Tampa Bay Lightning, winning two Stanley Cup championships in his first three years of NHL action.
It’s Russia that will draw the most attention today though, as the three players announced have all been considered among the best in the world at some point. Alex Ovechkichkin, a player who is chasing down history by attempting to catch and break Wayne Gretzky’s NHL goal record, Nikita Kucherov, the 2019 Hart Trophy winner and Andrei Vasilevskiy, the most recent Conn Smythe recipient, make up a trio that’s hard to match. Russia, who will be competing as the “Russian Olympic Committee” is the reigning Olympic champion after taking home the award (then as the Olympic Athletes from Russia) in 2018 when the NHL did not participate.
Draisaitl in the Olympic squad - also Grubauer and Silk
The German ice hockey fans can hope more and more on the participation of NHL Star Leon Draisaitl at the Olympics in Beijing. © Getty Images Olympia premiere in sight: Leon Draisaitl.
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- Mika Zibanejad, Gabriel Landeskog, Victor Hedman named to Sweden Olympic team
- Finland, Czech Republic, U.S. announce members of 2022 Olympic teams
- The 'Hart Trophy winners' quiz
Related slideshow: NHL awards preview for the 2021-22 season (Provided by Yardbarker)
NHL awards preview for the 2021-22 season
We get you ready for the start of the 2021-22 NHL season by previewing the potential awards winners for the MVP, Norris, Vezina, Jack Adams, and Calder Trophies. To keep up with all the NHL action this season, order ESPN+.
Hart Trophy (MVP): Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
McDavid is going to be at the top of this list every season for probably the next decade. He is coming off an unbelievable 2020-21 season that saw him top 100 points in a 56 game season and he is going to be the front-runner to win another scoring title. He is entering his age 25 season which is generally when offensive players really hit their peak production. So expect a massive year from him and another top-3 finish in the Hart Trophy voting. << Buy NHL on ESPN+ Now>>
Hart Trophy (MVP): Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
The Avalanche are still one of the best teams in the league and MacKinnon is one of the three best players in the world. That makes him an easy contender. He has been a finalist in three of the past four years and barring an injury he should be right there in the discussion again. The big question is whether or not the Avalanche can break through the Second Round ceiling in the playoffs and get the Stanley Cup.
Hart Trophy (MVP): Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers
Here is an interesting player to watch. The Panthers are coming into this season with major expectations and should have a team capable of competing for the Stanley Cup. Barkov is their best player and one of the best two-way players in the league, blending elite offense and shutdown defense. If the Panthers reach their potential (they should) and Barkov carries the same load he has in recent seasons (no reason to believe he will not) he is going to be in that discussion all year.
Hart Trophy (MVP): Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins
Hate him all you want but Marchand is one of the league's best players and a legitimate MVP candidate every season. That is what makes his other shenanigans so annoying -- he does not need to resort to that stuff to be effective. Either way, Marchand is an elite scorer, a tremendous defender, and one of the most dangerous penalty killers in the league. He impacts every game in every situation and in all three zones.
Norris Trophy (Top Defenseman): Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche
There is going to come a time in the very near future where Makar is the best player on the Avalanche (yes, better than MacKinnon). We might be getting to that point. Makar has only played two full seasons in the league and is already on an elite level where he can control the game with ease. The Norris Trophy is in his future. Maybe multiple times. One of the rising superstars in the NHL.
Norris Trophy (Top Defenseman): Adam Fox, New York Rangers
The reigning Norris Trophy winner, Fox is part of that wave of defenders that includes Makar and Quinn Hughes that are starting to take over the league. He has quickly become the best and most impactful of New York's young talent and is going to be a franchise building block for years to come. An all situations defenseman that can be the focal point of a contending team.
Norris Trophy (Top Defenseman): Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning
Hedman is starting to slow down a little bit, but he remains a top-tier talent and defender. He also still has a name that carries a ton of clout in these discussions and is always going to be a contender based on reputation. Still, that status is not unwarranted. He is the best all-around defenseman of his era and is still one of the best players in the world at his position.
Norris Trophy (Top Defenseman): Roman Josi, Nashville Predators
The Predators might not have many bright spots this season but Josi figures to be one of them. He is just one year removed from winning the Norris Trophy and is still one of the most productive defenders in the entire NHL. With Ryan Ellis gone he figures to take on even more importance this season as one of the few remaining impact players on the Nashville roster.
Vezina Trophy (Top goalie): Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning
Vasilevskiy is a finalist every year now and is arguably the best goalie in hockey. That is almost unfair given the team he plays on, and it makes the Lightning an almost unstoppable force. But for as good as the Lightning roster is overall Vasilevskiy really is the game-changer here as they actually have a losing record (13-14-5) the past two seasons when he is not the goalie of record.
Vezina Trophy (Top goalie): Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets
Hellebuyck has become one of the NHL's best goalies and the Jets' most valuable players. He has helped mask an undermanned defense the past couple of seasons and kept them more competitive than anybody expected them to be. He is a true game-changer at the most important position on the ice. The Jets gave him a little bit of help this offseason and bolstered their defense a little and should only improve his overall play. He already has one Vezina Trophy on his resume and could definitely win another in his career.
Vezina Trophy (Top Goalie): Juuse Saros, Nashville Predators
Saros took over Nashville's net on a full-time basis this past season and had a sensational performance that saw him almost single-handedly drag the Predators to the playoffs. Can he do that again over a full 82-game season? That remains to be seen, but if he does he will certainly finish higher than seventh in the Vezina voting. Given Nashville's offseason changes it is going to need another huge year from him.
Vezina Trophy (Top Goalie): Marc-Andre Fleury, Chicago Blackhawks
You pretty much have to include the reigning winner, right? Fleury is playing some of the best hockey of his career the past couple of years and he was sensational during the 2020-21 season. Now he moves onto Chicago where he will be trying to help the Blackhawks return back to relevance. If they do make the playoffs they are going to need a massive year from Fleury given the state of their defense, and if he has that sort of year you can bet it will be a Vezina caliber season.
Vezina Trophy (Top Goalie): Igor Shesterkin, New York Rangers
The Rangers did not have to wait long to find another franchise goalie to replace Henrik Lundqvist. Shesterkin may not have a huge body of work to evaluate so far, but what we have seen has been fantastic. The pressure is on for the Rangers to take a step forward this season and get back to the playoffs and having a potentially top-tier goalie like Shesterkin will help them get back.
Calder Trophy (Rookie of the year): Spencer Knight, Florida Panthers
Knight is the top goalie prospect in the league and one of the top prospects overall. With the Sergei Bobrovsky experience not working out as planned in Florida, and Chris Driedger moving on to Seattle in the expansion draft, Knight is going to get an opportunity to play a big role on a Stanley Cup contender. If he lives up to his potential this season and helps the Panthers make a big leap in their development he is a no-brainer for this discussion.
Calder Trophy (Rookie of the year): Moritz Seider, Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings faced a lot of criticism when they drafted Seider with the No. 6 overall pick a couple of years ago but nobody is questioning it now. Seider is one of the top defensive prospects in hockey and is coming off of a massive year in Sweden where he was the top defenseman in the league. He is the type of defense prospect that, if he reaches his potential, can help change a franchise.
Calder Trophy (Rookie of the year): Quinton Byfield, Los Angeles Kings
The Kings have one of the most talented farm systems in hockey and Byfield is the top prospect in the group. He is going to get a chance to play behind Anze Kopitar and Phillip Danault to give the Kings some outstanding center depth and perhaps help make them a sleeper playoff team in a weak Pacific Division.
Calder Trophy (Rookie of the year): Vasili Podkolzin, Vancouver Canucks
Every year the Canucks seem to have another Calder Trophy candidate arrive on their roster. Brock Boeser, Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes, and now Podkolzin. He is an enormous talent and should help the Canucks improve their forward depth. He is a highly skilled player that should be a great addition to their young core. The Canucks have been patiently waiting for him to arrive, and how he is here.
Jack Adams Award (Coach of the year): Joel Quenneville, Florida Panthers
Quenneville is one of the league's top coaches and is behind the bench of a Panthers team that has a chance to be a Stanley Cup contender. Given Quenneville's success and reputation, as well as the fact he has been coaching for more than two decades, it is stunning he has only ever won this award once in his career. He should be in contention this season.
Jack Adams Award (Coach of the year): Jon Cooper, Tampa Bay Lightning
Cooper has the disadvantage of coaching the league's best team, and if we know anything about Calder Trophy voting we know it goes to a coach of a team that exceeds expectations and has a hot goalie. But Cooper is the league's best coach and has his team in a position to win a third consecutive Stanley Cup. He will be in the running.
Jack Adams Award (Coach of the year): Mike Sullivan, Pittsburgh Penguins
There was a strong argument for him to win this award a year ago given the Penguins' injury situation and the fact they won the East Division. Well, he is starting this season without Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in the lineup due to offseason surgeries. He gets them back in the playoffs with that injury situation and a flawed roster he should get some major attention here.
Jack Adams Award (Coach of the year): Todd McLellan, Los Angeles Kings
Now here is the type of coach that wins the Calder Trophy: Team that has missed the playoffs in recent years, enters the season with low expectations, and then somehow makes the playoffs. The Kings play in a division where there is probably only one slam dunk playoff team and a bunch of mediocre/rebuilding teams around them. They made some big roster improvements this offseason and have a chance to sneak up on some people with a great farm system.
Jack Adams Award (Coach of the year): Gerard Gallant, New York Rangers
Gallant is arriving in New York tasked with speeding up the Rangers' rebuild. Management wants this team in the playoffs, and if they get there this season it will be hard to ignore the narrative of the coaching change impact. Gallant is a successful coach with a recent track record of success and he is taking over a team with an MVP candidate (Artemi Panarin), a Norris Trophy winner (Fox), and several high draft picks just waiting to break out.
Blues' Brandon Saad out vs. Kings due to COVID-19 .
The Blues have announced that forward Brandon Saad will be unavailable on Saturday due to COVID protocol. Saad, as well as the entire Blues roster, is vaccinated. With Saad sidelined and Pavel Buchnevich suspended, the Blues will be without their two major offseason additions for their home opener against the L.A. Kings. © Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports St. Louis Blues left wing Brandon Saad The Blues have not revealed the cause of Saad’s entry into the COVID protocol. However, the fact that he has already been ruled out of a game that is 48 hours away would imply that he has tested positive.