LOTTERY LOSS: Florida Panthers Drop to Second in NHL Draft as Avs Win Lottery

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“We’re going to get a hell of a player.” The top-rated North American skater according to NHL Central Scouting is defenseman Seth Jones, a native of Arlington, Texas, who is the son of former NBA player Popeye Jones. Seth Jones played for Portland of the Western Hockey League and led all rookie defensemen in the WHL with 14 goals and 42 assists. Jones also was the youngest member of Team USA’s gold medal team at the world juniors. Center Nathan MacKinnon and winger Jonathan Drouin — who both played for Halifax of the Quebec junior league — are also in the running to be the top overall pick. Drouin led the Mooseheads with 41 goals and 105 points to earn league MVP honors; MacKinnon had 32 goals and 75 points for Halifax. “We’re really on course. We’re in good shape,” Tallon said. “The NHL combine is at the end of next month and we’ll have our organizational meetings there. I’ve been watching the top three and have a good feel for who they are.” The Panthers have been lucky in the draft lottery before, securing the top spot in both the 2002 and 2003 drafts. Florida, however, never used those top picks and instead traded them away. source: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/flapanthers/2013/04/lottery-loss-florida-panthers-drop-to-second-in-nhl-draft-as-avs-win-lottery.html

NHL announces Calder Trophy finalists

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Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida Panthers Selected third overall by the Panthers in the 2011 NHL Draft, Huberdeau played in all 48 games for Florida and ranked second both on the team and among NHL rookies with 31 points (14-17—31). Among first-year players, he finished third in goals, fourth in assists and third in shots on goal (112). His 16:55 average time on ice also led rookie forwards, while his nine power-play points (2-7—9) placed fourth among all freshmen skaters. The 19-year-old Huberdeau set two franchise records, becoming the first Panther to score on two penalty shots in one season (Feb. 21 at Philadelphia and March 5 vs. Carolina) and recording the most points by a teenager in team history (four more than Radek Dvorak in 1995-96). Carolina Hurricanes fans will identify most with Huberdeau whose goal and two assists contributed to the team’s season-opening 5-1 loss to the Panthers back on Jan. 19. The rookie tallied six-points (3g, 3a) in four games played against the Hurricanes, the most against any team he faced throughout the season, and accounted for just under 20 percent of his overall point total generated during the season. Brendan Gallagher – Montreal Canadiens A fifth-round pick (147th overall) by the Canadiens in the 2010 NHL Draft, Gallagher helped Montreal go from a last-place finish in the Eastern Conference in 2011-12 to a Northeast Division title and the second seed in the conference in 2012-13. He played in 44 games, ranking second among rookies with 15 goals and fourth with 28 points. source: http://www.examiner.com/article/nhl-announces-calder-trophy-finalists

Boogaard family sues NHL for son’s death

The 28-year-old Boogaard was posthumously diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain ailment that can be caused by repeated blows to the head, according to the 55-page lawsuit filed in Cook County (Ill.) Circuit Court late Friday. One of the attorneys who filed the lawsuit, William Gibbs, said Monday the NHL profited from Boogaard’s physical abilities as team doctors dispensed “pain pills like candy” after he suffered repeated injuries. “The NHL drafted Derek Boogaard because it wanted his massive body to fight in order to enhance ratings, earnings and exposure,” Gibbs said. “Then, once he became addicted to these narcotics, the NHL promised his family that it would take care of him. It failed.” The NHL declined to comment on the lawsuit. The allegations of the suit mirror those by thousands of former football players against the NFL. Both contend the leagues knowingly withheld information on the connection between the violent collisions in their sport and traumatic brain injury, and pushed players to play through pain, an approach that brought about long-term health issues. Gibbs’ Illinois-based law firm of Corboy and Demetrio also represents the family of Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson, who committed suicide, and other former football players against the NFL. Gibbs declined to draw a connection between the two cases or speculate on the prospects of a class-action lawsuit against the NHL, should one ever take shape. He said the NHL couldn’t claim ignorance about the consequences to Boogaard, who played for the Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers before he died. “The Boogaard family desperately wants meaningful change to happen so that this never happens to another kid,” Gibbs said. “What exactly that looks like and what exactly can be done is hopefully a discussion the league begins to have vis-a-vis enforcers, the distribution of pain management pills and it’s substance abuse program.” Michael McCann, director of the Sports and Entertainment Law Institute at the University of New Hampshire School of Law, said it would be difficult for the Boogaard case to turn into the kind of massive, class-action lawsuit the NFL is facing. source: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/05/13/3395166/boogaard-family-sues-nhl-for-sons.html

 

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