Happy weekend to you all. Today we bring you another screenshot column where we break some current hockey topics into smaller column sections for your reading interest. Time to get to topic one:
– In recent weeks there has been a remarkable campaign to honor Ottawa Senators legend Daniel Alfredsson with induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. From this author’s perspective, Alfredsson has done enough to deserve an HHOF nod. He may not have been the most dominant player at his position, but spanning 18 NHL seasons — as well as 14 elite international hockey tournaments — the Sweden winger has made enough of an impact to be worthy of Hall of Fame induction.
Alfredsson, 49, retired in 2014 and still holds numerous Senator records, including most regular-season goals (426), assists (682) and points (1,008), and most playoff games played (121). , and most postseason goals (51), assists (49), and points (100). He played 1,246 games and scored at least 20 goals in 13 seasons; in four seasons he had at least 32 goals. There are current HHOF members who have far fewer points than Alfredsson, and he is as synonymous with the Sens franchise as few of his peers have ever been with their respective NHL teams.
Ultimately, the HHOF honors are intended to go to players who have demonstrated “first class ability, sportsmanship, character and contributions to his or her team or teams and to the game of hockey in general.” Who can deny that Alfredsson meets all these qualifications? He was one of the classiest NHLers of his or any generation. He won the 1996 Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie. His philanthropy was evident when he won the 2012 King Clancy Memorial Trophy (for leadership and humanitarian work), and his skills as a phenomenal fitting room example were underscored when he won the 2013 Mark Messier Leadership Award.
That should be more than enough to bring Alfredsson into the HHOF – and that’s before you factor in his impact on the international game. He was part of the Olympic gold and silver medals for Sweden and was on two Swedish silver medal teams at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships. He’s never won a Stanley Cup, but that’s not what HHOF is about. It’s about ‘glory’, and Alfredsson certainly achieved that during his years on the ice. He absolutely deserves a place at the HHOF.
— After losing game five of the Stanley Cup Finals on Friday, the Colorado Avalanche announced they would be starting for game six with veteran goaltender Darcy Kuemper. That shouldn’t be a problem, right? The Avs spent a lot of money to acquire Kümper last summer. They rode him to the best Western Conference record all year, and just because he allowed the OT goal to Ondrej Palat, are they supposed to let him down now?
No, they made the bed with Kuemper and they have to sleep in it for the next two games. Kuemper’s challenge is to be equal or better than Lightning’s counterpart, Andrei Vasilevskiy, and that’s a tall order no matter who you are. For better or for worse, the fortunes of Colorado and Kuemper are linked. Backup Pavel Francouz is not the answer. Better to play in front of Kuemper.
– The Nashville Predators are in a strange public contract hearing with star forward Filip Forsberg, and on Thursday GM David Poile announced the Preds have extended the unrestricted free agent by eight years, a year more than any other team Forsberg under can offer the current collective agreement.
What Poile didn’t make public, however, was the dollar amount of the contract offer, only telling NHL.com that it was “disappointing” that they couldn’t agree on an agreement with the 27-year-old, who had a career-high goals record (42), Assists (42) and points (84) in just 69 games last season. Forsberg was in the final year of a $6 million annual contract and a number of teams will line up to pay him significantly more.
Poile’s stance on Forsberg’s contract situation feels like a public relations exercise designed to cushion the blow of Forsberg moving to a new employer. Time will tell if Forsberg will accept a lower payday to surround himself with better players in Nashville, but with the UFA season imminent, he seems determined to test the open waters and see how the Preds did react when there’s a serious, big…money offer from a competitor on the table.