Thomas equals Parent's feat at NHL Awards


Thomas equals Parent's feat at NHL Awards

Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Posted: 10:13 p.m.

By Tim Panaccio

LAS VEGAS Boston goalie Tim Thomas got a tweet from Flyer legend Bernie Parent on Wednesday night at the Palms.

Welcome to the club, Parent tweeted.

Indeed, Thomas completed a very rare trifecta as the 37-year-old Bruin won his second Vezina Trophy as the NHLs best goaltender for the second time in three years, to go along with a Conn Smythe as the playoff MVP and, of course, the Stanley Cup.

Parent was the first and only other goalie to do that when the Flyers won the Cup in 1974 and 1975.

Thats the stuff that I enjoy hearing more than anything else, Thomas said of Parents tweet. Its amazing that he did it two years in a row. Were just coming off winning the Cup and its been crazy.

I havent had time to sit down and think about it, but I would love to be able to accomplish something like that. So many things have to fall into place. I bet you Bernie would say the same thing: it takes a unique set of circumstances to win it two years in a row. Thats an amazing accomplishment.

Thomas said winning the Vezina meant so much to him because he had to overcome off-season hip surgery with an exhausting three workout-a-day routine just to play goal again.

Because of how far Ive come it looked like an unattainable award, Thomas said. Because of all Ive been through you could win this six times and every time would be just as special.

Thomas was named on 26 of 30 ballots and was the top selection on 17 for 104 points, edging Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators (84). Rinne also earned votes on 26 ballots and received six first-place votes.

He was the vital difference in the Bruins defeating the Vancouver Canucks for the Cup. The Vezina was conducted months earlier during the regular season and doesnt include the playoffs.

Thomas had a league-best .939 saver percentage and league-best 2.00 goals against average, while winning 35 games during the regular season.

Corey Perry become the first Anaheim Ducks player to win the Hart Trophy as league MVP, upsetting Vancouvers Daniel Sedin. Sedin did take the Ted Lindsay Award as the players' pick for MVP.

Perry garnered 67 first-place votes among the 126 ballots cast and accumulated 1,043 points to Sedins 960 points. Perry also won the Maurice Richard Trophy as NHL goal-scoring leader with 50 goals.

Vancouver took home six awards from the Palms but not the Stanley Cup.

The first award of the evening seemed like an upset as Detroits Nick Lidstrom won his seventh Norris Trophy as the leagues best defenseman, upsetting Bostons Zdeno Chara, who many felt would win the award and Nashvilles Shea Weber.

Lidstrom had 35 first-place votes two more than Chara, who was third. Weber took second place.

Chara won the Mark Messier Leadership Award, which Messier himself decides upon for the player who leads best by example in society.

Daniel Sedin won the Art Ross as the leagues top scorer, obviously, with 104 points. His twin brother, Henrik, won it last year.

Sedins teammate, Ryan Kesler, snapped fellow Selke Trophy finalist Pavel Datsyuks (Detroit) three-year reign as the leagues top defensive forward.

I pride myself on the defensive part of the game and its nice to be acknowledged, Kesler said. I guess all those years my dad was yelling, backcheck, finally paid off.

Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma, who made the Penguins a formidable foe despite the absence of both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, among others, won the Jack Adams Award as the leagues best coach.

Bylsma is a first time winner, who beat out both Barry Trotz (Nashville) and Vancouvers Alain Vigneault.

A little nerve wracking to have a chance at an award of this magnitude, Bylsma said. I didnt picture Donny Osmond announcing it. Its an honor to receive the award. Id like to tell you I did something marvelous to keep it going, but thats not the case.

Carolinas Jeff Skinner won the Calder as Rookie of the Year over strong competition from San Joses Logan Couture and the Islanders Michael Grabner.

Vancouvers Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider clinched the William Jennings Trophy for fewest goals allowed, while the Canucks Mike Gillis was named General Manager of the Year.

The Isles Doug Weight, who recently retired, was awarded the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, given to the player who best exemplifies leadership on and off the ice and who has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution to his community.

For the second consecutive year, Tampas Martin St. Louis won the Lady Byng, for sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct on the ice.

The L.A. Kings Dustin Brown was the recipient of the 13th annual NHL Foundation Player Award. That award recognizes an NHL player who applies the core values of hockey commitment, perseverance and teamwork to enrich the lives of people in his community.

Many not all of the awards are voted upon by the Professional Hockey Writers Association.
E-mail Tim Panaccio at Follow him on Twitter @TPanotchCSN.

Related: Laperriere wins Masterton Memorial Trophy Flyers to start next season by visiting Bruins

Stanley Cup: Offseason moves send Sharks to final after missing playoffs

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Stanley Cup: Offseason moves send Sharks to final after missing playoffs

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- After watching the San Jose Sharks miss the playoffs for the first time in more than a decade, general manager Doug Wilson set out to remake the team last offseason.

Individually, none of the moves sent shockwaves through the NHL. The Sharks hired a coach who made the playoffs once in seven seasons as an NHL coach, traded a first-round pick for a goalie who had been a backup his entire career, added two playoff-tested veterans for depth at forward and defense and signed an unheralded Finnish rookie.

Together, the additions of Peter DeBoer, Martin Jones, Joel Ward, Paul Martin and Joonas Donskoi to a solid core that had underachieved proved to be the right mix to get the Sharks to their long-awaited first Stanley Cup Final appearance.

"I thought this team has a lot of the pieces of that puzzle," Martin said. "Doug did a great job bringing guys in that he did, to make that push for it. I don't think many people would have guessed that we'd be here right now, but I think we believed."

The players all said the disappointment of blowing a 3-0 series lead to Los Angeles in 2014 and then missing the playoffs entirely last season served as fuel for this season's success.

DeBoer also credited former coach Todd McLellan for helping put the foundation in place that he was able to capitalize on. The Sharks became the second team in the past 10 seasons to make it to the final after missing the playoffs the previous season, joining the 2011-12 Devils that pulled off the same trick in DeBoer's first season in New Jersey.

"Everyone was ready for something a little bit fresher and newer, not anything that much different," DeBoer said. "The additions that Doug made, it just came together. I inherited a similar team in New Jersey when I went in there. First time they missed the playoffs for a long time the year before I got there. I think when you go into that situation, when you have really good people like there was in New Jersey when I went in there, like I was with this group ... they're embarrassed by the year they just had, and they're willing to do and buy into whatever you're selling to get it fixed again. I think I was the benefactor of that."

The transition from McLellan to DeBoer wasn't seamless. As late as Jan. 8, the Sharks were in 13th place in the 14-team Western Conference and seemingly on the way to another missed postseason.

But with Logan Couture finally healthy after being slowed by a broken leg early in the season and the move by DeBoer to put Tomas Hertl on the top line with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski, the Sharks rolled after that and made the playoffs as the third-place team in the Pacific Division.

In-season additions of players like depth forwards Dainius Zubrus and Nick Spaling, physical defenseman Roman Polak and backup goaltender James Reimer helped put the Sharks in the position they are now.

"With the new coaching staff we needed to realize how we needed to play to win," Thornton said. "Once that clicked, and that probably clicked maybe early December, I think after that, we just exploded. I think that's really when we saw the depth of this team. Everybody plays a big part."

That has been especially true in the playoffs when longtime core players like Thornton, Couture, Joe Pavelski and Patrick Marleau got the support that had often been lacking during past postseason disappointments.

Jones has posted three shutouts in the playoffs, including the Game 7 second-round clincher against Nashville and back-to-back games in the conference final against St. Louis. He has proven more than capable of being an NHL starter after serving an apprenticeship as Jonathan Quick's backup in Los Angeles.

Ward scored two goals in each of the final two games of the conference final and has 11 points this postseason. Donskoi exceeded expectations just to make the team as a rookie and has solidified his spot on the second line with five goals and nine points.

Martin's steady play has allowed offensive-minded defenseman Brent Burns to roam at times and given San Jose a strong second defensive pair that had been missing in previous seasons.

Zubrus and Spaling played a big role as penalty killers and on the fourth line, while Polak has been one of the team's most physical players.

"Doug did a great job this summer, this season," Couture said. "A lot of credit needs to go to him for the guys he brought in."

Flyers defensive prospect Ivan Provorov named CHL Defenseman of the Year


Flyers defensive prospect Ivan Provorov named CHL Defenseman of the Year

Flyers prospect and Brandon Wheat Kings defenseman Ivan Provorov on Saturday afternoon was named the 2015-16 Canadian Hockey League's Defenseman of the Year.

Provorov, who the Flyers drafted with the seventh overall pick in 2015, recorded 21 markers, 73 points and was a plus-64 in 62 games with Brandon during the regular season.

The 19-year-old beat out Windsor's Mikhail Sergachev and Shawinigan's Samuel Girard for the honor. Both Sergachev and Girard are eligible for this year's draft, which is June 24-25 in Buffalo, New York.

In 21 playoff games with the Wheat Kings, Provorov added three goals and 10 assists. Brandon beat the Seattle Thunderbirds in the WHL Championship Series to capture the Ed Chynoweth Cup. However, in the Memorial Cup, Brandon lost to the Red Deer Rebels on May 25.

What's next for Provorov?

The defenseman will come to Flyers training camp in September with his eye on making the roster. Many believe Provorov is ready to make the jump to the NHL, but Flyers general manager Ron Hextall has built a reputation of being patient, especially with his defensive prospects.

Provorov is one of five prospects in the Flyers' system that has created excitement, joining Travis Sanheim, Samuel Morin, Robert Hagg and Philippe Myers, an undrafted free-agent signing who made noise this season. Could Provorov — or any of the other prospects — join Shayne Gostisbehere on the Flyers' blue line in 2016-17?

After the Flyers' season ended with a playoff series loss to the Washington Capitals, Hextall hinted he'll continue to be patient with his prospects (see story).

“What we're building towards remains the same,” Hextall said after the season. “I'm not an impatient guy by nature. Maybe I was a little bit on the ice, but I've been off the ice for 17 years or whatever it is, so the whole thing that we started to build two years ago — our vision is the same and we're on a path.

“And we're a lot closer than we were two years ago."

But all eyes will be on Provorov come training camp. Can he force Hextall's hand?

End to End: Which Flyer has the most to prove in 2016-17?


End to End: Which Flyer has the most to prove in 2016-17?

Each week, we'll ask questions about the Flyers to our resident hockey analysts and see what they have to say.

Going End to End this week are Tom Dougherty, Jordan Hall and Greg Paone, all producers/reporters for

The question: Which Flyer has the most to prove in 2016-17?

Scott Laughton will be given every opportunity to prove himself, and if there is any single player under contract on this Flyers roster with the most to prove, it's Laughton.

Laughton, the 20th overall pick in 2012, is coming off his first full season with the Flyers and he left much to be desired. He struggled to stay in the top nine and found himself a healthy scratch for seven games during the most crucial stretch of the season.

What concerns me about Laughton is Dave Hakstol struggled to find a position for him. Laughton is a natural center and the original thought process was he would play center in the NHL, which he still very well may. But Laughton ended up playing some wing this season, too. It was similar to what the Flyers were doing with Brayden Schenn in 2014-15.

Still, Laughton, who turns 22 on Monday, failed to show much at either position. He finished with seven goals and 21 points in 71 games. He found his way into the lineup for three games in the playoffs because of Sean Couturier's shoulder injury and showed little before suffering a scary injury that left him motionless on the ice for a few minutes.

We've said it before — Laughton will have every chance to earn his spot on the opening night roster in training camp. The Flyers won't give up on him after one disappointing season, but Laughton has to come to camp in shape and with an edge we haven't seen yet.

Looking into our crystal ball, the orange and black could have one or two more forwards from outside the organization in camp come September and Travis Konecny will be hungry to crack the lineup. Laughton is going to have competition for his spot on the roster.

And he has to prove to Hakstol, general manager Ron Hextall and the Flyers he deserves it.

There will be no shortage of pressure for Jakub Voracek next season.
Not much went his way this past season, the first after signing an eight-year, $66 million extension following his career year in 2014-15.
He started slow. He changed positions. He got hurt and then played through it.
It all culminated in a taxing and disappointing season.
So, if anyone, Voracek has the most to prove in 2016-17. He’ll want to show that his career season was no fluke, that he can produce near that clip and is worth the hefty deal doled out by the Flyers.
Voracek’s health/production will be one of the hottest storylines to start the season.

No player on the Flyers’ roster has more to prove next season than Voracek.
Remember how great he was in 2014-15 when he finished fourth in the NHL with 81 points after leading the league for much of the year in that category, was named an All-Star for the first time in his career and earned a massive eight-year, $66 million extension shortly thereafter?
Those contract numbers are important because what Voracek has to prove this season lies in those numbers. His play last season wasn’t necessarily befitting of someone with that type of contract.
Voracek put up solid numbers last season with 11 goals and 44 assists in 73 games, but he just didn’t have the same effectiveness that he did in the prior season. If you recall, it took him 17 games to net his first goal of the season, an overtime winner in Carolina on Nov. 14. His ineffectiveness caused Dave Hakstol to move Voracek up and down the lineup and even send him over to the opposite wing, a position Voracek had rarely ever played before.
It just so happens that contract extension kicks in this season.
The soon-to-be 27-year-old forward holds himself to incredibly high standards. He’ll be out to prove to himself this season was an anomaly and make sure people know he’s a star worthy of those contract numbers.