NHL celebrity roundtable – Should-see groups, summer season highlights, rule modifications, commerce reactions
HENDERSON, Nev. — It was an eventful offseason for NHL gamers, with high-profile trades and stunning free-agent signings.
To not point out these weddings, bucket listing golf outings and scooter rides alongside the Amalfi Coast.
ESPN reporters Ryan Clark, Kristen Shilton and Greg Wyshynski caught up with over a dozen stars on the NHL Participant Media Tour close to Las Vegas final week to search out out what offseason strikes shocked them probably the most; preview which groups and gamers they’re most wanting ahead to watching within the 2022-23 season; uncover what NHL guidelines they’d change or remove; and what their private summer season highlights have been earlier than camps start.
What’s the very best factor you probably did this summer season?
Quinn Hughes, Vancouver Canucks: “We have been in Michigan. We golfed lots. We went to Hawai’i for a bit. We went to New York for a bit. It was enjoyable. … My brother, my dad, Zegras was there. Cole Caufield, [Dylan] Larkin. It was good. I would say Larks is the very best golfer, then Z, then the remainder of us funnel in after that.”
Mark Stone, Vegas Golden Knights: “I had again surgical procedure, so I used to be doing numerous rehab. I traveled fairly a bit. I used to be in Winnipeg seeing household and that was superior. I acquired again to Ottawa the place my spouse’s from to go see her household as properly. It was a pleasant change to get again to Canada.”
Jack Eichel, Vegas Golden Knights: “I went to Hawai’i at first of the summer season. That was actually cool. It has all the time been a bucket listing factor for me. We went snorkeling, acquired on the water. We did the highway to Hana. It is like a full-day tour by way of waterfalls, completely different seashores — black sand seashore, pink sand seashore. It is lots much less touristy and extra cultured Hawai’i. I believed that was actually cool.”
Jonathan Huberdeau, Calgary Flames: “Clearly, I moved to a different nation. However, my nation. I moved to Canada the place I’m from. There have been numerous issues emotionally occurring, but it surely was clearly a summer season I’ll keep in mind.”
Mathew Barzal, New York Islanders: “I used to be in Paris for 5 days. Liked Paris; trend, meals, life-style. Then the Amalfi Coast for like 9 days. Simply seashore golf equipment and so stress-free. The Mediterranean Sea is so stress-free and delightful. However the coolest factor that I did? I rented a Vespa and went scootering across the facet of the Amalfi Coast. Tremendous cool.”
Tomas Hertl, San Jose Sharks: “I took a few journeys. I went to Mykonos in Greece, which was wonderful. I used to be in Austria, too. However yearly, I take my brother and my two cousins on a visit. I shock them, and they do not know the place we’re going. This time, we flew to Manchester to observe Manchester United in opposition to Liverpool. We’re all die-hard Manchester United followers they usually received 2-1. We had nice seats and Outdated Trafford was offered out.”
Robert Thomas, St. Louis Blues: “It was my first large summer season of weddings. I am attending to the age now the place you go to weddings. Went to a few teammates’ weddings. There is likely to be some stress; I believe they need to ensure their wedding ceremony is one which will get talked about for some time.”
Jordan Staal, Carolina Hurricanes: “For my 1,000th sport, the fellows acquired me a visit to Pebble Seashore with my brothers. I hadn’t been on the market earlier than so this was one thing particular. Actually numerous enjoyable. Eric and Jared could not make it as much as the lake anyway this summer season, so this was our one probability to see them. All of our households went to Eric’s home. In order that’s 11 children underneath his roof. All of the dads went flying away and the mothers one way or the other figured it out with 11 children.
“I did not hit ’em nice. I did not get to play as a lot [before the trip]. I acquired there and hoped I used to be going to get fortunate, and I did not.”
What offseason NHL commerce or signing shocked you probably the most?
Zegras: “Matthew Tkachuk and Jonathan Huberdeau. That was an enormous one.”
Huberdeau: “Oh, it is a good query! It was in all probability me, and Tkachuk, and Weegs and all these guys. I believe Calgary won that trade.”
Quinn Hughes: “You gotta go along with [Johnny] Gaudreau going to Columbus. I simply really feel such as you have been listening to Philly, New Jersey or Calgary. Then, he went there. It was form of stunning.”
Oettinger: “John Klingberg to Anaheim. It is laborious to see him depart, clearly, We’re fairly shut. You knew the scenario, but it surely was laborious to see him go for positive. Taking his cash at playing cards. I’ll miss that lots.”
Barzal: “The Nazem Kadri hypothesis was all over, in order that was enjoyable to comply with. We have been concerned. If you’re concerned, it makes it extra enjoyable too — ‘Is that this going to occur or not?'”
Jack Hughes: “Oh positively the Matt Tkachuk one. It was like 11 o’clock on a random day. A loopy deal.”
Atkinson: “Johnny Gaudreau. Johnny Hockey going to Columbus. It is superior. I am unable to say something unhealthy in regards to the group. It is the place I dwell within the offseason. It is the place I’ll dwell after I’m executed taking part in hockey. It is nice for the group. It is higher for the town. It is unlucky we by no means acquired somebody like that [when I was in Columbus].
“I keep in mind my spouse and I have been driving they usually introduced the Blue Jackets have been a darkish horse for him and I am like ‘there is no means.’ However I’ve talked to him a bunch and I vouch for the town wherever I’m going.”
Hertl: “Gaudreau to Columbus. We might all hear rumors about how a lot he would possibly signal for and that he may get much more cash from different groups. He acquired to Columbus, which I do not suppose anybody anticipated.”
Thomas: “The most important commerce was the Tkachuk and Huberdeau commerce. That was a reasonably large blockbuster. As a hockey fan, it was fairly thrilling to see. I believe [Tkachuk] goes to like it down there, that is for positive [laughs].”
Danault: “I am going to go along with my group: Kevin Fiala. I used to be shocked by that commerce, to be sincere, after which we gave him seven years on an enormous contract. It is clear that [GM Rob Blake] needs to win. And Fiala is a kind of items that you could win.”
Staal: “The Huberdeau one. You simply do not see large names like that, with the cap and all of that enjoyable stuff, get moved. So it was very distinctive.”
What group — apart from your individual — are you most excited to observe this season?
Quinn Hughes: “I’ve numerous enjoyable watching the Devils as a result of my brother’s there!”
Stone: “Most likely Florida. I am shut with Brady and the Tkachuk household and with Matthew going there, it is an entire new search for that group. I am fascinated to see how they react.”
Huberdeau: “I do not actually prefer to comply with any groups.”
Suzuki: “Most likely Calgary, truly. Shedding Gaudreau and Tkachuk. I believe they made a bunch of fine strikes and there are numerous good gamers there.”
Oettinger: “Ottawa. I do know Brady [Tkachuk] from Boston College. I’ve by no means gotten an opportunity to play in opposition to him, so I am excited. They have numerous good younger expertise. It will be enjoyable. Perhaps not run-and-gun, however a high-powered offense.”
Barzal: “Ottawa’s fairly engaging to observe. New guys and a high-powered offense. We’ll see.”
Jack Hughes: “I am excited to observe Vancouver. I believe that they had a superb offseason. And clearly I all the time comply with Quinn. They will be good this yr.”
Atkinson: “The Ottawa Senators and Calgary Flames. In Calgary, you eliminate a number of the greatest gamers on this planet and you then herald a few the very best gamers. So it will be attention-grabbing to see the dynamic in Calgary. After which in Ottawa, bringing in [Claude Giroux] and Alex DeBrincat, it is good for the sport.”
Hertl: “I am excited to play in opposition to Nashville in Prague.”
Thomas: “Ottawa. They added some good items they usually have a ton of fine younger gamers. They’ll be an thrilling group to observe.”
Danault: “I believe Montreal, my outdated group. Simply due to a number of the strikes that they’ve made. Curious to see what they will have and what route they are going in.”
McCann: “I all the time watch Pittsburgh play. Sid and Geno and people guys. I wasn’t shocked the band stayed collectively. They’ve executed so many wonderful issues for that group that they deserve to remain collectively and end their careers there in the event that they select to.”
Trouba: “The Calgary and Florida commerce was such an enormous one, so it is gotta be Calgary. They have been a superb group final yr and made some fairly large modifications.”
Which participant are you most wanting ahead to seeing on the ice this yr?
Kuemper: “Most likely Connor McDavid. He is probably the most thrilling man to observe within the league. At any time when [Edmonton] is on, it is form of must-watch TV.”
Matthew Tkachuk: “I am excited to observe Johnny Gaudreau.”
Jeremy Swayman, Boston Bruins: “McDavid. He is a enjoyable man to observe. He is simply so quick. He sees the sport so properly, and also you simply perceive when he has the puck, there’s a excessive probability of an offensive probability coming. So it is cool to have that mindset realizing each time he is on the ice, you are going to be able to face a shot. That goes for each participant, proper? However particularly with him.”
Eichel: “I all the time like watching [Nikita] Kucherov. I simply love his ability. The best way he thinks in regards to the sport. You by no means know what you’ll get out of him, however in a great way. He can achieve this many issues that simply amaze you. I actually like watching him. Connor might be a reasonably cliché reply, however what he does on a night-to-night foundation is fairly unimaginable. So I actually get pleasure from watching him play as properly.”
Huberdeau: “I might in all probability say Ovechkin. He is attending to 800 targets. I believe it is going to be thrilling to comply with him and see how lengthy it takes him.”
Suzuki: “I am going to say my buddy Sean Durzi in L.A. I believe he’s going to have a extremely good yr.”
Oettinger: “Mason Marchment. He is regarded good in our skates to this point, and he is a superb man. Loves golf. Suits proper in with the boys. I believe he’ll have a extremely good yr.”
Jack Hughes: “Most likely Matty Beniers [of Seattle]. I am good buddies with him. Skate with him on a regular basis this summer season. I watched him have a terrific summer season. He is a terrific man and I believe he’ll have a terrific yr.”
Hertl: “It is all the time thrilling to observe the perfect gamers. The final two years, I’ve cherished watching Cale Makar play again on the D. It is not straightforward to play in opposition to him, but it surely’s all the time enjoyable to see him on the ice.”
Thomas: “Jordan Kyrou. He is such a dynamic participant. He can beat gamers one-on-one. He is so artistic on the market. I count on him to maintain getting higher and higher.”
McCann: “I all the time love watching McDavid. He is particular. When he will get the puck you’ll be able to see how he finds open ice. He is simply a tremendous skater. You may be taught lots from him by watching him on video and the best way he skates. However some issues you’ll be able to’t train.”
Should you may take away or change one rule within the NHL, what wouldn’t it be?
Kuemper: “Eliminate the trapezoid, so I can play the puck all over the place.”
Matthew Tkachuk: “I believe 3-on-3 ought to go till someone scores, no shootout.”
Brady Tkachuk: “The instigator rule.”
Swayman: “Eliminate a rule? I do not know. They’ve a reasonably good rule set to be sincere. Yeah, I do not thoughts it. I simply cease the puck! That is all I care about!”
Quinn Hughes: “Line modifications. Like when there’s a whistle and the house group will get the final choose [to change their lines]. I really feel like numerous occasions, it will get sophisticated and it will get combined up. Simply go play and if there is a mismatch, there is a mismatch.”
Stone: “I do know it’s a logistical nightmare, however it could be to maintain taking part in 3-on-3 [until one team scores]. I would eliminate shootouts as properly. The rationale I say that’s we misplaced three shootouts final yr and missed the playoffs! I believe we might have had a greater probability in 3-on-3.”
Eichel: “Most likely getting kicked out of faceoffs as a result of I get kicked out of numerous faceoffs.”
Huberdeau: “Most likely offside. You will be wherever you need within the zone so that you needn’t backcheck.”
Suzuki: “Perhaps delay of sport for taking pictures the puck over the glass. I simply do not actually prefer it. It is like nobody actually tries to shoot it over the glass throughout a sport to cease the play. Perhaps if the rule wasn’t there, then guys would possibly do it. I simply really feel prefer it’s one thing you do not need to do anyway.”
Keller: “Most likely the offside assessment. Simply let it occur.”
Oettinger: “Extra definitive goalie interference guidelines. Make it extra cut-and-dry. Each play is completely different however you by no means know. They are often powerful, controversial calls.”
Barzal: [When asked this question, Barzal took out his phone and began searching for a document.] ” what I did? I made a listing of guidelines that I might change. Right here it’s: ‘Concepts for The Sport.’ This is what the league must do: The league must discover a solution to solely have two refs on the ice. The refs are in the best way on a regular basis. There must be a solution to have the sport managed with out officers being in the best way. It is all the time occurring.”
Jack Hughes: “I hate the coaches’ challenges truly. They’ve taken a couple of targets and factors away from me. However on the similar time, it helps us on the opposite finish. It is considerably annoying, but it surely helps us win video games.”
Thomas: “Touring costume code. I do know it is depending on groups, however it could be good to only put on a pleasant pair of denims and a hoodie. That may be wonderful.”
McCann: “Please allow us to change on icings. There have been some occasions final yr after we have been on a two-minute shift and we iced the puck and it was actually shut but it surely was an icing. It could simply be good to get off the ice after that.”
Trouba: “Goalie interference. It is a laborious one. Do not eliminate it, however there’s simply too many occasions whenever you see one thing that is a purpose or not a purpose after which it goes the opposite means, and also you simply do not get it. Which is not good. It will possibly’t be black and white. I get that. However folks ought to come to the identical conclusion.”