Kucherov & Vasilivskiy Claim Top Honors at NHL Awards

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Nikita Kucherov and Andrei Vasilevskiy spent the NHL Awards doing what they did all regular season, winning. Kucherov swept both MVP categories as voted by his peers at the NHLPA and the media. Additionally he received his long determined Art Ross award for scoring the most points in the season at 128. He becomes just the third Russian to win all three in a single season, joining Alex Ovechkin in 2009 and Evgeni Malkin in 2012.

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Slava Voynov Charged With Domestic Violence Felony

It’s been weeks since the Kings Slava Voynov was arrested following an alleged domestic violence in his California home and today the 24-year old was officially charged with one felony count of ‘corporal injury to spouse with great bodily injury’. Voynov will stand before a judge on December 1 and could face 9 years in prison and possible deportation if convicted. The young defensemen has been skating away from the Kings while his $4.167 million/per year contract has counted towards LA’s salary cap.

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Steel City “Steals” Kovalev

When Alexei Kovalev isn’t making millions of dollars or creating commercials or flying in his private jet, he certainly isn’t living up to his price tag at the NHL level.  Granted, the Ottawa Senators have been in a downward spiral since the season began and are now putting up a fire sale making way for their prospects to get their feet wet in the NHL.  Alexei Kovalev was the latest victim to Ottawa’s massive overhaul.  After signing a two-year, 10 million dollar contract, Kovalev has put up 76 points in 131 games for the Senators.  Compare this to a few seasons ago when he was a point-per-game player with the Montreal Canadiens and it is safe to say that Kovalev has been on a steady decline.
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Malkin wins Conn Smythe, raises Cup

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With the game 7 win over the defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings the Pittsburgh Penguins lifted their first trophy in 17 years giving the city their second championship in a year. Prior to the presentation of the Cup, Evgeni Malkin was awarded the Conn Smythe trophy as the MVP of the playoffs notching 36 points to lead all scorers.

It will be interesting to see how this trophy plays out at the leagues award ceremony on June 18th with Malkin being up for the Hart.

Malkin is the first ever Russian born player to collect the honor and second Penguin after Mario Lemieux raised it twice in the last two cup wins. He along with fellow comrades Sergei Gonchar and Ruslan Fedentenko are the latest Russians/Ukrainians to get their names etched on the cup. For both Malkin and Gonchar this is their first cup in their careers with Gonchar having played since 1994.

Fedentenko’s name is already on hockey’s holy grail as he won it with Tampa Bay in 2004. It will be interesting to see where the players choose to bring the cup on their day with it during the summer.

With the next meaningful hockey game about 3.5 months away updates will be few and far but do stay tuned as July 1st marks another year of the free-agency frenzy which will be monitored closely by all of us here. We leave you now with CBC’s playoff montage found below.