NHL.com is in the midst of releasing its trophy tracker with 15 of its writers filling out ballots.
Jay Woodcroft was one of 10 NHL bench bosses to receive first-place votes for the Jack Adams trophy, but was a distant seventh in overall voting. While there are a number of good names on the list, I find it hard to believe he’s so low.
He joined the Oilers partway through last season and down the stretch run, they posted a 26-8-3 record with the league’s third-best winning percentage. Woodcroft landed tied for 12th in voting getting one second-place vote and two third-place votes.
The Oilers are going to have a very, very strong season this year, and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see him as a finalist in year-end voting.
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Here’s the full list of voting:
Voting totals (points awarded on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis):
Mike Sullivan, Penguins, 30 points (3 first-place votes)
Rod Brind’Amour, Hurricanes, 25 (3)
Gerard Gallant, Rangers, 19 (2)
John Hynes, Nashville Predators, 15 (1)
Jared Bednar, Colorado Avalanche, 14 (1)
Bruce Boudreau, Vancouver Canucks, 14 (1)
Jay Woodcroft, Edmonton Oilers, 14 (1)
D.J. Smith, Ottawa Senators, 13 (1)
Bruce Cassidy, Vegas Golden Knights, 13 (1)
Don Granato, Buffalo Sabres, 11
Jon Cooper, Tampa Bay Lightning, 9
Paul Maurice, Florida Panthers, 8 (1)
Todd McLellan, Los Angeles Kings, 7
Lane Lambert, New York Islanders, 7
Pete DeBoer, Dallas Stars, 7
Martin St. Louis, Montreal Canadiens, 7
Rick Bowness, Winnipeg Jets, 5
Derek Lalonde, Detroit Red Wings, 4
Peter Laviolette, Washington Capitals, 2
Dean Evason, Minnesota Wild, 1

Barzal gets the bag

A massive deal has come the way of Mat Barzal, who on Tuesday inked an eight-year, $9.15-million extension with the New York Islanders.
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The 25-year-old is coming off a season that saw him score 15 goals and 59 points in 73 games leading the Islanders in points. This year, Barzal will play out the final season of a three-year bridge deal he signed out of his entry-level contract that paid him $7-million a year.
Barzal will forever be linked to the Oilers in one way or another after they traded a first-round pick the Islanders later used to draft him. That Griffin Reinhart deal will forever be one of the worst in franchise history.
Nonetheless, the Oilers would’ve found themselves in tough positions around this time given the hefty salaries Barzal earned on his deals.

More trouble in Arizona?

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Well uh… this is awkward.
According to Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos, it sounds like things are a little rough around the edges down in Arizona. We knew this experiment of them playing out of Arizona State University would be a sight to behold, but the fact the players are already complaining is not ideal.
This will be an interesting story to follow as the year progresses.

How many players will score 50 this year?

This was one of the talking points on Tuesday’s episode of Daily Faceoff Live. With last year having four, Frank Seravalli and Tyler Yaremchuk had a back-and-forth conversation about it.
Seravalli: “It’s a small list. I’m going to say three. I’m going to go with Matthews, Draisaitl, [Kyle] Connor, and the guy knocking on the door is the other Connor in Connor McDavid. He hasn’t gotten to that 50-goal mark just yet, and he’s made it a point to try and score more goals, 44 being the career high last year. It still kind of amazes me that he didn’t win the Hart Trophy last year, and it’s not to say that Auston Matthews didn’t have a great year, I think we just became infatuated with the idea of 60 goals. He was outstanding, but we had the best player in the world, probably inarguably, score a career high in goals and a career high in points, and he doesn’t win the Hart. It was just an odd way that it ended, and then you see the dominance from McDavid in the postseason, and the point totals, and what he was able to accomplish. It feels like he’s going to that next level, and for him to break through with six more goals, he’s there. I think Kirill Kaprizov has a really good chance too, so four, maybe five.”
Yaremchuk: “You mention Kaprizov, you mention McDavid, I actually have them both hitting the mark, but I’m going with only four 50-goal scorers because I actually have Ovechkin missing out on it and Chris Kreider missing out on it as well. So I’m going with Matthews, Draisaitl, McDavid (so the Oilers will have two), and Kirill Kaprizov as my four 50-goal guys, with Kyle Connor probably being right on the doorstep.
If there’s one guy whose maybe not considered a conventional 50-goal guy, I’m intrigued about Jason Robertson. He needs to get into the lineup now. If he misses the first week or whatever of the season with a contract holdout, he’s probably not getting to 50 goals, but if he’s a guy that if he gets all 82 games in, I’d be really curious to see if he can take a jump.
As we wrap this up, anyone lower down that a lot of people don’t talk about that you think has an upside shot at it?”
Seravalli: “David Pastrnak in a contract year I think is interesting, a guy that has gotten to 48 before, and contract years go one way or the other. Either the player wilts under the pressure of that or busts through the way that Johnny Gaudreau did last year.”

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Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at [email protected]

#NATIONVACATION TO LAS VEGAS

  • When: On Thursday, January 12th, we’re jumping on a flight at the Edmonton International Airport and making our way to Vegas. On Sunday evening, we’ll fly back from Vegas to Edmonton. So the dates that you need to block off for this trip are January 12th to 15th.
  • Where we’re staying: After landing in LV, we’ll jump on the free shuttle and make our way to the Park MGM before settling in for a good night’s sleep. 😉
  • What you get: Your roundtrip flight, hotel, shuttle, viewing party (Friday night), game entry — we got seats this time (Saturday night), and exclusive entry into our pre-trip ‘get to know everyone’ event.
  • How Much: The total cost for the trip, flight, hotel, and entry to the game is $1499 per person (based on double occupancy)
  • Tickets: Ready to dive in? Click this link.