Trevor Daley hoists the Stanley Cup one more day – his day with the trophy

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Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Trevor Daley devised the plan years ago. All he needed was the Stanley Cup to hatch it.

Daley accomplished that last month when the Penguins defeated the San Jose Sharks in the Stanley Cup Final, meaning that his plan for what he’d do on his day with the Cup would finally come to fruition.

Unlike other major league sports, each player on a Stanley Cup-winning team gets to have the championship trophy for a day to do whatever. Phil Pritchard, the Hockey Hall of Fame’s white-gloved Keeper of the Cup, accompanies the trophy on a summer-long journey through Canada, the United States, Russia, wherever a championship player resides.

“I’m going to bring the cup back home to where I grew up and around my neighborhoods that I grew up around playing hockey,” Toronto native Daley told Texas’ SportsDay earlier this month. “I can’t wait. Like I said, I’ve been thinking about that day for a really long time. Now that it’s come true it’s amazing.”

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Trevor Daley, center, brought a friend with him to a local ice rink - the Stanley Cup (Photo/Phil Pritchard/Hockey Hall of Fame).

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Trevor Daley, center, brought a friend with him to a local ice rink – the Stanley Cup (Photo/Phil Pritchard/Hockey Hall of Fame).

Daley took Stanley on a mini whistle-stop tour of sorts during his Cup time that stretched Friday into Saturday. First stop: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, where he played major junior hockey for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League before the Dallas Stars made him their second round pick in the 2002 NHL Draft.

Then it was on to home town Toronto for some public and private quality time with Lord Stanley’s trophy.

The Penguins’ Stanley Cup victory capped a bittersweet 2015-16 season for Daley. He was traded from the Stars to the Chicago Blackhawks before the season began, then dealt by the Hawks after 29 games to the Penguins.

Sitting on the dock of the bay, Trevor Daley and the Stanley Cup watch the tide roll away (Photo/Phil Pritchard/Hockey Hall of Fame).

Sitting on the dock of the bay, Trevor Daley and the Stanley Cup watch the tide roll away (Photo/Phil Pritchard/Hockey Hall of Fame).

He skated with a heavy heart as his mother, Trudy Daley, battled cancer. Her dying wish was to see her son hoist the Cup. Penguins team captain Sidney Crosby made sure that happened, handing Daley the Cup first even though Daley missed the San Jose series because of a broken ankle.

He was all smiles as he skated briefly and gingerly with the 123-year-old, 35-pound trophy that has the names of 2,000 Cup-winning players and coaches inscribed on it.

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Trevor Daley and son with the Stanley Cup in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. (Photo/Phil Pritchard/Hockey Hall of Fame).

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Trevor Daley and son with the Stanley Cup in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. (Photo/Phil Pritchard/Hockey Hall of Fame).

“She was pumped, she was excited,” Daley told SportsDay. “She got to see my son out there on the ice with me too so she was really excited about the whole situation. She said before the game …’It’d be nice if they win this for you tonight so you can come home and see me soon.'”

A week later, Trudy Daley passed away at age 51.

Trevor Daley and Lord Stanley hanging out at the firehouse on Daley's day with the Stanley Cup (Photo/Phil Pritchard/Hockey Hall of Fame).

Trevor Daley and Lord Stanley hanging out at the firehouse on Daley’s day with the Stanley Cup (Photo/Phil Pritchard/Hockey Hall of Fame).

She didn’t live to see her son’s day with the Stanley Cup. But, as part of a plan he devised so long ago, Trevor Daley’s family, friends, and others he encountered along his hockey journey had a chance to bask in Lord Stanley’s silvery glow.

“The day after he won the Stanley Cup, he called me and said ‘the Cup is coming home,’” Ryan Land, who organized a Cup-viewing for Daley at The Spice Route bar in Toronto, told The Toronto Sun. “Two weeks later, he called me with a date and said ‘plan me a Stanley Cup party and here’s what I want to do.”

Trevor Daley introduced the Stanley Cup to his old neighborhood playground (Photo/Phil Pritchard/Hockey Hall of Fame).

Trevor Daley introduced the Stanley Cup to his old neighborhood playground (Photo/Phil Pritchard/Hockey Hall of Fame).

When the names of the 2015-16 Penguins players are added to the Cup, Daley will join the small fraternity of black players with their names immortalized on the trophy:  goaltender Grant Fuhr (Edmonton Oilers –  1985, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990),  goalie Ray Emery (Chicago Blackhawks – 2013), defenseman Johnny Oduya (Blackhawks – 2013, 2015), wing Dustin Byfuglien (Blackhawks – 2010), and netminder Eldon “Pokey” Reddick(Oilers –  1990).

 

 

 

P.K. Subban talks the Habs, the trade, Montreal and Nashville

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Montreal Canadiens Headshots

Canada’s Sportsnet spent some quality time  this week talking with defenseman P.K. Subban,  who was surprisingly traded from the Montreal Canadiens to the Nashville Predators last month.

Subban gave the sports network his first extensive comments about the trade, and addresses some of the questions and rumors swirling about why he was abruptly dealt. Give the two-part interview a look.

Fort Dupont Hockey Club founder Neal Henderson still skating strong at 79

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His deep-voiced bark is still matched by its bite, and the tough love he bestows upon the kids of the nation’s oldest minority-oriented youth hockey program remains as strong as ever.

Neal Henderson, founder, coach, and father-figure of the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club, turned 79 over the weekend.

Through joint surgeries, an ancient ice arena with a sometimes leaky roof, and often with only just enough money to pay the program’s bills, Henderson continues to skate strong –  his passion for the program he created nearly four decades ago unabated by time.

Tough but tender, Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club founder Neal Henderson celebrated his 79th birthday over the weekend.

Tough but tender, Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club founder Neal Henderson celebrated his 79th birthday over the weekend.

Henderson is responsible for producing a generation of black hockey players and fans in the Nation’s Capital. He’s also helped launch a generation of at-risk kids on the right course in life.

He preaches life through the prism of hockey, teaching the value of teamwork, responsibility, punctuality, good manners, and the necessity and value of staying school.

Fort Dupont developed into a model for programs like the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation and similar organizations under the National Hockey League’s “Hockey is for Everyone” umbrella to follow.

“Neal Henderson has been a pioneer in helping develop and shape the lives of young boys and girls and use the core values of hockey to affect other life skills that these children would need as they become adults,” Kenneth Martin, the NHL’s vice president for community affairs told me. “His relentless commitment to children has been a trademark of our ‘Hockey is for Everyone’ program. He has been a true hero and a shining light, not only for the NHL, but for young boys and girls.”

James T. Britt, the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, said Henderson’s “impact on his community and hockey throughout the United States has been tremendous.”

“His coaching style and communications are direct – when you hear him begin to address a player in his deep voice with ‘Young man…,’ it makes you feel you’d better take notes because something important is being highlighted,” Britt added.

Born in St. Croix, Henderson founded the program in Southeast Washington’s  Anacostia neighborhood in 1977, in large part to teach his son the game that he played while growing up in Canada.

The Fort Dupont club has no fees or dues. The only thing participants have to pay is attention to Henderson rules: maintain good grades, be respectful, and behave.

 

Henderson has had to beg, borrow – he would never steal – over the years in order to cover the free ice time, equipment, and instruction.

The NHL, members of the U.S. Congress and Washington’s lobbying community  have helped by hosting an annual lawmakers vs. lobbyists charity hockey game, with part of the proceeds going to the Fort Dupont hockey program and rink.

Through the program, Henderson has helped guide his charges to victories on and off the ice. He’s seen alums from his program complete high school and go on to college or serve in the military.

Some, like Donnie Shaw III., have gone on to play hockey in college. Still others, like Daunte Abercrombie, became so hooked on the game through Henderson’s teachings that they’re pursuing professional hockey opportunities.

“Coach Neal is a true living legend and a man with a long list of accomplishments that continue to grow,” said Shaw,  a 2013 NHL/Thurgood Marshall College Fund scholarship recipient who plays for Elmira College in New York. “I cannot thank him enough for all that he has done for me, as well as the devotion that he personally puts into every single kid who joins his hockey program as if they were family.”

Happy 79th,  Coach Neal.

 

 

 

Undrafted class of 2016 audition for NHL teams at development camps

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For some, the glow of the 2016 National Hockey League Draft has long flickered out. Now is the time for sweat and hard work for the players who didn’t have their names called in Buffalo.

Several members of the Undrafted Class of 2016 have scored second chances of sorts with invites to the development camps of NHL teams interested in giving them a look  and maybe a spot in their minor league systems.

Right wing Daniel Muzito-Bagenda of the Ontario Hockey League’s Mississauga Steelheads didn’t get the call during the two-day draft in Buffalo. But he got a call from Buffalo a couple of days later.

Passed over by NHL teams at the 2016 draft, Mississauga's Daniel Muzito-Bagenda signed a one-year deal with the Rochester Americans, the Buffalo Sabres AHL farm team (Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images).

Passed over by NHL teams at the 2016 draft, Mississauga’s Daniel Muzito-Bagenda signed a one-year deal with the Rochester Americans, the Buffalo Sabres AHL farm team (Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images).

The Rochester Americans, the Buffalo SabresAmerican Hockey League farm team, signed him to a one-year contract. The Swedish Muzito-Bagenda, 20, was ranked the 205th-best draft-eligible North American skater.

He finished fifth on the Steelheads in scoring in 2015-16 with 20 goals and 17 assists in 63 regular season games. He notched 6 goals and 4 assists in seven playoff games.

Muzito-Bagenda attended the Sabres’ development camp last week and played alongside Steelheads teammates Alexander Nylander – the Sabres’ 2016 first-round pick, the eighth player chosen overall – and local boy Austin Omanski, Buffalo’s 2016 seventh-round pick, the 189th player selected.

The Sabres once featured the “French Connection,” the high-scoring line of Gilbert Perreault, Rene Robert and Rick Martin. Buffalo, at least for the development camp, could boast the “Mississauga Connection” with Muzito-Bagenda, Nylander and Omanski.

“We know each other from being teammates all last year, so it makes us feel more comfortable out there,” Muzito-Bagenda told the Americans’ website. “That has helped getting to know the other guys here, too.”

Mississauga Steelheads' Josh Burnside attended the Washington Capitals rookie and development camp (Photo/ Aaron Bell/OHL Images).

Mississauga Steelheads’ Josh Burnside attended the Washington Capitals rookie and development camp (Photo/ Aaron Bell/OHL Images).

Like Muzito-Bagenda, Steelheads team captain Josh Burnside went undrafted. Not ranked by NHL Central Scouting,  the 5-foot-11, 186-pound left wing landed a development camp invite from the Washington Capitals.

Burnside, 21, was the Steelheads fourth-leading scorer last season with 13 goals and 32 assists in 55 regular season games. He had 2 goals and 2 assists in seven playoff games.

Youngstown Phantoms right wing Yushiro Hirano is becoming a development veteran. Hirano, the first player born in Japan to skate in the United States Hockey League, was invited to the San Jose Sharks camp.

The Hokkaido native attended the Chicago Blackhawks’ prospects camp last year. Hirano, 20, was ranked the 184th-best North American player in 2016 by NHL Central Scouting prior to the June draft.

He finished third on the Phantoms in scoring in 2015-16 with 24 goals and 22 assists in 54 games.

High-scoring forward Yushiro Hirano found his way to the San Jose Sharks' development camp after he wasn't drafted by an NHL team (Photo/Bill Paterson).

High-scoring forward Yushiro Hirano found his way to the San Jose Sharks’ development camp after he wasn’t drafted by an NHL team (Photo/Bill Paterson).

Left wing Jermaine Loewen of the Western Hockey League’s Kamloops Blazers joined Hirano at the Sharks camp.

The 18-year-old is one of hockey’s remarkable stories. Born in Jamaica and adopted from an island orphanage by a white Manitoba family when he was five, Loewen didn’t lace on a pair of skates until he was six -late by Canadian standards.

 

But he’s making up for lost time. The 6-foot-3, 205 Loewen tallied 8 goals and 7 assists in 67 regular season games for the Blazers last season. He was held scoreless in 37 games in 2014-15.

It seems that no matter where defenseman Jalen Smereck goes, he always manages to surprise and impress. The Detroit area native worked his way from the USHL’s Bloomington Thunder to the Oshawa Generals who took him with the 299th overall pick of the 2013 Ontario Hockey League draft.

He developed into a top  defenseman for the Generals last season with 5 goals and 20 assists in 63 games.

Smereck  didn’t crack Central Scouting’s rankings and NHL teams passed on him in Buffalo, but the 6-foot, 173-pound alum of the minority-oriented Detroit Hockey Association  proved to be one of the highlights of the Arizona Coyotes’s development camp recently.

Former Oshawa Generals defenseman Jalen Smereck apparently impressed at Arizona Coyotes camp (Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images).

Former Oshawa Generals defenseman Jalen Smereck apparently impressed at Arizona Coyotes camp (Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images).

“Jalen Smereck may be undrafted, but his play Monday looked like he should have been,” the website FanSided reported on its Howlin’ Hockey  Coyotes blog. “Smereck played hard on the puck, making it seem like he was bigger than he really was. His puck handling seemed reminiscent of P.K. Subban’s defensive stylings.”

Smereck appears destined to return to the OHL next season. The Generals traded him in the off-season to home state Michigan’s Flint Firebirds. That is, unless he surprises and impresses some more.

 

 

 

 

P.K. Subban moves from Montreal to the Music City in shocking trade

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Two summers ago, the Montreal Canadiens showed defenseman P.K. Subban the money, signing him to an eight-year $72 million deal. Wednesday, the Habs showed him the door.

Damn, what happened?

A Hab no more. Defenseman P.K. Subban heads to the Nashville Predators in a surprising trade.

A Hab no more. Defenseman P.K. Subban heads to the Nashville Predators in a surprising trade.

Either the Canadiens front office lost its mind or lost its patience and dealt fan-favorite Subban, the 2013 Norris Trophy winner as the National Hockey League’s best defenseman, straight-up for All-Star D-man Shea Weber.

Montreal General Manager Marc Bergevin maintained that the swap of the 27-year-old Subban for the 30-year-old Weber will help the Canadiens move from a non-playoff-appearing 38-38-6 team to an eventual Stanley Cup contender.

“We completed today an important transaction which I am convinced will make the Canadiens a better team,” the general manager said.”In Shea Weber, we get a top rated NHL defenseman with tremendous leadership, and a player who will improve our defensive group as well as our power play for many years to come. Shea Weber led all NHL defensemen last season with 14 power play goals. He is a complete rearguard with impressive size and a powerful shot. P.K. Subban is a special and very talented player. He provided the Canadiens organization with strong performances on the ice and generous commitment in the community. I wish him the best of luck with the Predators.”

Hmmm, so much to decode here. But you don’t need to

D-man Shea Weber goes to Montreal from Nashville for Subban.

D-man Shea Weber goes to Montreal from Nashville for Subban.

be Luther, President Barack Obama’s fictional anger translator from “Key & Peele,” to know that Bergevin’s statement was a stinging Gordie Howe backhand aimed right at Subban.

In praising Weber, Bergevin took not-so-veiled digs at Subban’s leadership qualities,

his ability to play well with others, and his overall game on the blue line.

It’s no secret that Subban’s flamboyant, high-risk playing style drove Canadiens Head Coach Michel Therrien nuts at times. And there were rumblings of discontent among some Habs players with Subban this season.

And, of course, the trade is the latest chapter in the Great P.K. Subban Debate. Several members of the hockey establishment argue that his game is more style than substance and some old school hockey heads complain that he’s too colorful a personality.

Subban supporters say his swashbuckling playing style and larger-than-life personality have been good for the game. They argue that he’s been disrespected by the hockey intelligentsia for not fitting the cookie-cutter mold of what an NHLer should be. Some question whether race is a factor.

Subban’s been on the receiving end of several high-profile snubs. Toronto Maple Leafs Head Coach Mike Babcock, when he coached the Gold Medal-winning Canadian men’s hockey team at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, played Subban for only 11 minutes – all in one game.

This year, Hockey Canada didn’t include him om the roster for the Canadian squad that will compete in the World Cup of Hockey in September.

Subban’s Canadiens teammates passed him over last season to be the team’s nominee for the NHL’s King Clancy Memorial Trophy – presented to the player who exhibits leadership on and off the ice and has contributed to the community – despite the fact that he pledged $10 million to Montreal’s Children’s Hospital, the biggest philanthropic commitment by any athlete in Canadian history.

Subban seemed to take Wednesday’s trade in the same fluid stride he’s taken the previous slights. He told Nashville reporters via conference call Wednesday that “Right now, I’m going to a team that wants me” He added that he felt “a whole lot closer” to winning a Stanley Cup with Nashville than he did in Montreal.

“On the business side of things, the Montreal Canadiens paid me a lot of money two years ago to do what I do for a living,” he said. “At the end of the day I just wanted to come in and do my job. But obviously right now I’m going to a team that wants me and the Montreal Canadiens felt that they had to take it down a different path.”

Some key 2015-16 statistics don’t show much space between Weber and Subban. Weber was ninth among NHL defensemen in scoring with 20 goals and 31 assists for 51 points in 78 games. He was third on the Predators in scoring.

Subban  was 12th among  the league’s defensemen, matching Weber’s 51 points on 6 goals and 45 assists in an injury-plagued 68 games. He was Montreal’s fourth-leading scorer last season.

 

Weber, touted as the more defensively responsible blue liner, had a plus-minus rating of minus-7. Subban was a plus-4.

Weber averaged 25:12 minutes per game and 29.9 shifts per game. Subban logged an average of 26:21 minutes per game and 28.3 shifts per game.

Weber was the more effective power play scorer – Bergevin’s main point – with 14 goals compared to Subban’s 2 in 2015-16. Neither player had a game-winning goal last season.

Subban and Weber have one other thing in common. Neither has been able in recent seasons to get their teams over the hump to the Stanley Cup Final.

Needless to say, the trade hasn’t gone down well with hockey fans in and out of Montreal. A New York Post headline read “P.K. Subban Trade is Canadiens Purging NHL’s Biggest Persona.”

The Montreal Gazette quotes fans calling the trade “Ridiculous,” “insane,” “a disgrace.” Welcome to Montreal, Shea Weber.

With Subban in the fold,  the Predators are taking a different approach that the team hopes will lead to a Stanley Cup. Nashville historically was a defense-first team under Head Coach Barry Trotz.

Trotz was replaced two seasons ago by Peter Laviolette, who likes his defenseman to be able to move the puck quickly out of their zone and initiate offense – either through pinpoint passes or skating.

Though Laviolette is a no-nonsense coach in the Therrien mold, Subban should thrive in Laviolette’s system.

“In P.K., when people might talk about him, it’ll be his skating, the fact that he can transport the puck himself, the fact that he can distribute the puck, he’s constantly in motion,” Laviolette said. “He has worn a letter in the National Hockey League, was being considered for captain of the Montreal Canadiens, so there’s leadership quality there as well.”

In addition to his skating ability and 100-mph-plus slap shot from the point, Subban brings something to the Predators that the franchise has never had – star power, someone who can put butts in seats.

Though Subban was enormously  popular among fans in Montreal he was never the face of the franchise, not with all-world goaltender Carey Price and U.S.-born team captain Max Pacioretty there.

He’s poised to be The Man in Nashville.

“P.K. Subban is an elite offensive defenseman with tremendous skill and contagious energy that makes the Nashville Predators a better team now and into the future,” said Nashville GM David Poile. “Superstar defensemen of his caliber are a rare commodity, and we are thrilled to add him to the organization.”

David Amber survives, thrives in major ‘Hockey Night in Canada’ makeover

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Canada’s long national nightmare ended earlier this week when broadcasting giant Rogers Sportsnet acknowledged that it made a huge – and costly – mistake when it totally revamped “Hockey Night in Canada,” the True North’s equivalent of “Monday Night Football” during its Howard Cosell, Dandy Don Meredith, and Frank Gifford  heyday.

David Amber will anchor the late Saturday NHL games on "Hockey Night in Canada" in 2016-17.

David Amber will anchor the late Saturday NHL games on “Hockey Night in Canada” in 2016-17.

Admitting that it made a blunder that contributed to a ratings slide, Rogers yanked the anchor chair from under in-studio host George Stroumboulopoulos, a talk show host hired in 2013-14 to help HNIC become more hip and edgy with skinny ties and a more urbane attitude.

Apparently it didn’t sell in Saskatoon. So Rogers went back to the future and recalled folksy former HNIC anchor Ron MacLean  – the man who Stroumboulopoulos replaced – from broadcasting Siberia to rescue a television franchise that Rogers obtained in a $5.2 billion, 12-year deal with the National Hockey League.

Another move that Rogers made was promoting David Amber, a former ESPN sportscaster and HNIC contributor, to host of “Hockey Night in Canada’s” late games on Saturday, in essence making him the co-face of the venerable broadcast with MacLean.

Amber is perhaps the dean of a growing group of black hockey broadcasters that includes former NHL players Kevin Weekes, Anson Carter and Jamal Mayers. Amber, a Toronto native, handled pre-game, between-period, and post-game duties for HNIC. For the 2016-17 season, he’ll sit in the big chair and provide the narrative for the late games.

“The exposure from ‘Hockey Night,’ I’ve certainly had a significant amount of minority faces – mostly black, but even Indian and Asian – say they’re happy to see (that hockey’s) not so homogeneous the way it was maybe 10 years ago; that there are people of color coming in and being able to lend a voice and face to the sport,” Amber told me in 2014. “It has been a slow transition, absolutely, but there are going to be a lot of new young guys coming up now.”

He told me that his rise as a hockey broadcaster coincides with  the growing number of minority players in hockey and the impact they’re having in the NHL.

“When you look at the guys who’ve made it now, these are impact players whether it’s (Philadelphia Flyers’ Wayne) Simmonds, we know what (Colorado Avalanche’s Jarome) Iginla’s been able to do over his career,(Pittsburgh Penguins’) Trevor Daley,” Amber said. “Because the position of the players has increased and the position of some of the media members has increased from a minority standpoint, I think success breeds success and visibility breeds more visibility and I think that’s a good thing.”

Good luck with the new role on “Hockey Night in Canada,” David. Stay away from the skinny ties.

 

 

 

Trudy Daley, mom of Pens’ Trevor Daley, passes away after seeing son hoist Cup

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Trudy Daley got to experience every hockey mom’s dream.

She saw her son, Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Trevor Daley, hoist the Stanley Cup triumphantly over his head after the Penguins defeated the San Jose Sharks 3-1 and won the championship series in six games.

Trevor Daley’s team won the Cup earlier this month. Trudy Daley lost her life last Tuesday at the age of 51, succumbing to cancer.

“Everyone who knew Trudy, knew her big personality and great love for life. She had a sense of humor which was a little warped at times but kept people laughing,” read her obituary posted on Toronto’s McDougall & Brown Funeral Home website. “She was a fierce friend, that always had your back no matter what. She was there when you needed her.”

Trudy Daley (right) holds a photo of her son, defenseman Trevor Daley, from his playing days with the Dallas Stars (Photo/Damon Kwame Mason).

Trudy Daley (right) holds a photo of her son, defenseman Trevor Daley, from his playing days with the Dallas Stars (Photo/Damon Kwame Mason).

She passed with her dying wish fulfilled, seeing her son carrying the Cup. He didn’t play in the Stanley Cup Final because of an ankle injury.

But he was on the ice in full gear following the Pens’ Game 6 win and was the first player team captain Sidney Crosby handed the Cup to after he received it from National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman .

“He had told me that he went and seen his mom in between series and stuff, she wasn’t doing well, she wanted to see him with the Cup. That was important to her,” Crosby said. “I think that kind of stuck with me after he told me that.”

The Cup-hoisting moment was as much Trudy’s as it was Trevor’s.

There’s no mom like a hockey mom – a woman who helps tie a young pee wee player’s skates; freezes herself to the bone watching her bantam player practice at midnight; logs hundreds of thousands of miles in the beat-up family car transporting her travel team player;  and is a non-judgmental listening post and crying shoulder for the major junior player who aspires to play in the NHL.

 

Trudy Daley did that and more. She and her son had to navigate issues of race in what’s still a predominantly white sport. She didn’t sugar-coat the evils of racism to her son nor would she allow bigotry to be used as a crutch or obstacle that could prevent him from achieving his career goals.

“What his father and I stressed to him was that we know who your are,” she told author Cecil Harris in his seminal book “Breaking The Ice: The Black Experience in Professional Hockey.” “But when you go out on that street you’re just another black kid. That’s how you’ll be treated. They’ll stereotype you. But think less about what certain people think about you and think more about who you really are.”

She is survived by her husband, Trevor Daley Sr., and their three children, Trevor, Tereen, Nicholas; six grand children, Deja, Trevor, Dekye, Malaya, Emery and Nicky along with her brother and sisters and countless friends.

Hockey has lost a great mom. Rest in peace, Trudy Daley.

The 2016 NHL Draft, a diversity recap

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Once the whirlwind of the two-day, seven-round 2016 National Hockey League Draft was complete, five players of color or minority ethnic heritage were selected, including the Number One overall pick.

Here’s a Color of Hockey snapshot of the five player chosen.

The Toronto Maple Leafs surprised no one and took forward Auston Matthews with the first pick. You want diversity? Matthews is it. The son of a Mexican mother and a California dad, Matthews began playing hockey in Arizona, a state that is slowly gaining a reputation for the sport beyond the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes.

“I think it’s been great not only for Arizona, but the whole southwestern region,” said of his selection. “It’s continuing to grow, and it’s just cool to be a part of it.”

Matthews is supposed to be The Next One, a can’t miss superstar a la Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Eric Lindros, and Sidney Crosby.

That’s a heavy burden for a 18-year-old to carry, especially in the hockey pressure-cooker that is Toronto. But at 6-foot-2, 216 pounds, Matthews can shoulder the load.

He already has pro hockey experience, having played last season for the ZSC Lions in Switzerland’s top league.  He scored 24 goals and 22 assists in 36 games regular season games for the Lions and had 3 assists in four playoff games.

Matthews also played for the United States in 2015-16, tallying 7 goals and 4 assists in 7 games of the International Ice Hockey Federation’s World Junior Championship and 6 goals and 3 assists in the IIHF World Championship.

The Detroit Red Wings took right wing Givani Smith of the Ontario Hockey League’s Guelph Storm in the draft’s second round with the 46th overall pick. The 6-foot-1, 216-pound forward was second on the Storm in scoring in 2015-16 with 23 goals and 19 assists in 65 regular season games.

Detroit Red Wings 2016 draftee Givani Smith (center) patterns his game after Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds (Photo/Terry Wilson/OHL Images).

Detroit Red Wings 2016 draftee Givani Smith (center) patterns his game after Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds (Photo/Terry Wilson/OHL Images).

Smith said his game is similar to the way rugged Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds plays.

“The way he plays his game, he a force on the ice,” Smith said. “He scores goals right in front of the net, and that’s where I like to score. He’s a good skater, he finishes checks, and he’s not scared to fight.”

Right wing Cliff Pu of the OHL’s London Knights didn’t have to go far to check out the facilities and offices of the team that drafted him. He was taken by the Buffalo Sabres, host of this year’s draft, in the third round with the 69th overall pick.

On a London Knights team filled with stars, forward Cliff Pu's all-around game impressed the Buffalo Sabres (Photo/Aaron Bell/OHL Images).

On a London Knights team filled with stars, forward Cliff Pu’s all-around game impressed the Buffalo Sabres (Photo/Aaron Bell/OHL Images).

On a star-studded team Knights team, Pu scored 12 goals and 19 assists in 63 regular season games. However, the 6-foot-1, 185-forward was a scoring machine in the OHL playoffs with 8 goals and 5 assists in 18 games.

Pu said he’s proud to be drafted by the Sabres, but he’s even prouder of his parents who moved to Canada from China. Pu’s father, Jun, arrived when he was 25. His wife joined him a year later.

“Coming over from a different country isn’t easy, and he came over with a few hundred bucks in his pocket,” Cliff Pu told reporters. “I’m really proud of him.”

The Sabres have been one of the NHL’s more aggressive teams when it comes to drafting or signing minority players. They drafted right wing Justin Bailey – second round, 52nd overall – and right wing Nick Baptiste – third round, 69th overall – in 2013. The organization  signed left wing Evan Rodrigues, a former Boston University star, in 2015.

The Maple Leafs nabbed U.S.-born defenseman James “J.D.” Greenway in the draft’s third round with the 72nd overall pick.  A member of the USA Hockey National Team Development Program, the 18-year-old 6-foot-4, 205-pound New York native had 5 goals and 23 assists in 68 games for the U.S. National Under-18 team.

Toronto Maple Leafs draftee James Greenway will play for U of Wisconsin this winter..

Toronto Maple Leafs draftee James Greenway will play for U of Wisconsin this winter..

Greenway is the newest member of the NHL Draft’s black brothers brotherhood. His older brother, Jordan Greenway, was a second-round, 50th overall pick of the Minnesota Wild in 2015.

In addition, there’s the Smith brothers – Givani, who was drafted earlier on Saturday, and Gemel, a 2012 Dallas Stars fourth round pick,  the 104th overall.

And the Jones boys – Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones, first round, 4th overall in 2013 by the Nashville Predators; defenseman Caleb Jones, fourth round, 117th overall by the Edmonton Oilers in 2015.

And, of course, there’s the Subban clan  – defenseman P.K, Montreal Canadiens, second round, 43rd overall in 2007; goaltender Malcolm,  Boston Bruins, first round, 24th overall in 2012; and defenseman Jordan, Vancouver Canucks, fourth round, 115th overall in 2013.

Peterborough Petes center Jonathan Ang admitted that he didn’t actually hear his name called when the Florida Panthers took him in the fourth round with the 94th overall pick. He was taking a bathroom break at the time.

But that didn’t diminish the thrill of being picked or the history he likely made. Ang is probably the first player of Malaysian heritage to be drafted by an NHL team.

Florida Panthers draftee Jonathan Ang (Photo/Aaron Bell/OHL Images).

Florida Panthers draftee Jonathan Ang (Photo/Aaron Bell/OHL Images).

He finished fourth on the OHL  Petes in scoring in 2015-16 with 21 goals and 28 assists in 68 games.

The 5-11, 160-pound Ang led the Petes in playoff scoring, tallying 3 goals and 6 assists in seven games with one playoff game-winning goal.

Jonathan Ang uses men’s room, gets drafted by Florida Panthers

J.D. Greenway heads the Toronto Maple Leafs way in 2016 NHL Draft

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J.D. Greenway, a man-child of a defenseman, was grabbed by the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday with the third round with the 72nd overall pick in the 2016 National Hockey League Draft.

International Scouting Services listed  the 6-foot-4, 204-pound 18-year-old as the tenth-best available defenseman in the draft, calling him a quality package of size, speed, athleticism.

“He can play a finesse game despite his large from and he can play a physical game as well,” wrote ISS scout Phil Myre, a former NHL goalie. “Putting it all together consistently has been his biggest challenge. If he ever does, he’ll be a top player.”

SBNation’s college hockey site said Greenway “can be a punishing physical force to opponents, especially along the boards.”

“He’d going to get under the skin of the opposition an make life difficult for them,” SBNation reported. “He also has the ability to step up and make a big hit if he catches an opponent not looking in the neutral zone.”

 

A member of the USA Hockey National Team Development ProgramUnder-18 squad that competes against United States Hockey League, collegiate, and international teams, Greenway scored 5 goals and 23 assists in 64 games.

The Potsdam, N.Y., native is continuing a family draft tradition. His brother, Boston University left wing Jordan Greenway, was chosen by the Minnesota Wild last year in the second round with the 50th overall pick.

 

Like his brother, J.D. is going the NCAA Division I route before turning pro. He’s committed to play for the University of Wisconsin.

Still, the Greenway brothers could end up as teammates this year. Both are among 42 players invited to USA Hockey’s National Junior Evaluation Camp July 30-Aug. 7 in Plymouth, Michigan.

The players are auditioning for spots on the 2017 U.S. team that will compete in the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship tournament in Helsinki this winter.

 

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