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Another week, another piping-hot batch of NHL Weekly Awards paying homage to some of the hockey world’s best and brightest.
We’ve got a good batch this week including a pair of nods to the guys who wear suits and tell millionaires to get pucks in deep.
I am, of course, talking about NHL head coaches.
We’ve also got some amateur dentistry, a college hockey sweater that’s selling like hotcakes, some teammates trying to give their star player a taste of the reception he’d get during his return to his former team, and more in those week’s edition of NHL Weekly awards.
Most Likely To Thoroughly Check the Game Notes Before Answering What Was An Otherwise Simple Question: Darryl Sutter
Jakob Pelletier made his NHL debut for the Calgary Flames, but his coach sure as hell doesn’t give out compliments easily.
Pelletier made his debut in a 6-3 statement win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, but when asked about the 21-year-old’s maiden NHL contest, Sutter did his best to downplay it.
Though that might be an understatement.
“What number is he?” Sutter asked before combing through the game notes. “6 minutes, 35 seconds; 13 shifts, average 30-second a shift, he’s got 43 seconds on the power play, played 5 minutes 52 seconds (at even strength), had one shot, a goal, and one hit.”
When reporters asked for an answer beyond a regurgitation of Pelletier’s stats for the evening, Sutter responded in a typically Sutter-esque manner.
“It’s the NHL, he’s 21 years old he’s got a long way to go.”
As you might expect, this ruffled some feathers — feather’s belonging to people who think parties need to be thrown for every single accomplishment a person makes — but I think Sutter may have played this right. Pelletier had a strong debut, but he’s going to have some bad games mixed in there. By downplaying it, Sutter isn’t putting any expectations on the rookie.
That’s a start-to-finish Sutter gem, but I especially love that he answered a question by just reading off the stat sheet.
Third-Jersey Of The Week: South Carolina Gamecocks
The Arizona Coyotes unveiled a new third jersey, but it pales in comparison to what the South Carolina Gamecocks have brought to the table.
Anytime a Gamecocks team puts out merch, that just says “Cocks” it’s a sure-fire best seller. The Gamecock’s ACHA team is privy to this phenomenon.
Those are some beauts.
If you’re wondering whether those puppies are for sale, they absolutely are, and the team had to extend the sale because of their popularity.
Who doesn’t want a conversation piece like that to wear to your next beer-league game, office party or wake?
Teammates of the Week: Columbus Blue Jackets
Johnny Gaudreau made his anticipated return to the Saddledome after telling the Calgary Flames to pound sand (I’m paraphrasing, of course).
At some point, Johnny Hockey had to return to Calgary, and that point was on Monday night.
Now, it was obvious Faudreau was in for a rough night. he skipped town and is now on a team wasting away at the bottom of the Metropolitan division, while the Flames are firmly in the Western Conference playoff picture.
There was no doubt boos were in his future, and his teammates wanted to help him get acclimated.
The Blue Jackets forward heard it from his former fans the second he touched the puck for the first time as a member of the opposition.
The practice during the morning skate may have helped. Gaudreau — who is the Jackets’ leading scorer — managed a pair of assists in Columbus’ 4-3 OT loss to the Flames.
Most Ingenious Thing Of The Week: Blind Hockey
I have to admit, I hadn’t heard of blind hockey until this week. I’m not really sure how that is, but now I’m aware of it and it blew my mind.
So how exactly are the blind supposed to play hockey? Well, it turns out that they have some ingenious ways of making the sport accessible to the vision impaired.
Players use a puck that’s bigger than a regular puck and also moves a bit slower. If you watched that video with the sound on, you’ll also pick up that the puck makes noise. That gives the players — who can’t have more than 10% usable vision — a better idea of where the puck is.
Most Awkward (Canadian) Thanksgiving: Mathieu Joseph and Pierre-Olivier Joseph
It’s always got to be nerve-wracking to be a parent and have your two sons playing the NHL against each other. Thankfully, ties are looooong gone, but that was the best-case scenario for any hockey moms and dads who had to play both sides of the fence.
This week, the Joseph brothers — Mathieu for the Senators and Pierre-Olivier for the Penguins — faced off against each other, with their proud parents in the crowd.
The Josephs played it right. Pops wore Mathieu’s jersey while Mom wore Pierre-Olivier’s.
Then they did something that probably would’ve gotten them grounded when they were kids: they both got sent to the sin bin for high-sticking each other.
A quick review shows us that in reality, Pierre-Olivier got a 2-for-1 deal, high-sticking his brother and himself at the same time.
Knowing how brothers tend to operate, this surely won’t be something Mathieu hangs over his head for years to come.
To make matters worse for elder Joseph, his Senators lost 4-1.
Biggest “Now It All Makes Sense” Moment: Bruce Boudreau Scoring His First NHL Goal On Jim Rutherford In 1977
Before you fire off an angry comment/or tweet, I’m well aware that anything that happened in 1977 doesn’t exactly fall within the purview of “this week.”
However, this moment from 46 years ago, was too ironically connected to the biggest story in hockey this week that didn’t have anything to do with a player not wearing a Pride Night jersey to ignore.
I’m speaking, of course, of the unceremonious firing of ex-Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau.
Boudreau got the ax after earlier in the week, team president Jim Ruthordord revealed he had already spoken to prospective replacements.
Why would Rutherford do Boudreau — such a highly respected coach who has been around pro hockey for decades — dirty like that?
Could it be this?
Could that be the reason for Rutherford’s less-than-good treatment of Boudreau?
Probably not, but I’m sure Rutherford would like that one back nonetheless.
Best Amateur Dentist: Brock Nelson
Brock Nelson is not a dentist, but he does apparently dabble in the fine art of dentistry.
Monday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Nelson took a shot to the chops and decided to take matters into his own hands by extracting the loosened chiclet.
Then he handed it off to the trainer for safekeeping and went back to focusing on the task at hand: losing to the Maple Leafs.
That’s all for this week’s installment of OutKick’s NHL Weekly Awards. Y’all come back now, ya hear? and if you notice anything award-worthy send it my way on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle.