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This week the Hockey Hall of Fame welcomed its latest class of honorees.
This year’s class included Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, Roberto Luongo, Daniel Alfredsson, Riikka Sallinen, and Herb Carnegie.
What a class that is, all of them more than deserving of hockey’s highest honor.
While it’s the new Hockey Hall of Fame Induction, I do have some NHL Weekly Awards to give out, and one is headed to a new HOFer.
While not as prestigious, NHL Weekly Awards are still pretty good.
Somewhere above a Grammy, but below a Razzie.
Goalie Goal Of The Week: Jesper Wallstedt
Is there anything in sports better than a goalie goal? Like a real goalie goal.
Not one of those flukey ones where the netminder just so happens to be the last player on his team to touch the puck. I’m talking make a save, drop the biscuit, then fire a dart into the empty cage.
Now that’s a goalie goal.
And that’s what Minnesota Wild prospect Jesper Wallstedt did the Chicago Wolves this week.
That was Wallstedt’s first AHL win, a 5-2 win for the Iowa Wild over the Wolves, the AHL affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes.
That goal was a thing of beauty. Didn’t waste a second dusting the puck off, just sent it about 190 feet into the back of the net.
That wasn’t the only goalie goal we had this week, but the other one was a bit different.
Hall Of Fame Goalie Goal Of The Week (Plus Bonus Griddy): Roberto Luongo
Earlier this week, Roberto Luongo suited up for the Hockey Hall of Fame legends game which pitted Team Lindros against Team Sundin.
Luongo was on Team Lindros (that team featured Lindros plus John LeClair and Mikael Renberg; the entire Legion of Doom), but instead of backstopping the team, he played defense.
Turns out, Bobby Lou is a puck-moving defenseman. He hoofed down the ice and found the back of the net, something he never did during his career.
Check out the patience on that goal.
That was one of two times the Hall of Fame inductee lit the lamp that game, but it was the only one that was capped off with a Griddy.
Most Likely To Face Robbery Charges: Spencer Knight
The Florida Panthers have one heck of a goalie tandem in Sergei Bobrovsky and Spencer Knight.
In this instance, it was Knight who stone-walled Leon Draisatl and the deadly Edmonton Oilers top power play unit.
What do we think the success rate for that McDavid seam-pass feed to Draisatl is?
In most cases, there’s a red light turning on, but not with Spencer Knight guarding the cage. An unbelievable push to get across the crease and some top-notch leather flashing.
Most people that commit robberies so brazen wind up in the back of a police car.
Still, the Panthers probably could have used a few more saves like this, because they lost to the Oilers 4-2.
Best Use Of A Diversion: Mikko Rantanen and Cale Makar
You take goals any way you can get them and if that means creating a diversion, you do it.
The Colorado Avalanche did exactly that for a goal against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Avs forward Mikko Rantanen annihilated Hurricanes defenseman, Calvin De Haan. This caused most of the Canes’ on the ice to focus on jumping him in hopes of retribution.
What they forgot was that the reigning Norris and Conn Smythe-winner was lurking
Best Goal By A Consensus 2023 No. 1 Pick: Connor Bedard
Expect to see Connor Bedard be the first one to hop onstage, get a sweet free hat and jersey, and force a smile with Gary Bettman when the 2023 NHL Draft gets underway in Nashville.
He’s absolutely killing it in the WHL right now with the Regina Pats. We’re talking 43 points in 20 games this year
One of those points came thanks to this filthy bit of goal-scoring.
You can see why a lot of fans were hoping their team would #TankHardFor Bedard this season in hopes of nabbing the highly-prized center.
Expect him to make an instant impact in the NHL next year, wherever he lands.
Biggest Heel Turn Of The Week: Jack Eichel
Jack Eichel returned to Buffalo for the second time since he was dealt to the Vegas Golden Knights a little over a year ago.
He didn’t leave on great terms, disagreeing with the Sabres organization on treatment for an injury and the state of the team as a whole.
After his most recent trip to see the Sabres, it’s safe to say he is no longer a favorite among Sabres fans.
If he had any fans left in Buffalo…
Don’t expect Jack Eichel to get too many free meals (or even loogie-free ones at this point) in and around Buffalo for the foreseeable future.
That’s what we’ve got this week. Be back here next week for some more (metaphorical) hardware. If you see anything in the meantime that’s worth an NHL Weekly Award, shoot it my way on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle.