Around the NHL: Alex Ovechkin in reach of the goal record, Wayne Simmonds retiring, and more!

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
4 months ago
Despite there only being less than a month left this season, you can bet there’s a bunch of news around the National Hockey League.
In this article, we’ll look at a veteran that is hanging up his skates, another suspension on the way, as well as an individual accomplishment that could be on the horizon.
Let’s take a look at this edition of Around the NHL.

Dmitry Kulikov hearing

On Saturday, Florida Panthers’ defenceman Dmitry Kulikov hit Tampa Bay Lightning forward Conor Sheary in the head with an elbow. What’s worse for the Panthers is that the goal was disallowed, leading to a 5-3 win for the Lightning.
The NHL Player Safety announced via Twitter on Sunday that Kulikov would have a hearing on Monday because of the head contact. It’s to be seen how long this suspension is, but with how the NHL has dealt with head contact this season, it wouldn’t be all too surprising if Kulikov receives a two-game suspension.
With all that being said, this hit could hopefully ignite a Florida-based rivalry, as a meeting in the playoffs isn’t out of the question if the Lightning continue to reside in the Wild Card spots.

Wayne Simmonds to sign one-day deal with the Philadelphia Flyers

On Monday morning, it was reported by numerous media personalities that the Philadelphia Flyers would be signing Wayne Simmonds to a one-day deal, with the team honouring him on April 13.
Simmonds played 15 seasons in his NHL career from the 2008-09 season until the 2022-23 season. In total, he scored 263 goals and 526 points in 1037 games, playing with the Los Angeles Kings, Flyers, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, Buffalo Sabres, and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Eight of those seasons were played with the Flyers, scoring 203 goals and 378 points in 584 games from the 2011-12 season until the 2018-19 season when he was traded to the Devils. That was the same season he won the NHL Mark Messier Leadership Award, an award given to a player who “exhibits the best leadership”.
Best of luck to Simmonds in whatever he does after hockey.

Alex Ovechkin chasing Wayne Gretzky’s goal record

Wayne Gretzky is the greatest player to have ever lived. In fact, he holds many NHL records that will probably never be broken, including 50 goals in 39 games during the 1981-82 season, 215 points in the 1985-86 season and 2,857 points in total. For context, Jaromír Jágr has the second most points all time, scoring 1,921 of them in 1,733 games, compared to Gretzky’s 1,487 games.
There is one record, however, that could be broken in the near future, as Gretzky’s 894 goals is within reach for Washington Capitals’ forward, Alex Ovechkin. For his career, the Great Eight has 841 goals which includes 19 goals this season.
With two additional seasons on his deal, Ovechkin needs just 54 goals in the 180 games remaining on his existing deal. He and his Capitals will be in Calgary to take on the Flames on Monday evening. His latest goal was against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday and he has 11 goals in his last 20 games.

Vegas Golden Knights’ playoff position is precarious

The Vegas Golden Knights won the NHL trade deadline earlier this month, as they added Noah Hanifin, Anthony Mantha, and Tomáš Hertl. However, their playoff hopes are precarious, to say the least.
They hold the second Wild Card position with 79 points, just four points ahead of the St. Louis Blues who’ve won their last four games. Over their last 15 games, the Golden Knights are 5-9-1 were second in the Pacific Division, 12 points clear of a playoff spot before those 15 games.
With injuries to captain Mark Stone and other key players throughout the season, a playoff spot isn’t quite guaranteed for the reigning Stanley Cup champions. With that being said, they have a fairly easy schedule remaining according to Tankathon.
It would be hilarious if the Golden Knights missed the playoffs after adding significantly at the trade deadline. Let’s hope it happens.
Thanks for reading! You can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D.
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