Around The League: McDavid wins Conn Smythe in losing effort, Senators pull off Ullmark heist

Photo credit:Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
Arun Srinivasan
18 days ago
We’d like to offer a begrudging congratulations to the Florida Panthers, a deserving Stanley Cup champion. They’ve usurped the Toronto Maple Leafs and the rest of the Atlantic Division and frankly, can’t be considered a divisional rival since they’re in a different stratosphere from the Buds.
Florida defeated Edmonton 2-1 in a thrilling Game 7 that belied the final score, with Sam Reinhart’s second-period snipe holding up as the game-winner.
Let’s get into the two major events that happened around the league, aside from the Panthers lifting the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history.

Connor McDavid captures Conn Smythe Trophy in losing effort

Connor McDavid authored one of the signature individual playoff runs in NHL history, recording eight goals and 42 points in 25 games — McDavid’s 34 assists are an NHL record. Sergei Bobrovsky was brilliant in Game 7, keeping the door shut as the Panthers emerged victorious over McDavid’s Oilers.
Bobrovsky’s Game 7 heroics weren’t enough to turn the electorate back in his favour evidently. Although Bobrovsky or Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov would’ve been worthy of playoff MVP designation, the voting block made the always controversial decision to award to it McDavid in a losing effort. McDavid, who had already left the ice with his Oilers’ teammates after going through the traditional handshake line, did not return to receive the individual accolade and Sportsnet’s broadcast appeared to catch McDavid’s father, Brian, telling McDavid’s mother, Kelly, that their son wouldn’t be coming back for the trophy.
McDavid became the first player to win the trophy in a losing effort since Anaheim Ducks goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere in 2003, and the first skater since Philadelphia Flyers forward Reggie Leach in 1976.
Should McDavid have won the trophy? This is just one opinion but Bobrovsky’s body of work was enough to earn playoff MVP honours, while Barkov’s two-way brilliance perhaps isn’t evident to the casual fan. In any event, it’s not like McDavid even wanted the trophy to begin with!

Senators pull off heist for Linus Ullmark in exchange with Bruins

Linus Ullmark was a guest on Leafs Morning Take last week and spoke candidly on a number of topics in an exclusive interview, but when it came to his future prospectus with the Boston Bruins, he was more diplomatic. Perhaps Ullmark knew what was coming.
In the hour leading up to Game 7, the Ottawa Senators acquired Linus Ullmark from Boston in exchange for Joonas Korpisalo, veteran forward Mark Kastelic and the 25th overall pick in the 2024 NHL Draft. Ottawa will retain 25 percent of Korpisalo’s $4 million cap hit, which is a small price to play considering the heist it pulled off at the expense of its divisional opponent.
Ullmark is two years removed from a Vezina-winning season, he ranked third in goals saved above average at 5-on-5, at worst, he was a top-10 goaltender this season and is likely capable of maintaining a true No. 1 workload. He’s the same age as Korpisalo, too! Boston had the leverage to control this year’s goaltending market and it squandered it entirely, aiming to become more cap-flexible, while adding a key future asset with the No. 25 overall pick. It’s a deep class this year, but it’s still not worth squandering an elite goalie, while betting on the volatile Korpisalo instead.
What do you think of the trade? It certainly stole everyone’s attention away from Game 7 for a few moments, and now that we have some more time to digest it, the Senators appeared to have taken advantage of the Bruins’ cap concerns and secured their elusive goaltender of the present and future.

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