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Evan’s NHL Daily: Makar Selected As Best, Kessel Is Back



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ESPN posted the results of a survey they conducted, where they asked 10 NHL player and 10 folks from NHL hockey operations departments who the top defensemen in the world are. At this point, it shouldn’t be a surprise who was voted #1…

Meanwhile, Phil Kessel, the 36 year old forward who won another Stanley Cup last season with the Vegas Golden Knights, is back! Well, kind of. And more on the blockbuster deal in New Jersey that fell apart.

All that and more in this Wednesday edition of Evan’s Daily.

Colorado Hockey Now

On the back of a huge performance from Artturi Lehkonen, the Avalanche snapped their four game losing streak against the Washington Capitals.

Look for more from that win today. In addition, my interview with Calum Ritchie is scheduled for tonight, so that will be going up in the near future.

Makar is the Best

In a poll of NHL players and executives, one man was voted the best defenseman in the world.

Cale Makar.

Is it a surprise? No, not really. However, I think you could argue that Makar has taken a step back defensively this year. While his offensive numbers continue to dazzle, as he’s still got a chance to hit 100 points on the year, he’s been beat a little too often in his own end, especially around the net. About a month ago, Makar described his season as pretty “average” so far, and I think the defensive zone is likely why. We also know he’s been dealing with some nagging injuries off and on.

Just goes to show the reputation he’s built up around the NHL.

For those wondering, Devon Toews, while mentioned, did not crack the top 10.

Around The NHL

Phil Kessel is back!

Kind of.

Kessel was in Vancouver to meet with management of the Canucks about a potential return to the NHL. They’ve made the decision to have Kessel skate with their AHL affiliate for a few days and see where he’s at. Kessel had 36 points last year with the Vegas Golden Knights, and he’s the NHL’s iron man, having played 1,064 consecutive regular season games. Not sure how much he’s got left in the tank, but maybe we’ll find out soon.

Morgan Rielly got five games for his cross-check to Ridly Greig’s head.

National Hockey Now

More on the blockbuster that didn’t happen, as it appears Jacob Markstrom may have agreed to waive his NTC to go to New Jersey before the deal fell apart.

Sabres GM Kevyn Adams came out to the media to say he’s not shopping Casey Mittelstadt, and said if he’s looking to make any deal, it’s not for futures. They want help now.

Is a Juuse Saros trade even possible?

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