USA Hockey’s Lane Hutson, a native of Holland, Michigan, became the first American to win the National Hockey League’s EJ McGuire Award of Excellence, presented annually to a candidate who best exemplifies commitment to excellence through strength of character, competitiveness, and athleticism.
The defenseman with the National Team Development Program Under-18 team recorded a team-high 53 assists with 10 goals in 60 games. At the U18 world championships, Hutson was named the best defenseman of the tournament helping Team USA earn a silver medal.
“As a 5’8” defenseman, any description of Lane has always referenced his size,” said Dan Marr, the director of NHL Central Scouting. “One of his more appealing traits is his ability to use that size to an advantage and dispel any perceived limitations. His passion for the game has earned him the respect of teammates and opponents alike – a special player who will find his way into an NHL line-up and be a positive influence for others along the way.”
Hutson, the 25th-ranked North American skater for the 2022 NHL Draft in Montreal on July 7-8, was presented with an engraved NHL crystal on Monday by NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly during Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final. He also will be recognized during the live awards ceremony on Tuesday at 7 pm
(Detroit Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider is one of three finalists for the Calder Trophy as the best rookie defenseman this year).
The past recipients of the EJ Maguire award are:
2021: William Ecklund
2020: Zayde Wisdom
2019: Brett Leason
2018: 2017-18 Humboldt Broncos
2017: Nico Hischier
2016: neil doef
2015: Travis Konecny
Memorial Cup opener
Ryan Francis had a goal and two assists and the Saint John Sea Dogs beat the Hamilton Bulldogs 5-3 on Monday in the Memorial Cup opener at TD Station in Saint John, New Brunswick.
Westland’s Avery Hayes had a goal and an assist for the OHL champion Bulldogs. On Tuesday, Detroit Red Wings draft pick Sebastian Cossa will be in goal for the Edmonton Oil Kings against the Shawinigan Cataractes (6 pm, Hockey Network).
New Cup format
The Canadian Hockey League announced rule modifications ahead of the 2022 Memorial Cup from June 20-29 in Saint John, NB
The modifications include a new point system for the six-game round robin with teams receiving three points for a regulation win, two points for an overtime win, and one point for an overtime loss.
Additionally, overtime in the round robin will be played in a 3-on-3 format in 20-minute periods until a winner is decided.
Hockey Canada hearing
Hockey Canada executives should have forced members of the country’s gold medal-winning junior team to speak with third-party investigators about an alleged sexual assault that occurred four years ago, a member of Parliament told the executives at a hearing on Monday in Ottawa, Ontario .
A woman claimed she was sexually assaulted by eight members of the 2018 world junior team at a gala event in June of that year. Her lawsuit from her was settled last month.
Hockey Canada CEO Tom Renney, a former assistant coach with the Red Wings, and president Scott Smith were called to testify about their handling of the allegation before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage in Ottawa.
Smith, who’s set to take over for Renney as CEO on July 1, told the committee that junior team players were “strongly encouraged” to speak with third-party investigators hired by Hockey Canada. But the interviews were not mandated.
“Mr. Smith, if you want real accountability from Hockey Canada, you should have demanded all players participate in the interviews (with the outside law firm),” Conservative MP Kevin Wraugh said. “You own that. … That is unacceptable.”
Smith, who is also the national sport body’s chief operating officer, responded by saying that Hockey Canada “borrows” players from other leagues for international competitions.
“We’ve made some changes to our code of conduct,” he said. “We’re having discussions right now as to whether or not we can strengthen the ability to compel players that we borrow to participate in investigations regarding what happens under our care.”
Bloc Quebecois MP Sebastien Lemire suggested in French that Hockey Canada play without its logo for a year “so that people will think about this issue… culture in Hockey Canada and the responsibility that you have. I believe that (Hockey Canada is) John Doe No. 9 in this case.”
Renney said Hockey Canada first learned of the alleged incident the following morning – June 19, 2018 – when a relative of the woman contacted its human resources department, and that police in London, Ontario, were informed that evening.
Smith said even though it took four years for the story to come out, and only after TSN was first to report the details last month, there wasn’t a cover-up.
“The police were notified, we engaged a third-party investigator, we notified Sport Canada, and we offered support to the young woman,” he said. “That’s not an indication of sweeping something under the rug.”
Details of the settlement with the woman have not been released, but Smith said the players alleged to be involved did not contribute financially and no government money was used.
None of the allegations against the players have been proven in court.
Smith said London police informed Hockey Canada their criminal investigation was closed as of February 2019. Hockey Canada, meanwhile, kept its own investigation open through September 2020.
“A lot of people are taking the allegations in the statement of claim as fact,” Smith said. “The challenge that we had is through extensive efforts over a 26-month period, we were not able to confirm what happened that evening.”
The NHL is conducting its own investigation because a number of players from that world junior team are now in the league, while Canada’s sports minister ordered a forensic audit of Hockey Canada.
“No one has been held accountable,” Conservative MP John Nater said of the alleged assault. “No one lost the privilege of wearing the Maple Leaf on their jersey. … I’ve heard zero tolerance mentioned today. I wish that was true.
“But if there’s truly a zero-tolerance situation … every single player who was in London that weekend should have been mandated to participate in that review or lose the opportunity and the privilege of being associated with Hockey Canada.”