Stanley Cup Final 2022: Cale Makar has best odds to win Conn Smythe Trophy ahead of Lightning-Avalanche

Who will win this year’s award?

What do back-to-back titles get you outside of praise, hardware and your name etched in the history books? Apparently not the backing of sportsbooks — the Tampa Bay Lightning open the 2022 Stanley Cup vs. the Colorado Avalanche as the underdogs despite their aforementioned consecutive titles.

But make no mistake about it, Colorado has earned its label as the favorite. The Avalanche secured the second-most regular-season wins (56) and have a 12-2 postseason record that includes two series sweeps.

Such success has been keyed by defenseman Cale Makar and center Nathan MacKinnon. Makar’s +180 odds at Tipico Sportsbook to win the Conn Smythe Trophy are the shortest of all players, while MacKinnon’s +210 odds rank second.

2022 Conn Smythe Odds

  • Cale Makar (+180)
  • Nathan MacKinnon (+210)
  • Andrei Vasilevskiy (+400)
  • Nikita Kucherov (+400)
  • Steven Stamkos (+1300)
  • Mikko Rantanen (+1300)
  • Gabriel Landeskog (+2000)
  • Victor Hedman (+2000)

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Behind the two Avalanche players is Tampa Bay’s goaltender and reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner Andrei Vasilevskiy, whose +400 odds are tied with teammate Nikita Kucherov for the third shortest.

Game 1 of the Stanley Cup will begin Wednesday, June 15th as the Lightning look to three-peat and the Avalanche (-155) try to secure their first title in over 20 years.

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Denver native Mark Hubbard not-so-subtly trolls Canada with Avalanche shirt on PGA Tour

“Tell Canada, I want them to know it was the Avs,” Hubbard, probably.

As they wait for their opponent in the Stanley Cup Final, it’s worth reflecting on the Avalanche’s path to return to the NHL’s biggest stage.

In the first round, they swept the hapless Predators. Nashville never even had a chance. Then, despite a little more fight from their opponent, Colorado dispatched the rival Blues in six games without breaking much of a sweat. Maybe next year, Jordan Binnington!

Finally and most notably, they steamrolled Canada’s last chance at a Cup in 2022 by sweeping Connor McDavid and the Oilers. That makes it 29 years since any of the NHL’s Canadian teams last hoisted the Cup. Can you imagine a country loving a sport so much and never winning its top prize? Tough scene.

During the RBC Canadian Open on Thursday, Denver native/PGA Tour golfer Mark Hubbard made sure to remind the hometown fans of that fact in the funniest way:

Look at that confident strut after making his putt. That’s a man who knows he’s making himself a public sports enemy and is absolutely reveling in it. Sorry, Canada. Maybe, finally, next year will be the year.

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Organized ice hockey fighting is apparently now a thing that exists in sports

Yes, hockey fighting is a real sport now!

Have you ever wanted to see ice hockey fighting be turned into its own sport, sans the sticks and pucks? Well, folks, I have good news for you!

Ice Wars International is making that dream a reality by mixing hockey fighting with a MMA-style ruleset for our own enjoyment. Yes, this is 100 percent a real thing. No pranks or April Fools jokes here. Organized hockey fighting is now a reality.

Over the weekend, Ice Wars International kicked off its first event of four in Edmonton with “professional and semi professional fighters at the top of their game in top fighting condition” who went head-to-head in minute long, two-round bouts.

Seriously, it’s as incredible as it sounds.

Similarly to fighting in hockey games, these matches have rules, albeit a few different ones, such as no head-butting or biting, no hair-pulling or kneeing, and combatants helmets and gloves must stay on at all times. Plus, they wear MMA gloves alongside their full hockey gear!

Ice Wars International was founded by A.J. Galante, the same former teenage general manager of the Danbury Trashers who was famously featured on the Netflix documentary “Untold: Crimes and Penalties”!

What a career path, right? Hockey fighting enthusiasts, rejoice!

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Notre Dame adds transfer forward Chayse Primeau from Nebraska-Omaha

Another transfer is heading the Irish’s way.

Notre Dame continues to add players via the transfer portal. We’ve already seen the arrivals of defensemen Drew Bavaro and Ben Brinkman. With the blue line shored up, they’ve turned to adding forwards beginning with Jackson Pierson. We also now know that they’re benefiting from the arrival of Chayse Primeau from Nebraska-Omaha.

Primeau has spent the past four years with the Mavericks. In 117 games, he scored 72 points, 29 of which came from goals. In what might be one of the craziest coincidences ever in college hockey, he had identical totals of nine goals and 14 assists in each of the past two seasons. While those aren’t huge totals, it doesn’t make the achievement any less interesting.

If Primeau’s last name sounds familiar, it should. His father, Keith, played in the NHL for 15 seasons. His brother, Cayden, also is following in the patriarch’s footsteps as the goaltender for the Laval Rocket, the Montreal Canadiens’ AHL affiliate, during the Calder Cup playoffs.

Contact/Follow us @IrishWireND on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Notre Dame news, notes, and opinions.

Follow Geoffrey on Twitter: @gfclark89

 

2022 IIHF World Championship, United States vs. Czech Republic, live stream, TV channel, time, how to watch

The United States will face the Czech Republic on Tuesday in the 2022 IIHF World Championships from Nokia Arena, Tampere, Finland

The United States will face the Czech Republic on Tuesday in the 2022 IIHF World Championships from Nokia Arena, Tampere, Finland. USA comes into today’s matchup having knocked off Sweden on Saturday while the Czechs picked up a 4-1 win over Norway in their last game.

Both of these teams are currently tied with 10 points and Team USA will be looking for a win today to move them into third place with the hopes they can squeeze into the quarterfinals.

This will be a good one for hockey fans, here is everything you need to know to watch and stream the action today:

USA vs. Czech Republic

  • When: Tuesday, May 24
  • Time: 9:00 a.m. ET
  • TV Channel: NHL Network
  • Live Stream: fuboTV (watch for free)

We recommend interesting sports viewing/streaming and betting opportunities. If you sign up for a service by clicking one of the links, we may earn a referral fee.  Newsrooms are independent of this relationship and there is no influence on news coverage.

New Hampshire forward Jackson Pierson transfers to Notre Dame

What are you expecting out of this transfer?

Lately, we’ve been talking a lot about Notre Dame benefiting from the transfer portal. They recently added two defensemen for the 2022-23 season in Drew Bavaro and Ben Brinkman. Now, the Irish have a new outlet for scoring to look forward to thanks to the addition of forward Jackson Pierson from New Hampshire.

In four seasons with the Wildcats, Pierson scored 88 points, including 31 goals, in 115 games over four years. As a senior, he served as an alternate captain. His 24 points from the past season would have tied him for seventh on the Irish. Hockey East also honored him with the Len Ceglarski Individual Sportsmanship Award.

Pierson also is returning to his home state as he hails from Zionsville, a suburb of Indianapolis. His family also has a history of college sports in Indiana as Todd, his father, was a baseball player at Purdue. Let’s hope for the Irish’s sake, those athletic genes will pay off for them.

Contact/Follow us @IrishWireND on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Notre Dame news, notes, and opinions.

Follow Geoffrey on Twitter: @gfclark89

Notre Dame adds Minnesota defenseman transfer Ben Brinkman

Some winning experience is coming to South Bend.

Notre Dame really is making an effort to use the transfer portal to shore up its depth on the blue line. First came the news of adding defenseman Drew Bavaro from Bentley. Now, the Irish are looking within their own conference. We know this because they have announced the addition of defenseman Ben Brinkman of Minnesota, although his transfer to the Irish has been known since mid-April.

Brinkman, a native of Edina, Minnesota, has been with the Gophers for each of the past four seasons. Over 120 games in the Twin Cities, he scored 21 of his 23 points for assists. Eight of those points came as a senior. He also will bring winning experience to South Bend as this past season, he was part of the Gophers’ first Frozen Four team in eight years.

We don’t know when the Irish and Gophers will play each other next season yet, but we know Brinkman will have those games circled.

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Contact/Follow us @IrishWireND on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Notre Dame news, notes, and opinions.

Follow Geoffrey on Twitter: @gfclark89

Watch: Ian Cole scores overtime playoff goal for Carolina Hurricanes

No greater feeling for a hockey player.

Former Notre Dame defenseman [autotag]Ian Cole[/autotag] is in his ninth Stanley Cup playoffs. His name is etched on the Cup twice from his days with the Pittsburgh Penguins. However, he never has had the thrill of scoring a game-winning goal, let alone an overtime goal, in the playoffs. That just changed in Game 1 of his Carolina Hurricanes’ Eastern Conference semifinal series against the New York Rangers:

The goal looks less like one you’d see from an NHL player than one that’s scored in pick-up street hockey. But what else are you supposed to do when you scored only twice during the regular season and have 29 goals over 12 seasons? It really doesn’t matter though because whatever the Hurricanes do for the rest of the playoffs, Cole will have this memory forever. There’s no greater feeling than to find the back of the net when the stakes are raised and three periods weren’t enough to decide a winner.

Game 2 between the Hurricanes and Rangers will be played Friday.

Contact/Follow us @IrishWireND on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Notre Dame news, notes, and opinions.

Follow Geoffrey on Twitter: @gfclark89

Notre Dame adds defenseman transfer Drew Bavaro

Solid pickup for the Irish?

Notre Dame lost a lot of players on the blue line to graduation, and it needs to replenish that somehow. Some help is arriving with the addition of defenseman Drew Bavaro, who hails from Bradenton, Florida. For the past two years, he has skated for Bentley of the Atlantic Hockey Association. During the 2021-22 season, he was a First Team All-Atlantic selection who led his team with 27 points and 17 assists to bring his total for that program to 39 points over 52 games.

Before Bentley, Bavaro played junior hockey for the Wenatchee Wild for the 2019-20 season. He played 51 games that season, and 24 of his 33 points went for assists. His nine goals that season matched the number he had for his second and final season with Bentley.

The Irish’s top scoring defensemen for the past season were seniors [autotag]Spencer Stastney[/autotag] and [autotag]Nick Leivermann[/autotag] with 27 points apiece. It might be tough for Bavaro to reach that immediately at a higher level, but at least he’s shown he’s capable of it.

Contact/Follow us @IrishWireND on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Notre Dame news, notes, and opinions.

Follow Geoffrey on Twitter: @gfclark89

Tom Brady challenged LeBron James to a hockey shootout during Twitter Q&A

We need to see this!!

Now that Tom Brady has put this thought into our minds, we need this to happen.

Late on Monday, LeBron James was answering questions on Twitter during Q&A, as one does when they’re bored online. LeBron provided some neat answers — such as what his favorite movies are and whether he prefers cake or pie — in a chill, low-key format.

It didn’t take long for Brady to jump in on the fun and ask LeBron a question of his own. The question? If LeBron would face off against Brady in a five-round hockey shootout to determine who would win, of course!

Seriously, what are the odds Tom Brady was surfing Twitter during LeBron’s Q&A!? Of course, a handful of NHL teams had to throw their hats in the ring to host this dream matchup.

LeBron did respond to Brady’s hypothetical challenge with a hilarious answer.

Who do we have to turn to to make this happen?

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