The 2012–13 NHL season was the 96th season of operation (95th season of play) of the National Hockey League (NHL). The regular season began on January 19, 2013 and ended on April 28, 2013, with the playoffs to follow until June.
The season start was delayed from its original October 11, 2012 date due to a lockout imposed by the NHL franchise owners after the expiry of the league's collective bargaining agreement (CBA). After a new labour agreement was reached between the owners and the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA), training camps opened on January 13, 2013 and a 48-game season (reduced from 82 games) started on January 19th.
Similar to the 1994–95 season, the shortened regular NHL season was limited to intra-conference competition. The season calendar opened with the 2012 NHL Entry Draft on June 22–23, 2012, held at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.
On September 13, 2012, all 29 league ownership groups (with the Phoenix Coyotes collectively owned by the NHL) authorized commissioner Gary Bettman to lock out the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) upon the expiration of the NHL collective bargaining agreement (CBA) on September 15.
The action marked the fifth labour dispute in twenty years for the league, following a 1992 strike, lockouts in 1994–95 and 2004–05, as well as a referees lockout in 1993; this is more than any of the other major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada during this period. In preparation for the lockout, NHL teams assigned all of their eligible players to their American Hockey League farm clubs.
Although Bettman acknowledged the 2005–12 CBA was fair, he also stated that he was demanding concessions as a result of the late 2000s recession, even though the league experienced significant growth at that time. Sports media reported on July 14 on the NHL's first offer to the players.
The offer reportedly included: a drop in players' share of "hockey-related revenues" from 57 per cent to 46 per cent; a requirement that players play ten years before becoming an unrestricted free agent (UFA); a limit on players' contracts to five years in length; elimination of salary arbitration; and an extension of entry-level contracts to five years from three.
The NHLPA made an attempt to strike down the lockout as illegal in Alberta and Quebec; the Quebec labour board ruled against the NHLPA on September 14th. The NHL season officially entered a lockout after the expiration of the CBA on September 15, 2012, prior to the planned start of the pre-season.
Locked-out players immediately began signing with the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), Czech Extraliga (ELH), the SM-liiga, and the Elitserien (SEL), the last of which largely resisted signing locked-out players. The NHL canceled all regular-season games originally scheduled up to January 14, 2013, including the 2013 NHL Winter Classic. The 2013 NHL All-Star Game was also canceled.
On January 6, 2013, after a 16-hour negotiating session, the owners and players union reached a tentative agreement for a 10-year deal. NHL owners ratified the CBA on January 9, 2013, followed three days later by the deal's ratification by NHLPA members and the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two parties, marking their official agreement on the labour pact. The NHL announced a 48-game schedule, starting on January 19, 2013 and ending on April 28, 2013, consisting solely of intra-conference competition.
The relocation of the Atlanta Thrashers from the American southeast to the Canadian prairies, where the franchise is now known as the Winnipeg Jets, in the summer of 2011 resulted in discussions within the league on how to realign the league's 30 teams. Following several months of speculation, the NHL's Board of Governors voted in favor of a radical realignment plan that would have reduced the six current divisions in two conferences into four conferences.
The top four teams in each conference would then qualify for the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs, while for the regular season, each team would face its non-conference opponents twice: once each at home and on the road. Conference opponents would face each other five or six times each. The plan was designed to better balance each grouping of teams by time zone, as well as to cut the costs of travel western teams face.
However, on January 6, 2012, the league announced that the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) had rejected the proposed realignment, delaying any future changes until at least 2013–14. NHLPA officers expressed a desire to see a draft schedule for the realignment, which the league had not completed.
The league and NHLPA then redesigned the plan, with the four conferences instead being reformed into four divisions within two conferences. Detroit and Columbus, the only two Western Conference teams in the Eastern Time Zone, were added to the Eastern Conference: Detroit moved into the current Atlantic Division and Columbus moved into the Metropolitan.
The four groupings were designated as divisions, with the Eastern and Western Conference designations remaining in place. This results in all Eastern Conference teams existing entirely in the Eastern Time Zone. However, one of the Western Divisions will have all but one of the Pacific and Mountain time zone teams.
That remaining Mountain time zone team is Colorado which will be with the other division centered around the Central time zone teams. On March 8, 2013, the NHLPA approved the league's realignment plan, with the league Board of Governors ratifying the realignment on March 14th.
The four divisions have been organized as follows:
The NHL announced the revised salary cap on June 28, 2012. The salary cap figure is in effect until the end of the current collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the Player's Association. The salary cap for players' salaries rose $5.9 million (USD) to $70.2 million per franchise.
The salary floor, the minimum which franchises must spend rose to $54.2 million. As a part of the newly agreed upon CBA, the salary cap for teams will be $64.3 million per franchise with a floor of $44 million.
Change of venueEdit
On October 24, 2012, the New York Islanders announced that the team had signed a 25-year lease with the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, starting in 2015 after the team's current lease for the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum expires.
The arena, originally constructed as the home for the National Basketball Association (NBA) Brooklyn Nets will be expanded to meet NHL standards.
With the ratification of the new collective bargaining agreement, several rule changes took effect this season.
- Officials no longer had to be certain that contact had been made with the hands (as opposed to the stick) in deciding whether or not to assess a slashing minor.
- Making contact with the opponent's facemask will result in a minor penalty.
- Both players facing-off are prohibited from batting the puck with their hand in an attempt to win the face-off. Any attempt by either center to win the face-off by batting the puck with their hand shall result in a minor penalty. This penalty shall be announced as a "Minor Penalty for Delay of Game - Face-off Violation."
- Rule 67 has been changed to prevent players from getting a faceoff by putting their glove on the puck anywhere on the ice and not allowing play to continue. A minor penalty will be assessed for "closing his hand on the puck."
- To celebrate 20 years in Dallas, the Stars wore special patches this season.
- The Tampa Bay Lightning wore special patches to commemorate their 20th season in the NHL. Their alternate uniform was also modified to include the simplified logo they introduced in the 2011-2012 season.
- The San Jose Sharks wore patches in memory of original owner George Gund III, who died January 15, 2013. Gund was instrumental in bringing, removing and returning NHL hockey to the Bay Area.
- To celebrate 100 years of hockey on the west coast, the Canucks honored Vancouver's first professional hockey team, the Vancouver Millionaires, who played in the West Coast Hockey League from 1912-1922 by wearing a patch of a re-colored Millionaires logo on their alternate home jerseys.
- The Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers and Florida Panthers retired their third jerseys.
Originally planned for October 11, 2012, the lockout delay pushed the start of the 2012–13 season to January 19, 2013 with twelve games for the opening night.
Each team played eighteen games within its division (four or five games for each team) and thirty games against teams in the other division (three games for each team); no interconference games were played during the regular season. The regular season is shortened from 82 games down to 48, canceling 41.5 % of the full regular season.
The 2013 NHL Winter Classic was scheduled to feature the Detroit Red Wings hosting the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan, but it was canceled due to the labour lockout.
The NHL announced it plans to hold the next Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium, with the Leafs and the Red Wings, scheduled for January 1, 2014.
Originally scheduled to take place January 27, 2013, in Columbus, Ohio, the All-Star Game was canceled as a result of the on-going lockout.
European Premiere gamesEdit
In past seasons, selected NHL teams began their season with exhibition games and the first two regular season games in European cities. In March of 2012, the NHL announced that it has decided not to start the season with games in Europe, because of the upcoming Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations and the surrounding uncertainty.
With the NHL not playing games in Europe, Russia's Kontinental Hockey League (against which the NHL has played several interleague competitions) was instead to come to the United States, with the NHL's blessing. The KHL was to feature two games between Dynamo Moscow and SKA Saint Petersburg at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on January 19 and 20, 2013, however no agreement between the KHL and the Barclays Center had been signed.
The KHL announced the two games would be held in Russia; due to the NHL lockout, the signing of a 25 year lease with the New York Islanders, and pleas from the teams' fans to keep the games in Russia.
- The February 9th game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins at TD Garden was postponed due to inclement weather in Boston the day of the game.
Two games were affected by the Boston Marathon bombings:
- The April 15th game between the Ottawa Senators and Boston Bruins at TD Garden was postponed due to the bombing of the Boston Marathon earlier that day. The game was rescheduled to April 28, the day after the previous final day of the regular season.
- The April 19th game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins at TD Garden was postponed to April 20 due to the citywide lockdown as a result of the manhunt for the suspects of the bombings. As a result of the rescheduled Penguins-Bruins game, the game between the Penguins and Buffalo Sabres that was originally scheduled for April 20th was moved to April 23rd.
Due to the lockout, each team played 48 games this season all within their conference.
Because of the lockout and the delayed start of the shortened regular season, the playoffs did not begin until April 30th. The last possible date of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals was then scheduled for June 28, 2013.
NHL awards Edit
the awards are presented during the NHL Awards television specials on June 14–15, 2013. Finalists for voted awards are announced during the playoffs and the winners are presented at the awards specials. The voting concluded immediately after the end of the regular season. The President's Trophy, the Prince of Wales Trophy and Campbell Bowls are not presented at the awards specials.
The Lester Patrick is announced during the summer and presented in the fall. NHL Network (U.S.) and NHL Network Canada aired the first part of the awards presentation on June 14th, while NBC Sports Network and CBC aired the second part on June 15th preceding Game 2 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals.
|Stanley Cup||Chicago Blackhawks||Boston Bruins|
| Presidents' Trophy|
(Best regular-season record)
|Chicago Blackhawks||Pittsburgh Penguins|
| Prince of Wales Trophy|
(Eastern Conference champion)
|Boston Bruins||Pittsburgh Penguins|
| Clarence S. Campbell Bowl|
(Western Conference champion)
|Chicago Blackhawks||Los Angeles Kings|
| Art Ross Trophy|
|Martin St. Louis (Tampa Bay Lightning)||Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay Lightning)|
| Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy|
(Perseverance, Sportsmanship, and Dedication)
|Josh Harding (Minnesota Wild)|| Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins)|
Adam McQuaid (Boston Bruins)
| Calder Memorial Trophy|
(Best first-year player)
|Jonathan Huberdeau (Florida Panthers)|| Brendan Gallagher (Montreal Canadiens)|
Brandon Saad (Chicago Blackhawks)
| Conn Smythe Trophy|
(Most valuable player, playoffs)
|Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks)|
| Frank J. Selke Trophy|
|Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks)|| Patrice Bergeron (Boston Bruins)|
Pavel Datsyuk (Detroit Red Wings)
| Hart Memorial Trophy|
(Most valuable player, regular season)
|Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals)|| Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins)|
John Tavares (New York Islanders)
| Jack Adams Award|
|Paul MacLean (Ottawa Senators)|| Bruce Boudreau (Anaheim Ducks)|
Joel Quenneville (Chicago Blackhawks)
| James Norris Memorial Trophy|
|P. K. Subban (Montreal Canadiens)||Kris Letang (Pittsburgh Penguins)|
Ryan Suter (Minnesota Wild)
| King Clancy Memorial Trophy|
(Leadership and humanitarian contribution)
|Patrice Bergeron (Boston Bruins)|
| Lady Byng Memorial Trophy|
(Sportsmanship and excellence)
|Martin St. Louis (Tampa Bay Lightning)|| Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks)|
Matt Moulson (New York Islanders)
| Ted Lindsay Award|
|Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins)|| Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals)|
Martin St. Louis (Tampa Bay Lightning)
| Mark Messier Leadership Award|
(Leadership and community activities)
| Daniel Alfredsson (Ottawa Senators)|| Dustin Brown (Los Angeles Kings)|
Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks)
| Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy|
|Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals)||Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay Lightning)|
| NHL Foundation Player Award|
(Award for community enrichment)
|Henrik Zetterberg (Detroit Red Wings)|
| NHL General Manager of the Year Award|
(Top general manager)
|Ray Shero (Pittsburgh Penguins)|| Marc Bergevin (Montreal Canadiens)|
Bob Murray (Anaheim Ducks)
| NHL Plus-Minus Award|
(Highest plus/minus value)
|Pascal Dupuis (Pittsburgh Penguins)||Chris Kunitz (Pittsburgh Penguins)|
| Vezina Trophy|
|Sergei Bobrovsky (Columbus Blue Jackets)|| Henrik Lundqvist (New York Rangers)|
Antti Niemi (San Jose Sharks)
| William M. Jennings Trophy|
(Goaltender(s) of team with fewest goals against)
|Corey Crawford and Ray Emery (Chicago Blackhawks)|
| Lester Patrick Trophy|
(Service to ice hockey in U.S.)
|Position||First Team||Second Team||Position||All-Rookie|
|G||Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets||Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers||G||Jake Allen, St. Louis Blues|
|D||P. K. Subban, Montreal Canadiens||Francois Beauchemin, Anaheim Ducks||D||Jonas Brodin, Minnesota Wild|
|D||Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild||Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins||D||Justin Schultz, Edmonton Oilers|
|C||Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins||Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks||F||Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida Panthers|
|RW||Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals||Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning||F||Brendan Gallagher, Montreal Canadiens|
|LW||Chris Kunitz, Pittsburgh Penguins||Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals||F||Brandon Saad, Chicago Blackhawks|
Scoring leaders The following players lead the league in points following the conclusion of the regular season.
GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; +/– = Plus-minus; PIM = Penalty minutes
|Martin St. Louis||Tampa Bay Lightning||48||17||43||60||0||14|
|Steven Stamkos||Tampa Bay Lightning||48||29||28||57||–4||32|
|Alexander Ovechkin||Washington Capitals||48||32||24||56||+2||36|
|Sidney Crosby||Pittsburgh Penguins||36||15||41||56||+26||16|
|Patrick Kane||Chicago Blackhawks||47||23||32||55||+11||8|
|Eric Staal||Carolina Hurricanes||48||18||35||53||+5||54|
|Chris Kunitz||Pittsburgh Penguins||48||22||30||52||+30||39|
|Phil Kessel||Toronto Maple Leafs||48||20||32||52||–3||18|
|Taylor Hall||Edmonton Oilers||45||16||34||50||+5||33|
|Ryan Getzlaf||Anaheim Ducks||44||15||34||49||+14||41|
|Pavel Datsyuk||Detroit Red Wings||47||15||34||49||+21||14|
The following goaltenders lead the league in goals against average following the conclusion of the regular season while playing at least 1200 minutes.
( GP = Games played; Min = Minutes played; W = Wins; L = Losses; OT = Overtime/shootout losses; GA = Goals against; SO = Shutouts; SV% = Save percentage; GAA = Goals against average)
|Craig Anderson||Ottawa Senators||24||1420:36||12||9||2||40||3||.941||1.69|
|Corey Crawford||Chicago Blackhawks||30||1760:31||19||5||5||57||3||.926||1.94|
|Sergei Bobrovsky||Columbus Blue Jackets||38||2218:57||21||11||6||74||4||.932||2.00|
|Tuukka Rask||Boston Bruins||36||2104:09||19||10||5||70||5||.929||2.00|
|Henrik Lundqvist||New York Rangers||43||2575:22||24||16||3||88||2||.926||2.05|
|Cory Schneider||Vancouver Canucks||30||1733:19||17||9||4||61||5||.927||2.11|
|Jimmy Howard||Detroit Red Wings||42||2445:44||21||13||7||87||5||.923||2.13|
|Antti Niemi||San Jose Sharks||43||2580:46||24||12||6||93||4||.924||2.16|
|Viktor Fasth||Anaheim Ducks||25||1428:18||15||6||2||52||4||.921||2.18|
|Martin Brodeur||New Jersey Devils||29||1757:21||13||9||7||65||2||.901||2.22|
The following is a list of notable players who played their first NHL game in 2013, listed with their first team:
|Nail Yakupov||Edmonton Oilers||First overall pick in the 2012 Draft|
|Jonathan Huberdeau||Florida Panthers||Winner of the 2012–13 Calder Memorial Trophy|
The following is a list of players of note who played their last NHL game in 2012–13, listed with their team:
|Alexei Kovalev||Florida Panthers||1994 Stanley Cup Champion with the New York Rangers, 2008 NHL Second All-Star Team, Olympic Gold (1992) for the Unified Team and Bronze (2002) for Russia|
|Jochen Hecht||Buffalo Sabres||Second German-born captain in NHL history (after Walt Tkaczuk) in 2007–08, 833 games played over 14 seasons, named to two Olympic squads (2002 and 2006)|
|Andy McDonald||St. Louis Blues||2007 Stanley Cup Champion with the Anaheim Ducks, 2007 NHL All-Star Skills Fastest Skater|
|Ilya Kovalchuk||New Jersey Devils||First overall pick of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, 2002 NHL All-Rookie Team, three-time All-Star and two-time NHL All-Star Team, 2004 Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy winner|
|Miikka Kiprusoff||Calgary Flames||2006 First Team All-Star, 2006 Vezina Trophy winner, 2006 William M. Jennings Trophy winner|
Major milestones reachedEdit
- On January 21, 2013, Tampa Bay Lightning forward Vincent Lecavalier participated in his 1,000th NHL game.
- On January 27, 2013, New Jersey Devils forward Patrik Elias recorded his 900th career point. He became the 97th player in league history to reach this milestone.
- On February 4, 2013, Colorado Avalanche forward Milan Hejduk participated in his 1,000th NHL game.
- On February 7, 2013, St. Louis Blues defenseman Wade Redden participated in his 1,000th NHL game.
- On February 9, 2013, New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur participated in his 1,200th NHL game. He became the 93rd player, and the first goaltender, to reach this milestone.
- On February 22, 2013, the Chicago Blackhawks set a record by earning at least one point in 17 consecutive games to start a season. The previous record of 16 consecutive games was held by the 2006–07 Anaheim Ducks. The Blackhawks went on to extend the record for first consecutive games with a point to start a season to 24 games (21–0–3).
- On March 3, 2013, Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa participated in his 1,000th NHL game.
- On March 5, 2013, Montreal Canadiens captain Brian Gionta scored the team's 20,000th NHL goal.
- On March 6, 2013, Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Ray Emery becomes the first goaltender in league history to start a season with 10 straight wins. He extended it to 12 straight wins to start a season on March 26.
- On March 18, 2013, Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen participated in his 1,000th NHL game.
- On March 28, 2013, Phoenix Coyotes forward Steve Sullivan participated in his 1,000th NHL game.
- On March 29, 2013, Dallas Stars forward Jaromir Jagr recorded his 1,000th career assist, becoming the 12th player in league history and the first non-Canadian to do so.
- On March 30, 2013, the Pittsburgh Penguins set a record by becoming the first NHL franchise to win every game during a calendar month. The Penguins defeated the New York Islanders 2–0, winning fifteen consecutive games from March 2nd until March 30th
- On April 22, 2013, Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tomas Vokoun won his 300th NHL game. He became the 28th player in league history to reach this milestone.