Reyes: Flashing the Leather

Logo for Flashing the Leather column. - Graphic / Spencer Reyes

Will NCAA Goalie Ink a Contract?

Dryden McKay has a chance to sign a professional contract with an NHL team after winning the Hobey Baker Award, the top award for any NCAA ice hockey player. 

McKay, the 24-year-old senior from Minnesota State University, was the top goalie in the nation and was not drafted. Therefore can sign with any team, and after his performance in the 2022 NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey National Championship against the University of Denver, he is a hot commodity.

In the 2021-2022 hockey season, McKay had a win-loss record of 38-4-0, ranked second in the country in goals-against average (1.27), shutouts (10), and third in save percentage (.934).

McKay has not only taken home the Hobey Baker Award after just missing out on it last year, but was also a top-three finalist for the Mike Richter Award, as the top collegiate goalie of the nation. He was also awarded the Goaltender of the Year and Player of the Year from the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

The top goalie in the country can be signed to a team that has good goalie depth like the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Boston Bruins, or maybe a team that could use a goalie like the New Jersey Devils or the Seattle Kraken. 

Benches Clear on Day Two of Opening Weekend

Opening Day excitement was present at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

As the Washington Nationals faced off against their division rivals, the New York Mets, the Mets looked to former Nationals ace and two-time Cy Young, Max Scherzer, to pitch in game two of their season. 

Fast forward to the fifth inning of the Saturday, April 8 contest. Mets’ center fielder Brandon Nimmo would hit a triple to left field on a 2-2 count and fellow outfielder, Starling Marte, would hit for a double, bringing home Nimmo, to make the score 4-3 in favor of the Mets. 

During the next at-bat, with the count at one ball and one strike, on the third pitch, Nationals pitching submariner, Steve Cishek hit Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor on the C-flap of his helmet.

Almost immediately, both benches and bullpens cleared as this was the fourth time in 14 innings that a Mets batter was hit by a pitch. 

New York’s manager Buck Showalter’s reaction to Lindor being hit has gone viral and has been used by most New York media outlets.

“Times like that when it’s the fourth one, I don’t want to really hear about intent,” Showalter said in an interview after the game. “Those things can’t happen.”

Showalter suggested that managers should only let pitchers play who can control the ball regardless of the environmental conditions. He argued that after that many times, the intent isn’t a card to deal with.

This situation seemed to put a spring in the bats of the wounded, as both Lindor and fellow Met Pete “The Polar Bear” Alonso went yard with a home run apiece. “The Polar Bear” hit his first career grand slam, within his four-year career with the Mets.

The New York Mets ended up losing the last game of the away series against the Nationals, but baseball fans should keep their eyes peeled for more interactions this year due to different grips on the baseballs and how the environment affects the pitchers.

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