NHL Power Rankings: Secret Santa Edition

From left: Auston Matthews, Santa Claus, Mitchell Marner, William Nylander.

When Adam Henrique returned to New Jersey this week dressed as a Duck, the former Devil received the most hilarious inside-joke gift in hockey history: the Pads of Seduction.

Back in November 2016, Devils backup goalie Keith Kinkaid threw a contest inviting fans to design his next set of pads. Feeling frisky, Henrique entered a design with teammate Stephen Gionta striking the classic George Costanza painting pose.

Well, Kinkaid gave the pads — a thing that exists in real life — to Henrique this week, just in time for the holidays.

In that same generous spirit, we offer up some last-minute shopping ideas in our NHL Power Rankings: Secret Santa Edition.

As always, teams are ranked in order of their current jolliness. The write-ups focus on the perfect gift idea for your favourite club.

1. Vegas Golden Knights

A shiny, new, oversized bandwagon, so the Knights — your new No. 1 seed in Western Conference and the Lightning’s streak killers — can cart all their new fans on a ride to the post-season.

2. Tampa Bay Lightning

Respect™, by Calvin Klein. Vezina candidate Andrei Vasilevskiy deserves a vat of this new cologne for leading all NHL starters in wins and ranking second only to Chicago’s Corey Crawford in save percentage, while everyone talks about Tampa’s high-powered offence.

3. Nashville Predators

An endorsement deal for Roman Josi. We’re thrilled that marketing dream P.K. Subban inked his deal with Adidas this week. But at a $4-million cap hit, Josi, Nashville’s other best defenceman and one of the NHL’s best bargains, deserves a little something extra in his stocking.

4. Washington Capitals

A $10,000 Hudson’s Bay gift card for Alex Ovechkin, so he can keep cruising the streets of cold Canadian cities and outfitting the homeless.

5. Los Angeles Kings

An oxygen mask for Anze Kopitar, who has been logging an incredible 21:55 hard minutes a night, getting used on both special teams and has bounced back from his most disappointing season to get into the Art Ross race.

6. Chicago Blackhawks

A carbonite freezing chamber, so the Blackhawks can preserve the magic of their five-game winning streak, the longest active run in the league.

7. St. Louis Blues

A juicy contract renewal for GM Doug Armstrong, who is not afraid to makes trades or bench changes and builds a relevant team year after year.

8. Boston Bruins

A 16-inch Sunbeam desk fan, to cool down a bit. Since the Bruins’ core members have returned from injury, this is one of the hottest teams in the league. With games in hand over their inconsistent competition, the third seed in the Atlantic is Boston’s to lose.

9. Winnipeg Jets

An all-star game invite for Blake Wheeler. It was on the Jets captain’s wish list last winter and he’s more than deserving.

10. Toronto Maple Leafs

The game of Operation. You don’t have to tell us where Auston Matthews is sore, just make the body part buzz with these miniature metal tweezers.

11. New York Rangers

A third-line centre, before the Penguins get one. With the Metropolitan Division completely up for grabs, how the Rangers fare in the mid-season trade market could give them an edge over their close competition.

12. New Jersey Devils

A playoff berth, for Taylor Hall. It’s only been Item 1 on his letter to Santa for eight winters now.

13. Minnesota Wild

A lumbar pillow, for Eric Staal. The poor man must be getting tired of carrying offensively anemic teams on his back.

14. Columbus Blue Jackets

Shorter word counts, for Blue Jackets beat reporters who need to file game stories on nights when coach John Tortorella won’t give them any quotes.

15. San Jose Sharks

Beard oil, Costco-sized.

16. Dallas Stars

A sack of power-play points for Martin Hanzal. The $14.25-million free-agency acquisition has just two goals all season and needs something to spark his production.

17. New York Islanders

What do you get the team that has everything (goals galore, a brand-new arena site, an increasingly happy captain)? How about some new pads for Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss? They are the prime contributors to the NHL’s worst team save percentage, .892.

18. Calgary Flames

A brick of inedible, regifted Christmas cake, for every fan who doubted Sam Bennett, he of 12 points in his past 11 games.

19. Philadelphia Flyers

A time machine, so they go back to November and take a mulligan on that 10-game losing streak.

20. Pittsburgh Penguins

A rabbit’s foot. While it may be a bit rich to describe the two-time defending champions as unlucky, Pittsburgh is operating with the league’s worst PDO (96.4), has dealt with a stream of injuries, and should be having a better season.

21. Edmonton Oilers

A lifetime supply of Vicks NyQuil for Connor McDavid. Seeing what the Oilers captain can accomplish when he’s not suffering from the flu has reinforced the need to keep him healthy.

22. Colorado Avalanche

A two-second head start on all draws in January, so the Avalanche can elevate their league-worst 44.8 faceoff percentage.

23. Anaheim Ducks

One more trade for an Adam Henrique-type of impact player who can score goals like this one.

24. Montreal Canadiens

Earmuffs for everyone, so they can block out the constant rumour-mongering and focus on losing 3-2 games.

25. Carolina Hurricanes

A special teams seminar, so Carolina can fix its 29th-ranked power play and 29th-ranked penalty kill.

26. Detroit Red Wings

An all-expenses-paid harpoon fishing expedition for Justin Abdelkader, so he can spear away without reprimand.

27. Ottawa Senators

A fire extinguisher.

28. Florida Panthers

This book by Hal Mooz: Make Up Your Mind: A Decision Making Guide to Thinking Clearly and Choosing Wisely.

29. Vancouver Canucks

A Calder Trophy for Brock Boeser, whose knack for scoring goals will not be deterred by a day on crutches nor a long-term injury to his centreman. Just ask Carey Price.

30. Buffalo Sabres

An updated phone plan for GM Jason Botterill, who’s about to rack up all kinds of long-distance minutes trying to swing trades.

31. Arizona Coyotes

A new arena, possibly in a new city, potentially in a new country.