A “Smart Decision” To Have The Hubs In Canada
from Samantha Pell of the Washington Post, As the NHL tries to resume play and crown a Stanley Cup champion by early October, it is also shifting its operations to Canada. According to a pair of health experts, that might give the NHL the best shot among the North American professional sports leagues to complete the season. “I don’t know what greater indictment you need of the United States’ response to the virus than the NHL picking up its puck and retreating to Canada,” said Zach Binney, an epidemiologist at Oxford College of Emory University. “That was a smart decision. That was a very smart decision.” The NHL is unique in its plan to resume play, with its 24-team setup to be staged in two hub cities. The 12 participating Eastern Conference teams will play in Toronto, and the 12 participating Western Conference teams will compete in Edmonton, where the conference finals and Stanley Cup finals will also take place. As of Friday, Toronto had reported 14,777 confirmed cases with 1,117 deaths since the novel coronavirus pandemic began; Edmonton had reported 1,202 cases and 19 deaths. Canada as a whole had reported 106,882 cases and 8,748 deaths. “In both cities the trends are still low, and they are low, very low, compared to the U.S.,” said Diana Zuckerman, president of the nonprofit think tank National Center for Health Research. Zuckerman also pointed out that Toronto has a mask requirement for indoor public spaces. continued
It’d Going To Lead To Speculation
As was indicated in the NHL/NHLPA media avail yesterday, teams are being directed to use specific terminology in describing players absence. Beginning tomorrow, the NHL wants clubs to use the terms “not fit to play” or “unable to practice” to explain any player’s absence. — Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 12, 2020 “Player X was fine through yesterday’s practice. Today he is unfit to play. You do the math.” — Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) July 12, 2020
Blue Jackets Must Shut Down Maple Leafs’ Big Guns
The Columbus Blue Jackets face the Toronto Maple Leafs in a best-of-five Qualification Round Series starting Aug. 2 to determine which team advances to the NHL’s 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. (The loser of the series has a 1-in-8 chance of getting the top pick in the upcoming Entry Draft.) The Blue Jackets’ top job in the series will […]
A New CBA In Less Than Three Months
from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, Eleven weeks ago, after NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman informed the Board of Governors a new CBA with the players was a priority, several teams discussed what they’d like to see addressed. Their suggestions, officially submitted by the Winnipeg Jets, offered ideas on everything from salary arbitration to contract structure to long-term injury reform. “It was an excellent memo,” one team executive said Saturday. “Very thorough. A lot of great ideas.” Almost none of them were used. “Gary and (Deputy Commissioner) Bill Daly were very clear,” an NHL owner said after the Memorandum of Understanding was ratified Friday night. “They told us, ‘This is a crisis. We are going to have to think big picture.’ And that’s what they did.” “I think (NHLPA Executive Director Don Fehr) and I both recognize labour peace was something we couldn’t even quantify how important it was,” Bettman said during a Zoom call on Saturday. “But we both knew that for the business of the game to come back strong, there was enough disruption going on in the world that we didn’t have to add to it.” continued
Dylan Garand – 2020 Draft Prospect Profile
Dylan Garand 2019-20 Team: Kamloops Blazers (#31)Date of Birth: June 7, 2002Place of Birth: Victoria, British ColumbiaHt: 6-foot-0 Wt: 172 lbs.Catches: LeftPosition: GoalieNHL Draft Eligibility: 2020 first-year eligible Rankings NHL Central Scouting: 6th (among NA goalies) Elite Prospects: 64th Larry Fisher (The Hockey Writers): 127th Ryan Kennedy (The Hockey News): 106th Steve Kournianos (The Draft […]
Maple Leafs Must Have Other Options Than Trading Kapanen
It seems like everyone’s favorite Toronto Maple Leafs trade chip is Kasperi Kapanen. If hockey commentators speculations are correct, the Maple Leafs won’t be able to get under the salary cap without trading one of the team’s mid-level forwards. It just seems to be a matter of who and for whom. Related: Maple Leafs News […]
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Canucks Prospect Rathbone Is Ready for Prime Time
The Vancouver Canucks just witnessed greatness with Quinn Hughes, now they have Jack Rathbone to look forward to as well. Ever since he was drafted down in the fourth round in 2017, he has risen up the prospect rankings and into the top five with the likes of Vasili Podkolzin and Nils Hoglander who were […]
Devils Long Layoff a Silver Lining For Many Reasons
The next time the New Jersey Devils step onto the ice for a meaningful game it will have been eight-to-nine months since they last appeared back on March 10. A lot will be different when they finally do skate again. In a way, I kind of think the long layoff is a silver lining of […]
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What Does Green Out Mean For Oilers Short and Long-Term?
It should go without saying that all consideration should be given to defenseman Mike Green for his decision to opt out of a return to NHL action, specifically as the Edmonton Oilers try to make a run towards the Stanley Cup. In any situation, family comes first. Talking about his decision not to return, Green […]
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NHL Rumors: Canadiens, Oilers, Canucks, Maple Leafs, More
In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is lots of information out there as it pertains to the Montreal Canadiens, more specifically Max Domi and Karl Alzner. Mike Green has opted out from the Edmonton Oilers camp, as has Sven Baertschi from the Vancouver Canucks. Romak Polak makes an expected decision in Dallas and there is […]
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Ready To Coach
from the CP at TSN, Brad Treliving joked recently NHL coaches only need a couple video sessions to prepare for an opponent, find a weakness, correct a problem or add a wrinkle. So what about 142 days? "Every game might end 0-0," the Calgary Flames general manager quipped. With summer training camps set to open Monday as the NHL lurches forward in its plan to restart a season stopped in its tracks four months ago by COVID-19, the temptation might be to spring a surprise or two — maybe a new power-play setup or a tweak to the penalty kill — when the games return Aug. 1. Coaches for the 24 teams set to feature in the league's return have had ample time to plan, brainstorm and re-assess their systems and rosters. The 16 taking part in the best-of-five qualifying round have known for nearly seven weeks which opponent they'd be lining up against if the league got back up and running. But don't expect to see massive changes — especially early — from the men standing behind the benches in those empty arenas in Toronto and Edmonton once the puck is dropped. They have enough to worry about when it comes to their own players. continued
Remembering the Canadiens’ 2014 Playoff Run
“What if…?” It is one of the most mesmerizing questions ever asked, usually when remembering an event that conjures up memories of what happened, or what could have happened had something different happened. In hockey, there are not enough fingers and toes to count the number of times that question has been asked. What if […]
Prospects News & Rumors: WHL’s Return, Ranger’s Prospect Pool, Jarvis
As the hockey world continues to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, we will discuss how the Western Hockey League (WHL) is hoping to handle the start of the 2020-21 season. Also, we will take a look at how the New York Ranger’s prospect pool is being affected by the pandemic and prospect Seth Jarvis. WHL […]
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Oshawa Generals’ Best Teams in History
The Oshawa Generals are one of the most successful franchises in all of junior hockey. Their ability to recognize and draft talent has led them to major success and allowed them to rise up amongst the premier teams in the Canadian Hockey League. Although they have had many good teams, there were some that made […]
Tampa Bay Lightning Jersey History
The Tampa Bay Lightning are the envy of the National Hockey League. They’ve got a phenomenal owner in Jeff Vinik, who put the brakes on disaster and painstakingly rebuilt the organization from the inside out. A former investment wizard, Vinik managed to strike the optimal balance between the fanatical micromanagement of some of his peers, […]
Rangers’ Kakko Poised to Perform in the Playoffs
The New York Rangers selected Kaapo Kakko with the second pick of the NHL Draft one year ago. There was a tremendous amount of hype surrounding him and that led to big expectations for his rookie season. While the season hasn’t quite gone according to plan for the young winger, he will have an opportunity […]
Maple Leafs in the 2022 Olympics: Could be the Best of Times or the Worst for their Fans
As part of the Return to Play arrangement, there is a four-year extension to the Collective Bargaining Agreement. It includes NHLers returning to the Olympics. This creates an interesting dilemma for Toronto Maple Leafs fans. Remember the Jerry Seinfeld bit? “You’re actually rooting for the clothes when you get right down to it… Fans will […]
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Today in Hockey History: July 12
On this date, the Detroit Red Wings made an addition to their front office that helped change the direction of the franchise. Also, Canada started to build their roster for some of the most memorable hockey games ever played. Red Wings Change Leadership On July 12, 1982, the Red Wings named Jim Devellano as their […]
A Look At The Wings’ 2018 Draft Class
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, The 2018 draft saw the Wings cash in on the Tomas Tatar trade and use Vegas’ first-round pick into Joe Veleno, one of four picks the Wings made within the first 36 picks and among 10 total. Several of the draft picks figure to be a key part of the rebuild. Here is a closer look at each selection. F Filip Zadina... Wingspan: Zadina, 20, made his 2019-20 season debut Nov. 24, called up after Anthony Mantha suffered an injury. Zadina earned his first point Nov. 30. He looked strong on the puck, figuring out how to make time and space for himself to make a play or take a good shot. From the time he was called up until he suffered a leg injury Jan. 31 (a span of 27 games), Zadina was tied for first on the team in goals (eight) and ranked third in points (15). He showed he belongs in the lineup, and that he can add a much-needed offensive boost. F Joe Veleno... Wingspan: Veleno, 20, endured growing pains, but that’s normal in a player’s first year of pro hockey. The Wings’ development staff emphasized Veleno work on the defensive side of his game, and that was a factor in his 11 goals and 12 assists in 54 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins. There’s no doubt he has high-end offensive instincts, but the Wings need Veleno to be a good two-way player to maximize where he slots into the rebuild. more
Detroit Will Receive Edmonton’s 4th Round Pick In The 2020 Draft
This also means that the pick traded to Detroit for Green's rights will be Edmonton's 2020 4th rounder. There was a condition in the deal that could have upgraded it to a 2021 3rd rounder based on playoff performance. — Jonathan Willis (@JonathanWillis) July 11, 2020
A Bad CBA For The Players
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post, The greater good was served. A distasteful public dispute in the midst of a pandemic was avoided. The NHL’s next six seasons will be uninterrupted by labor discord. The fans win. But though decorum was maintained at all times, and material disagreements between the league and the union were generally kept behind closed doors, that did not prevent the NHL from using this COVID-19 crisis to achieve a CBA that comes closest yet to the league’s 2004-05 vision of how its hard cap should function. The NBA is a players’ league. The NFL is a coaches’ league. The NHL is an owners’ league. Never was that more reinforced than through these negotiations that, truth be told, Gary Bettman and the Board won when they shut down the league 15 seasons ago and minimized if not co-opted, and co-opted if not broke, the union. The NHLPA bargained itself into stagnating wages for the next four-to-six-to-eight seasons essentially so the players could be in a lower tax bracket. Is that the way you negotiate your contract? The union is not only putting controls on the cap through the pandemic, but throughout the length of the CBA. So this season, the cap stands at $81.5 million. In 2024-25, there is a chance it could increase to $84.5 million. That represents a 3.68 percent increase in average salary over six seasons. How much — allowing that the economy returns to health once the coronavirus is under control—do you think team valuations will rise over that period? continued
Hockey Talk Before Training Camp Starts
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun, - This may be the last and best opportunity for a while for the ever-optimistic Maple Leafs to compete for the Stanley Cup. You see, the world is about to get very complicated for the Leafs and several other NHL teams who have spent money with the assumption the salary cap would continue to rise, and rise some more. In all the planning and organizing the Leafs and other clubs worked through, nobody budgeted for a pandemic. So, this is perhaps the last dance for a Leafs team with John Tavares, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander.... - A management team of Doug Armstrong, Ken Holland, Kelly McCrimmon and maybe Julian BriseBois should be selected to run Team Canada for the 2022 Winter Olympics. A lot of people want Mike Babcock to coach. I’d like to see Bruce Cassidy, who beat Babcock twice in playoff series, get a shot. And if not him, Jon Cooper. - There’s more to Chris Pronger leaving the Florida Panthers than has been spoken about. Pronger wanted to be the next general manager and should have been the man to replace Dale Tallon. Word around is that the assistant GM, Eric Joyce, will soon to be elevated to the top job. His background isn’t hockey, it’s national security. The Panthers continually keep trying to be smarter than everyone else in hockey and somehow fail every time they get cute. more on the first topic plus additional hockey notes...
No More Injury Disclosurea
feom Michael Traikos of the National Post, In the 2009 playoffs, Nicklas Lidstrom missed the final two games of the Western Conference final with what was vaguely described as a “lower-body injury.” But everyone who saw the Detroit defenceman doubled over in pain knew what the actual extent of the injury really was. Lidstrom, who had been speared by Chicago’s Patrick Sharp in Game 3, had a badly bruised testicle. It required surgery. He said it was the most painful injury he’d ever endured.... Going forward, we will no longer be told if a player pulls a muscle or breaks a bone or even ruptures his scrotum in a game. And we certainly won’t know if he develops a respiratory illness that could jeopardize him, his teammates and the entire Stanley Cup playoffs. In other words, there is no transparency when it comes to player absences. If someone misses a game, it could be because he suffered a concussion. Or it could be because he has COVID-19. It’s up to fans — and other players sharing the same hotels and facilities inside one of two bubbles — to guess. read on
Flyers Set Up for Sustained Success
The Philadelphia Flyers have a lot to be excited about. They are in a strong playoff position following an impressive regular season; they have a talented roster without any glaring weakness, and they are set up for sustained success. Related: John LeClair – A Prototypical Power Forward The first two should come as little surprise. […]
Calgary Flames’ 50-Goal Scorers
For a relatively young franchise, the Calgary Flames have seen a great deal of strong individual performances since becoming a National Hockey League club in 1972. In particular, the team has had a surprisingly large amount of 50-goal scorers over the years. In the history of the NHL, a player has scored 50-plus goals on […]
Bruins’ 2020 Playoffs: Healthy Players, Roster Decisions & Revenge
On March 10, Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask celebrated his 33rd birthday by leading the team to a 2-0 shutout of the upstart Philadelphia Flyers. The victory also gave the NHL-leading Bruins 100 points on the season. Two days later, the league paused play in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As it turns out, that […]
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Top 3 All-Time Blues Goalies
With the St. Louis Blues winning their first ever Stanley Cup Championship to cap off the 2018-19 season, there’s no better time to look back on the franchise’s history. And what better place to start than with the men who guard the net? The Blues have had a number of all-time great goalies between the […]
Kitchener Rangers’ Top 5 Current NHL Alumni
The Kitchener Rangers are one of the most successful teams in the entire Canadian Hockey League and have produced some real legends of the game including; Paul Coffey, Al MacInnis and Larry Robinson. They are four time recipients of the J. Ross Robertson Cup as OHL champions and two time Memorial Cup winners, with their most recent […]
Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Flat Cap, Lehtonen’s Mobility & the Defense
On July 10, the NHL and NHLPA officially announced the return of hockey. Although surprisingly not much has been made of the agreement, I believe that the two sides extending the Collective Bargaining Agreement through at least 2025-26 is a big deal. It wards off another possible shutdown of hockey – this time through labor […]
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NHL Elite: Consistent Point-Per-Game Players
Russian superstars Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin joined a rare group of players who have averaged a point-per-game played (P/GP) or better for at least 10 seasons. They join Sidney Crosby as the only active players to do so – Crosby has 13. I chose 40 games played as the minimum to qualify because it […]
Live Stream- NHL And NHLPA Discuss CBA And Return To Play
Scheduled to begin at 1:00pm ET.
NHL Rumors: Flames, Canadiens, Lightning, Canucks, More
In today’s NHL rumor rundown, the first NHL player has informed their team that they will not take part in the play-in round. Who else might be next? The Tampa Bay Lightning potentially got some bad news as Steve Stamkos suffered an injury. Finally, there could be some interest in Taylor Hall from the Montreal […]
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Canadiens News & Rumors: Romanov, Caufield, Hall, Domi & More
In today’s Montreal Canadiens news and rumors rundown, there is news on Alexander Romanov’s contract situation. An ECHL expansion franchise decides to call the province of Quebec home. Related: Brothers in the NHL Will the Big 10 Conference have a full season? Will it affect Cole Caufield’s decision to stay in school? Will Taylor Hall […]
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Penguins Could Use Lafrenière On a Post-Crosby and Malkin Roster
As long as Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ lineup, the team is considered a threat to win the Stanley Cup. With the results of the draft lottery giving the first-overall pick to one of the eight teams that lose in the play-in round, the Penguins have an opportunity to extend […]
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Who Should Make the Predators’ Expanded Roster?
We’re inching closer and closer to the NHL’s return to play. We know the where and pretty much the when of this much-anticipated conclusion to the 2019-20 season. We are learning more and more about how the return will look with developments slowly being released week by week. Now’s finally the time to have a […]
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