As I’ve been hinting for the last few days, Henrik Lundqvist went on record about his post playing career future. Johan Rylander of the Göteborgs-Posten got the exclusive interview and gave me early access in order to work on the English translations.
Forever Blueshirts is excited to be the first to bring you this great interview for U.S. audiences.
Henrik Lundqvist and New York Rangers will reunite when career over.
Henrik Lundqvist has only ever known one NHL team, the New York Rangers. While he is ready for a new chapter and challenge in Washington, the King plans to make a return home when he retires from playing.
“This is a new chapter (Washington), and I look forward to the test,” Lundqvist said to Johan while driving to a practice rink in NJ. “But I’ll be a part of the Rangers for the rest of my life, in one way or another. Both I and the Rangers have been clear about that. That’s how it will be.”Pro Sports DailyNovember 17, 2020
Any other year, these images wouldn't be a big deal -- people taking turns swiggin' from the Stanley Cup on a Florida beach.
But, we're in a FREAKIN' PANDEMIC -- with numbers surging in FL -- which is why a victory celebration over the weekend is now a major cause for concern.
The party took place at the famous Don CeSar hotel at St. Pete Beach (22 miles from Tampa International Airport) -- where a Tampa Bay Lightning asst. coach got to spend his 1 day with the trophy after the team won the 2020 championship.Pro Sports DailyNovember 17, 2020
Every NHL season sees at least one promising young player blossom into a full-fledged star.
Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho and Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson are two recent examples, quickly evolving into the top stars on their respective clubs. Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy and Hurricanes winger Andrei Svechnikov could soon join their ranks.
Several factors will determine their development. Some have already shown potential while playing big-game minutes. Others will be expected to move up and take over bigger roles.
Here's a look at seven young players who are poised to become NHL stars in 2020-21.
Anthony Cirelli, Tampa Bay Lightning
Last season proved to be significant in the short but promising NHL career of Anthony Cirelli.
The center finished fourth among the voters for the Frank J. Selke Trophy that honors the NHL's top defensive forward. He picked up 13 first-place votes, two more than St. Louis Blues center (and 2019 Selke winner) Ryan O'Reilly, who finished third.
That was quite a leap forward for the 23-year-old during his second full campaign. He saw more playing time last season in all situations for the Lightning. That was also reflected in his offensive production, going from a respectable 39 points in 82 games as a rookie in 2018-19 to 44 points in 68 games last season.
Cirelli tied with Brayden Point for the Lightning lead in plus/minus with plus-28. He also led all their forwards in short-handed ice time (2:49) per game last season and was fourth among Bolts skaters in overtime ice time per game (1:11). That reflects the confidence head coach Jon Cooper has in his abilities during crucial situations.
Cirelli was a key component in the Lightning's march to the 2020 Stanley Cup. He will continue to improve and should remain a legitimate Selke Trophy candidate for the foreseeable future.
Rasmus Dahlin, Buffalo Sabres
The first overall pick in the 2018 draft, Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin was projected to become a star. Entering his third NHL season, the 20-year-old may be ready to assume that mantle.
With 44 points in 82 games in 2018-19, Dahlin became a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy given to the top rookie. He struggled early last season to adjust under new coach Ralph Krueger, and he also missed eight games to a concussion last fall and two with an upper-body injury in February. Nevertheless, Dahlin netted 40 points in 59 games to finish fourth among Sabres scorers.
The 6'3", 193-pound Swede remains a highly skilled all-around defenseman. With an added measure of maturity and two years of NHL action under his belt, he should be even better in 2020-21. He'll also benefit offensively from the club's offseason additions of forwards Taylor Hall and Eric Staal.Pro Sports DailyNovember 17, 2020
The Florida Panthers have a new assistant general manager, hiring Brett Peterson away from his role as Vice President, Hockey for Wasserman Media Group, which acquired Acme World Sports earlier this summer. As the press release indicates, Peterson is believed to be the first Black assistant general manager in the NHL. Panthers GM Bill Zito, who founded Acme before he moved into hockey operations for the Columbus Blue Jackets, released this statement on the hire:
His substantive hockey experience as a player, significant developmental and evaluation skills, and business acumen as a negotiator combine to form an elite skill set that is very difficult to find in our sport. There are many who can excel in one of those disciplines, but few who excel in all three.Pro Sports DailyNovember 17, 2020
Say goodbye to the Bobby Ryan puppy signs, and hello to ‘Who’s Your Daddy?’
Evgenii ‘Daddy’ Dadonov spoke to reporters via Zoom on Monday about his enthusiasm for joining the Ottawa Senators as a free agent signing, and he took a moment to credit former Florida Panthers coach Bob Boughner for giving him the “daddy” handle.”
Boughner, weighing a three-syllable Russian surname and a three-syllable Russian first name, told Dadonov: “I’m going to call you Daddy.”
To the relief of his teammates, the name stuck.
Fittingly, the player known as Daddy will have a role as a veteran and mentor for a young Senators roster. In conversations with general manager Pierre Dorion and head coach D.J. Smith, Dadonov was presented with a host of opportunities in Ottawa, including the chance of playing plenty of minutes.
“They told me I would have a good role on the team because there’s not a lot of veterans on the team,” Dadonov said. “It’s time for me to step up, as one of the most experienced guys on the team. I’m ready for that.”
Dadonov, 31, is coming off three consecutive seasons of 25-plus goals with the Panthers. He says he spoke with six or seven NHL teams during the free agency period that began Oct. 9 and settled on Ottawa because he saw a chance to be a big part of something special with a team on the rise. His three-year contract has an average annual value of $5 millionPro Sports DailyOctober 20, 2020
While the name Ian McCoshen likely doesn’t register throughout the NHL, it’s safe to assume there are people in Hudson, Wis. excited to have a native son back close to home.
In the midst of an already busy offseason, Wild general manager added to some blue-line depth on Monday, signing McCoshen to a one-year, two-way contract. The deal will pay the 25-year-old defenseman $700,000 in the NHL and $125,000 in the minors.Pro Sports DailyOctober 20, 2020
Erik Haula is one of the more intriguing remaining free agents on the open market. He’s not far removed from a 29-goal, 55-point campaign back in 2017-18 and as a center, he plays a position that’s typically in short supply and high demand. However, he’s among those who still need a new contract. It doesn’t appear to be from a lack of interest as Haula’s agent Jay Grossman told Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic (subscription link) that 10-12 teams have shown interest in the 29-year-old.Pro Sports DailyOctober 20, 2020
The San Jose Sharks are preparing for a future without Joe Thornton, who played the past 15 seasons with them before he signed a one-year, $700,000 contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday.
"We have to re-establish our game," Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said Sunday. "Joe, at 41, he's looking at the runway left and opportunity [to win the Stanley Cup]. I fully understand that. But we as an organization have gone through this before in the past and we've bounced back quickly. It's up to us to go to work, get back at it and learn from what happened last year."
The Sharks (29-36-5, .450 points percentage) finished last in the Western Conference last season. They advanced to the 2019 Western Conference Final, losing the best-of-7 series to the eventual Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues in six games.
Wilson said one big positive entering this season is defenseman Erik Karlsson and forwards Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl are healthy. Karlsson missed the final 13 games last season after breaking his thumb Feb. 14. He scored 40 points (six goals, 34 assists) in 56 games. Couture (39 points; 16 goals, 23 assists in 52 games) was injured when a puck hit him in the face against the Colorado Avalanche on March 8 and missed 17 games (Jan. 9-Feb. 23) with a fractured ankle. Hertl (36 points; 16 goals, 20 assists in 48 games) had surgery on a torn ACL sustained against the Vancouver Canucks on Jan. 29.
Goalie Devan Dubnyk was acquired in a trade from the Minnesota Wild on Oct. 5, and forward Patrick Marleau signed a one-year contract Oct. 13. The 41-year-old is first in Sharks history in games (1,551), goals, (518) and points (1,102), and second in assists (584) behind Thornton (804).Pro Sports DailyOctober 20, 2020
Winter is coming. More specifically, with no meaningful revenue incoming since mid-March and none on the immediate horizon, hockey’s long winter is approaching amid the uncertainty surrounding the 2020-21 NHL season.
Meetings to slash expenditures, reduce payroll and set internal hockey operations budgets below the salary cap limit have been ongoing for most of the 27 teams in off-season mode.
Six of the seven Canadian clubs have reduced the pay of staff members, including team presidents, general managers and coaches, team and league sources have told TSN. The Toronto Maple Leafs are the lone Canadian club to not reduce pay for staff to date. In all, at least 17 NHL clubs have reduced pay to hockey operations department staff members.
After seeing their pay reduced by 50 per cent – nearly twice more than the next-highest reduction in the league – the Ottawa Senators’ coaching staff appealed to the NHL for relief. With the NHL’s involvement, Senators’ coaches were recently reinstated to full pay retroactive to July 13, the opening date of training camp before the league returned to play in Edmonton and Toronto.
The NHL’s small-market teams are not alone in feeling the pinch of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Employees from the league’s head office have been working in the Toronto and Edmonton bubbles at a 25 per cent reduction since April.
Even big-market clubs, Original Six teams like Boston and Chicago, have taken measures to reduce expenses.
The Bruins requested their Jack Adams Award-winning coaching staff forego playoff bonuses to avoid hockey operations salary cuts. In June, the Blackhawks instituted a tiered staff reduction starting at 20 per cent for employees earning more than $200,000, while also eliminating bonuses.
The Buffalo Sabres are the only coaching staff to reject a request for a voluntary pay reduction. Sources indicated that the Sabres staff had pay reduced by 20 per cent from April 1 until July 13, at which point they turned down a subsequent request for a 25 per cent reduction.
Almost universally, NHL coaches – high up on the front office food chain – accepted the reductions without complaint because doing so meant that layoffs would not be necessary for other hockey operations positions, including scouts and analysts.Pro Sports DailySeptember 11, 2020
The NHL rumor mill is the easy part. Trade this for that. The trades make sense on video game consoles and message boards, but the ease with which fans and media make trades belies the grinding negotiations between NHL GMs, which sometimes takes months. The Pittsburgh Penguins trade talks begin with dealing a goalie but will also need to shed salary and freshen a lineup, which has stumbled.
Penguins GM Jim Rutherford will likely make additional moves. And in those further moves lies the Penguins’ ability to revamp for next season. However, the Penguins trade return on Murray could become the fulcrum of the offseason.
Our existing analysis of the trade market used recent historical data with a bit of player analysis compared to the market to determine Murray’s baseline value was a second-round pick and second-tier prospect. Even if another team offered an NHL player, the Penguins salary cap situation is so tight, the Penguins may not be able to accept anything but a third-pair, right side defenseman who makes well less than market value.
Unfortunately for the Penguins, of the 57 goalies who played at least 20 games this season, Murray ranked 50th with an .899 save percentage. Such stats have not escaped the buyers on the increasingly-flooded market.
Penguins GM Jim Rutherford is in win-now mode. Subsequent moves will best reflect the Penguins’ needs to shed salary now and add talent. Under better circumstances, a Penguins trade could bring one of those pieces.Pro Sports DailySeptember 11, 2020
The NHL had to get involved to ensure the Ottawa Senators paid their coaching staff after the club significantly slashed salaries across the organization.
The Senators enacted a pay cut of 50% for all club staff, reports TSN's Frank Seravalli.
In response to that decision, Ottawa's coaches appealed to the league for relief, and "with the NHL’s involvement, Senators coaches were recently reinstated to full pay retroactive to July 13," according to Seravalli.Pro Sports DailySeptember 11, 2020
When the Vancouver Canucks’ end-of-season player media availabilities started on Thursday, captain Bo Horvat and veteran defenceman Chris Tanev shared a video call.
But they may never share another game as teammates. That sounds dramatic, but it’s also the harsh possibility the Canucks and their players face after a breakthrough 2019-20 season that saw the rebuilt team win two playoff rounds and take the Vegas Golden Knights to Game 7 of the conference semi-finals before losing Friday in Edmonton.
Tanev is one of only two players remaining from the Canucks dressing room that welcomed Horvat into the NHL as a 19-year-old rookie back in 2014. Defenceman Alex Edler is the other. A third teammate, goalie Jacob Markstrom, was in the minors when Horvat’s rookie season began nearly six years ago.
Tanev, 30, has been a constant, stable and supportive influence during Horvat’s development into a premier two-way centre.Pro Sports DailySeptember 11, 2020
Reports out of Russia over the weekend suggest that Colorado Avalanche forward Vladislav Kamenev is expected to sign with SKA St. Peterburg to play in the KHL next season. The 24-year old is set to be a restricted free agent at the conclusion of the NHL playoffs.
The rumor is currently being denied by both Kamenev’s agent and the Avalanche. That said, all reports out of Russia indicate that the move is set to happen before the start of the 2020-21 season. It would make sense for the Avs to deny any defection until the conclusion of the season.Pro Sports DailyAugust 17, 2020
While 16 teams remain in the running for the Stanley Cup, those eliminated in the best-of-five qualifiers are now considering changes and so we can start talking about what comes next for each of them.
Whether it’s a team that would have been on the outside of the playoffs anyway in March (see the New York Rangers, who now have the first-overall pick) or a Cup hopeful experiencing crushing disappointment (ahem, Toronto Maple Leafs), each of them has at least one big question to face in the off-season.
From our most recent NHL newsletter, here is the big question facing each team eliminated in qualifying.
Pittsburgh Penguins: What, exactly, needs to change? In his season-ending press conference, Penguins GM Jim Rutherford reaffirmed a commitment to the current core, meaning the yearly tradition of Evgeni Malkin trade rumours should end there. But Rutherford also mentioned that the way the Penguins went out, with just one win against Montreal and zero pushback in the deciding game, was “very disappointing and changes need to be made.” Sidney Crosby is 33 now and Malkin 34: How much longer will the window stay open?
Toronto Maple Leafs: What kind of defenceman will they add? Like Rutherford, Leafs GM Kyle Dubas also noted plans to move ahead without altering his four star forwards, despite struggling to score against Columbus and with a clear need for improved defensive play. In an off-season where the cap stays flat and free agency will be difficult to wade into, it would seem trade is the only way for Toronto to really get what it needs, short of banking on Rasmus Sandin or Timothy Liljegren taking a big step up. So does that mean Kasperi Kapanen or Alexander Kerfoot could be available? What sort of player would either return?Pro Sports DailyAugust 17, 2020
In what has become routine, the NHL has issued another update on its COVID-19 testing within the bubble cities of Edmonton and Toronto. Just like the last two weeks, there were zero positive results among the 5,640 tests administered. All members of the remaining team’s 52-member traveling parties were tested daily between August 9-15.Pro Sports DailyAugust 17, 2020
The Florida Panthers announced today that an organizational search will begin for the franchise's next General Manager immediately.
Dale Tallon's contract was set to expire following the 2019-20 season. This search follows a mutual agreement between Tallon and the organization to part ways following a 10-season tenure with the club.
"For the last decade, Dale raised the team's profile, attracted key players to South Florida and brought character and class to our franchise," said Owner & Governor Vincent Viola. "When we purchased the Panthers in 2013, we did so with a singular goal-to win a Stanley Cup. We have not seen our efforts come to fruition. We will now begin an organizational search for the next General Manager."Pro Sports DailyAugust 10, 2020
Oh-for-three-and-out, the Rangers are still searching for the first August victory in franchise history. Emerging with the first-overall selection in the 2020 Entry Draft by winning Monday’s lottery drawing would represent a propitious time to do so.
It is the 12.5-percent solution for the qualifying-round losers in the ongoing Stanley Cup tournament, each one with that same one-in-eight chance to claim the first-overall selection and top-ranked winger Alexis Lafreniere of QMJHL’s Rimouski.
The Rangers, who have not had the first pick in the draft since 1965, will pick first, 10th or 11th. If they win the lottery, they pick first.Pro Sports DailyAugust 10, 2020
Learn how to say it, Maple Leafs fans, because having a 12.5% chance at drafting Alexis Lafreniere, the top prospect in the 2020 NHL Draft, is the only lasting positive development from this past week.
The Leafs were bounced Sunday from the NHL's 24-team playoff tournament following a 3-0 loss to the Blue Jackets at Scotiabank Arena. Columbus won the tight, roller coaster best-of-five qualifying-round series in five games, outscoring Toronto 12-10 in the process. The Leafs have now dropped all four of their postseason series since Auston Matthews entered the league in 2016-17.
Let's break down what went wrong for Toronto, and who's ostensibly on the hot seat heading into the offseason:
You can blame the absences of Jake Muzzin and Tyson Barrie. You can blame the tremendous performance of Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisalo, who casually turned aside all 33 shots he faced Sunday. You can blame John Tavares somehow hitting the post when given an open net in the first period. You can even blame the emotional and physical letdown following an exhilarating Game 4.
But, truthfully, the Leafs flat-out didn't execute in Game 5.
They allowed the Blue Jackets to score the opening goal in a do-or-die game, which is a cardinal sin. Despite the madness that unfolded in Game 4, Columbus protects leads arguably better than any other NHL team. John Tortorella's squad specializes in clogging the neutral zone and the front of its own net. And after Friday's embarrassment, there was no chance the blue-collar, disciplined Blue Jackets were letting another lead slip away.
The result: A team with Matthews, Tavares, Mitch Marner, William Nylander, and Morgan Rielly that was shut out just once in 70 regular-season games was blanked Sunday for the second time in five play-in contests. Columbus figured the Leafs out, limiting Toronto to three five-on-five goals all series.Pro Sports DailyAugust 10, 2020
The No. 1 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft will be announced Monday night during Phase 2 of the NHL Draft Lottery (6 p.m. ET, NBCSN)
All eight teams that were eliminated in the Stanley Cup Qualifying Round are eligible and each have a 12.5% chance of winning the No. 1 pick. Rimouski forward Alexis Lafreniere is expected to be chosen with the first overall selection.Pro Sports DailyAugust 10, 2020
44. Asked point blank if he thought Matthew Tkachuk was a dirty player, the pause from Paul Maurice was palpable.
“I don’t know, if you sin once are you a sinner?” said the Winnipeg Jets coach, one day after calling Tkachuk’s hit on Mark Scheifele dirty, filthy and disgusting.
“You know, sin 10 times? I don’t think he came off the bench and said, ‘Hey I’m going to see if I can go stab the back of Mark Scheifele’s leg with my skate.’ I think he got to that point and I think that’s exactly what he did. But I don’t think he’s skating across the ice thinking that’s what I’m going to do. I think he plays at a level he’s on the edge, he crosses it sometimes. He crossed it in my mind clearly. That’s exactly how I feel.”
Jets winger Adam Lowry was only slightly more diplomatic.
“I don’t know if I would say dirty – I would say reckless,” said the Jets’ bruising third liner.
“We all play hard. I don’t have the cleanest track record either. I know when you’re playing a physical brand of hockey, sometimes you step over the line.”
Well, that didn’t take long.
One game into the most intriguing matchup of the qualification round and everyone is already talking about Matthew Tkachuk.
Just how he likes it.
Distracting the opposition with far more than just his mouthguard, Tkachuk has once again become the focal point of a juicy all-Canadian battle.
Distracting the opposition with far more than just his mouthguard, Tkachuk has once again become the focal point of a juicy all-Canadian battle.
Welcome back to the playoffs, everyone, where nothing is black and white – it’s all shades of grey and whatever colour bruising is.
Not surprisingly, Maurice doubled down on his over-the-top accusation Sunday morning, prompting Lowry to join the Jets’ message.Pro Sports DailyAugust 3, 2020
The Bobby Orr statue outside TD Garden went missing over the weekend, prompting a few Twitter users to call attention to the bronze sculpture’s whereabouts.
“TD Garden has removed the Bobby Orr statue,” one man tweeted early Sunday morning. “Nobody knows why.”
Turns out the statue is “just on vacation,” according to a statement from TD Garden, in order to avoid some crane work at The Hub on Causeway. It hasn’t gone very far, relocating to Portal Park down the street.Pro Sports DailyAugust 3, 2020
Jarmo Kekalainen knew. Back in 2016, the Columbus Blue Jackets were slated to pick third overall in the draft and to most outsiders, the selection was probably going to be a Finn like the GM himself. Auston Matthews was definitely going first to Toronto and Patrik Laine was almost certainly headed to Winnipeg at No. 2, leaving Jesse Puljujarvi for the Blue Jackets.
But Kekalainen and his crew weren’t hot on Puljujarvi and shocked many in attendance by taking center Pierre-Luc Dubois. Edmonton snapped up Puljujarvi with the fourth pick and since then, the youngster has been trying to find his way in the NHL, even spending this season back in Finland to get his mojo back. With every passing day, that choice by Kekalainen has looked more and more fantastic.
Dubois, now the franchise’s top center, was a big reason why Columbus took Game 1 of its qualifying round series against Toronto, nailing down the Leafs with a 2-0 victory. Eating up a steady diet of his draftmate Matthews, Dubois used his size, skating and tenacity to neutralize one of the most dangerous goal-scorers in the league.
Coming into his draft year, Dubois wasn’t even a center – he had been playing on the wing.Pro Sports DailyAugust 3, 2020
Unlike most other sports, hockey has a built-in home advantage that many casual fans may not know about. And no, we’re not referring to the fact the player from the visiting team is required to place his stick on the ice first when setting up for the faceoff.
Matchups are the real advantage, and the reason why — even without fans — we won’t see home-ice advantage disappear in this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs.
During a stoppage in play, the final line change is given to the home team after the visiting team sends its players out onto the ice. This rule gives the coach of the home team more control and allows him to strategically deploy his players, either in a defensive posture or in an effort to create more offense.Pro Sports DailyAugust 3, 2020
The first team entered the Secure Zone at 10:49 a.m. ET on Sunday, when a guard opened a gate in the black fence surrounding the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto. Not one but two buses carried the Montreal Canadiens because of the space needed for social distancing.
Everyone wore a mask as the Canadiens collected luggage and walked into the hotel. They passed red velvet ropes cordoning off CLEAR kiosks, which, in addition to daily COVID-19 tests, everyone must use to receive health passes to move within the bubble by answering questions on an app and undergoing touchless temperature checks.
Preregistered, the Canadiens received room keys and welcome packets containing a Toronto hub city guide and a medical guidebook. Then they headed to the elevators, into which staff members ushered no more than two per car for social distancing. In 12 minutes, the entire team was on its floor.
The scene repeated itself throughout the day Sunday, with 24 teams arriving in hubs for the Stanley Cup Qualifiers -- 12 Eastern Conference teams in Toronto, 12 Western Conference teams in Edmonton -- beginning Phase 4 of the Return to Play Plan after the season was paused March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.Pro Sports DailyJuly 27, 2020
Today the NHL has announced their testing data for the last week of Phase 3, aka training camp. They report zero new tests.
There have been two positive tests in total during the training camp period which lasted for just under two weeks. The latter which denotes play resuming, as well as an extension of the collective bargaining agreement.
No information has ever been provided on testing of staff and other non-player personnel.Pro Sports DailyJuly 27, 2020
Given the benefit of time — months in this case — Paul Maurice could have over-thought his lineup into oblivion.
One can imagine the head coach of the Winnipeg Jets’ dry-erase board took quite the beating during the NHL’s pause due to COVID-19. But with every tweak here or there that he may have made, a subsequent swipe of the eraser followed.
He had his 12 already and knew where they were to be placed.
The formula, albeit briefly followed thanks to a global pandemic, had worked relative wonders for the Jets in the lead up to halted proceedings. A four-game winning streak, a playoff push that was headed in the right direction and four lines that exhibited the type of chemistry you’d like to see.Pro Sports DailyJuly 27, 2020
Evander Kane and P.K. Subban headline the 31 nominees for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy in 2019-20, the NHL announced Monday.
The NHL hands out the annual honor to the player "who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.”
Teams determine the nominees, and then a group of senior league executives led by commissioner Gary Bettman and his deputy, Bill Daly, select the winner.Pro Sports DailyJuly 27, 2020
The NHL's return to play has hit a bump in the road. The league will delay the start of formal training camps while negotiations between the league and player's union regarding player safety in the restart plan -- as well as CBA details -- continue. Phase 3, which was when Stanley Cup Playoff teams would begin their official training camps, has been moved from July 10 to at least July 13, according to reports.
Teams have been meeting at their own facilities since mid-June for voluntary workouts, but this delay just signals that the sides have more to work out. The two parties are working on creating an official plan for Phase 3 and 4, the latter which denotes play resuming, as well as an extension of the collective bargaining agreement.Pro Sports DailyJuly 3, 2020
Toronto mayor John Tory addressed reports that the city will be one of the NHL's hub locations, saying the league has provided a thorough plan outlining safety measures.
"They had incredibly detailed disinfection and health protection measures that were in place even within the bubble to make sure they covered every angle they possibly could from the standpoint of making sure they met our public-health objectives. At least it would appear that way from what I saw," Tory said during a Thursday press conference, according to The Canadian Press.
Toronto and Edmonton have reportedly been chosen as the NHL's two hub destinations for the expanded playoffs "barring any last-minute complications," according to TSN's Bob McKenzie.
The league was originally working with a list of 10 potential cities, but a spike in COVID-19 cases across the United States appears to have shifted the NHL's focus to Canada.Pro Sports DailyJuly 3, 2020
As the NHL/NHLPA continue to grind their way through a return-to-play/CBA agreement, terms continue to seep out. Here’s some of what we’re hearing:
The updated rules will carry through 2025-26, although there is a provision for a one-year extension if more than $125 million in escrow is owed to the league. The salary cap for 2020-21 is $81.5 million. The NHL/NHLPA are talking about keeping it there until revenues hit $4.8 billion. At that point, they will use the two years prior to calculate the cap number — meaning the 2022-23 ceiling will be based on 2020-21 revenues. That will give more certainty and planning.
Cap on escrow is 20 per cent next season. Somewhere between 14-18 per cent in 2021-22, depending on 2020-21 revenue. Then we go 10 per cent in 2022-23, with a maximum of six per cent over the remaining term (if there is an extra year, the escrow cap will be at nine per cent).Pro Sports DailyJuly 3, 2020
While the NHL isn’t identifying who has tested positive for the coronavirus or which team(s) they play on, it appears that the Blues have been hit by the virus. Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic reports (subscription required) that multiple players have tested positive and their identities have not been disclosed. As a result, the team has closed their practice facility through the weekend with the hopes of reopening on Monday.
Rutherford notes that roughly two-thirds of the team is already in town as part of the second phase of the NHL’s Return to Play protocols.Pro Sports DailyJuly 4, 2020
The Pittsburgh Penguins may be leaning towards Matt Murray as their starting goalie when the Stanley Cup qualifiers begin, according to a report this week from The Athletic.
At times during the season, Murray lost the starting job to Tristan Jarry. The 26-year-old recorded a .899 save percentage and 2.87 GAA with a 20-11-5 record. His game started to recover in the second half of the year as he started four of Pittsburgh's final five games before the COVID-19 pause, winning three. He made 14 starts and Jarry made 12 after Jan. 9 with Murray going 8-5-1 with a 2.79 GAA and .903 save percentage. Jarry went 6-6-0 with a 3.07 GAA and .899 save percentage.Pro Sports DailyJune 19, 2020
This just in from TSN’s Bob McKenzie. The Tampa Bay Lightning had to recently close its practice facility during Phase 2 small-group workouts due to so many people testing positive for COVID-19.
McKenzie believes three players and two staff members of the team tested positive. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman was the first report to the team.Pro Sports DailyJune 19, 2020
Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to The Toronto Sun, becoming the first star NHL player to contract the coronavirus.
The report came down moments after we learned one of the NHL’s top teams was forced to close its facilities due to a COVID-19 outbreak among players and staff.
At the time of the diagnosis, Matthews was reportedly living at home in Arizona. The 22-year-old center, the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, has been placed into quarantine.Pro Sports Dailyjune 19, 2020
The National Hockey League says 11 players have tested positive for COVID-19 since Phase 2 of the league’s return-to-play plan began on June 8.
In a statement released Friday, the NHL says more than 200 players have been tested since it began allowing clubs to open facilities for small group skates earlier this month.
“Since NHL clubs were permitted to open their training facilities on June 8, all players entering these facilities for voluntary training have been subject to mandatory testing for COVID-19,” the statement reads. “Through (Friday), in excess of 200 players have undergone multiple testing. A total of 11 of these players have tested positive.Pro Sports DailyJune 19, 2020