There is never a shortage of exciting news in this league of ours. Without any further delays, let’s get to this week’s edition of the Thursday Links, News, and Notes:
- The trade deadline isn’t far off and Pierre Dorion is already starting to circulate some speculation. While he’s said he wants to go about his business quietly, he is looking to move some UFAs meaning he will be busy. Whatever Dorion does this trade deadline, it is guaranteed to hurt whether it be JG Pageau or Craig Anderson leaving; there will be nothing quiet about his trades.
- Mark Stone makes his long-awaited trip back to Ottawa tonight and he always tends to just say the right things to get fan on the edge. He told media he didn’t have the patience for a rebuild in Ottawa and while some appreciated his honesty, others have decided maybe this means was never worthy of a captaincy here. Either way, his return tonight will be interesting and I’m sure he’ll have a great game in familiar territory.
- Speaking of the Vegas Golden Knights, while Stone’s return may be the hot topic in Ottawa, it was their coach firing that has the league talking. For unclear reasons, the Golden Knights fired coach Gerard Gallant and replaced him with Peter DeBoer. For a coach who has had as much success with an expansion team as he had, it came as a shock. The Golden Knights are not tearing up the league this season, they’re not even in a wildcard spot but that doesn’t seem to be enough to get the coach fired so soon after so much success, does it?
- If you thought the NHL All Star games were meaningless, the league gave us a plot twist. It was announced that the skills competition will now include a 20-minute 3 on 3 tournament for the top players from the Canadian and US women's teams. This has the potential to both increase interest in the actual All-Star events and raise some important awareness about the current state of women’s professional hockey.
- Matthew Tkachuk and the Calgary Flames will be visiting the Sens on Saturday and maybe this time Brady will get the best of the friendly brotherly rivalry — Matthew’s prevailed every time before. Most recently, Tkachuk found himself in the headlines after an “altercation” with Edmonton Oilers’ forward Zack Kassian. After taking offense to some hits by Tkachuk, Kassian decided to take matters into his own hands. Tkachuk wanted no part in a fight with Kassian who was set on making his case. Unfortunately for Kassian, it was a one sided pummeling of Tkachuk that cost him a 2-game suspension. Would he do it again? Absolutely, apparently! Does he seem like a smart player to have on your team? Absolutely not.