Happy All-Star week! The Sens players are taking a break while Anthony Duclair is on a trip to St. Louis, although the lack of hockey makes for an active time for GMs. The trade deadline is quickly approaching, and today’s edition on Links, News and Notes looks at one team of interest to Sens fans: the San Jose Sharks.
- The firing of head coach Peter DeBoer last month hasn’t created the quick turnaround the Sharks were hoping for, having stumbled into the break losing three straight games. It appears the time has finally come where they recognize they aren’t going to contend this season, as speculation is beginning that GM Doug Wilson is looking to move some players. Their stars are locked in for the long haul, but insiders have mentioned Brenden Dillon and Melker Karlsson as the two main pieces potentially moving out. All the better news for the Sens’ acquired first round pick.
- Watching the Edmonton Oilers descend into salary cap purgatory has been like watching a car crash, except it’s in super slow motion, and happens in small increments that you can see coming from a mile away… you know what, forget this analogy. Zack Kassian is reportedly close to a four-year extension with an AAV upwards of $3 million.
- I didn’t mention this in my recap of the Sens’ Saturday game against the Flames, but I think this deserves some positive light. Prior to the game, the Canadian Tire Centre hosted an immigration ceremony, the final step to officially welcoming 74 new Canadians to the country. It’s a fantastic initiative that I’m glad they did for a second year in a row, with everyone invited afterwards to partake in one of Canada’s greatest traditions: watching hockey.
- Hockey Night in Canada has been producing some must-watch segments in place of Coach’s Corner, and their latest one featuring Akim Aliu was no exception. It proves that this underlying cultural issue isn’t one that just blows by, and for Aliu to call out the “old boy’s club” on national TV was a brave kick to the gut for a sport that really needs one.
- Awesome moment of the week: Justin Williams scoring the shootout winner in his return with the Carolina Hurricanes. Did I hear someone say bandwagoning option?
- In a more personal discovery of something that was given very little fanfare at the time, the NHL.com stats page was completely overhauled a month ago, with a fresher look, more advanced stats, easier-to-comprehend filters, and even an export-to-CSV button! Of course, these are all things third-party sites like Natural Stat Trick have had for ages (made by our wonderful B_T), but it’s great to see the NHL finally catching up to a respectable level.
- Finally, the KHL all-star weekend came to a close yesterday, capping off a weekend featuring a rock-paper-scissors shootout goal, a player dressed as a Christmas tree, and a coach eating a clipboard made out of a cookie. The NHL will have a tough task on their hands if they plan on one-upping it… and I think they may have figured it out