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Five Thoughts For Friday: Duchene’s Jinx, McDavid’s Rehab and Menlyk’s Silence

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You cannot convince me that player jinxes don’t exist

NHL: Nashville Predators at Ottawa Senators Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

As we enjoy some quiet Sens time before what could be another exciting few weeks, here are some reflections about this hockey world we live in.

Matt Duchene

Is he truly a jinx or just extremely unlucky? During his time with the Colorado Avalanche, the team seemed to continuously struggle. The years of struggling ended up landing the team Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon and yet the team continued to be a bottom feeder at best. While it was expected, Duchene’s trade request created so much noise that when the Senators took him on, people were just glad it was over. We all know how Duchene’s tenure went and now he’s moved on to the Nashville Predators. While I wouldn’t say he is having a horrible season individually but the Predators who have been known to be a force lately have seemed to lose all their magic while the Colorado Avalanche continue their post Duchene rise. Is there a correlation? I often wonder where we’d be had Melnyk kept Kyle Turris and let the Duchene sweepstakes go to someone else. Do player jinxes exist, or could it be that there’s more to Duchene than meets the eye?

No All Star Prize for Women’s Tournament

It’s been exciting to see the NHL try to do its part growing the sport on the women’s side. However, after the infamous incident at last year’s ASG where Brianna Decker was made not eligible for the money prize of $25,000 after winning the passing competition. After CCM took care of the compensation, many expected the NHL wouldn’t repeat this mistake. However, it is becoming clear that the NHL is not planning to provide monetary prizes for the female competitors once again this year. They will however receive an appearance fee in which the amount wasn’t disclosed but I am going to assume it’s less than the prizes the NHL players will get. To counter that, the NHL did announce that it will donate $100,000 to the womens’ organizations (the ones that remain) but considering the highest salary of a female hockey player is $15,000, I think the NHL could have shelled a money prize for the 3 on 3 tournament. I mean worst case scenario, they could have taken it from the $1M pot that is set aside for the NHL players.

Connor McDavid

Hockey players suffer serious injuries all the time, most would have had some form of surgery by the time they turn thirty. Connor McDavid is not just another hockey player, he is the future of NHL stardom. You all will remember the devastating knee injury he suffered at the end of last year and many wondered how he would bounce back. He elected to fully use the rehabilitation route with no surgery and was successful in a time frame many thought was impossible. I often wondered how athletes can mentally rise from such injuries and withstand the right amount of rehab to get back to normal and personally I think it’s phenomenal. After seeing snowboarder Mark McMorris recover from two almost career ending injuries, I’m excited to watch the documentary highlighting McDavid’s recovery journey. The truth is, we often brush over the mental toughness of these athletes. At such a young age, it can be daunting to think you can never play at a high level again. Being able to control their emotions and truly fight through what we can only imagine is incredible pain and frustration is remarkable.

Eugene Melnyk

I hate to bring him up but hasn’t he been awfully quiet lately? This could be extremely good news or just a disaster waiting to happen. Could the fact that no contracts have been negotiated (allegedly) have something to do with his silence? Maybe he’s leaving all the extensions to a potential new owner? The NCC has already laid out plans for the new LeBreton flats design and a hockey arena is not there. Tenders will go out later this year with construction planned to start in 2021. While there is a “space” left for a potential arena to be built, seeing the NCC move on from a concrete Sens inclusion is worrisome. While I don’t see the Senators relocating any time soon, if ever, how long can this team be sustained without a downtown arena?

Trade Deadline

With the trade deadline a month away, many are already starting the rumour mills and trade trackers. Excitement, anxiousness, hope? I kind of feel nothing of those. While the thought of losing JG Pageau and/or Craig Anderson makes me slightly upset, I have fully accepted it and moved on. While I am enjoying aspects of this season, I really miss having something to look forward to or even fear about. Will this fan base ever be able to recover from the damage that has been done? Will there be any move from this team that will truly rile up the fan base in either direction? Honestly, the only thing I can think of is Dorion taking a risk with one of our top-10 picks but he wouldn’t possibly do that now would he?