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The loss of Trebek and Meeker, The QMJHL Bubble and a Hockey Diverse Reward

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It’s the Monday edition of Links, News and Notes!

Arizona Coyotes v Ottawa Senators Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images

Another week starts in this seemingly interminable off-season. We are less than 2 months away from the alleged start of the 2020/2021 NHL season yet we know absolutely nothing on how it will be done and whether that date is even feasible at this point. Will we get more clarity? Who knows!

  • We start off with some sad news as Sunday came through with the death of two Canadian icons who meant a lot to both the hockey world and beyond.

Alex Trebek, the iconic broadcaster of the gameshow Jeopardy passed away at the age of 80 after a brave battle with pancreatic cancer. Even though Trebek was a television host, he was much involved in the hockey world and was beloved wherever he went. He narrated a highlight package in the 1967 NHL playoffs, one of seemingly countless moments he took part in the NHL. The Ottawa Senators took great pride in the University of Ottawa alumni, and had the honour of having him call their 2020 first round pick Tim Stuetzle in what would become the most iconic draft video evert created (no bias here). Many in the NHL world reacted to his loss including Gary Bettman, Eugene Melnyk and many many more. Stuetzle took to Instagram to offer his condolences with a touching statement.

On the other side of the Battle of Ontario, Toronto Maple Leafs legend Howie Meeker also passed away on Sunday at the age of 97. Meeker won 4 Stanley Cups with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was a player, then a coach and eventually a Hockey Night in Canada broadcaster where he surely provided all Canadian fans of countless memories.

RIP to these legends.

  • While we don’t have clear information from the NHL, another league seems to be adopting the bubble concept. The QMJHL has announced that it will be using the bubble system at the Videotron Centre in Quebec City. Details on the exact logistics and costs are still not fully known, but is this an indication that the NHL will once again be forced to resort to bubble locations?
  • In an inspiring story out of Winnipeg, Canari Yonas, an 11-year old player received the attention and recognition of Black Girl Hockey Club who gave her $1,000 scholarship for her excellent play on the ice and matching leadership qualities off the ice. Hockey needs more diversity, it needs more girl hero stories and it needs these stories highlighted in as much spotlight as we can provide them. Congrats Canari and thank you to BGHC for their amazing work in supporting women of colour in the hockey world.
  • Nobody expects a star like Alexander Ovechkin to ever be traded but does he want to finish his playing career in Washington? It seems not. In an interesting interview with Russian television, Ovechkin stated that he would like to end his career where he started it: Dynamo Moscow in Russia. Ovechkin, who has spent the last 15 years with the Washington Capitals sent some waves of panic amongst his fans, especially since he is entering the final year of his contract. He did clarify that he is not planning to end his career yet and he will surely not play for an NHL team other than the Washington Capitals. So you can breathe a bit more easily, Henrik Lundqvist.