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Kucherov to Miss Season, New Blues Captain and Our German is Safe

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It’s the Holiday edition of the links, news and notes

NHL: FEB 15 Maple Leafs at Senators Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With the NHL schedule released and confirmed, we are getting into the full drive of the NHL excitement — almost a year later for some teams. Which teams are in trouble of the gate? What news is brewing as teams get ready for the re-start? How about the world juniors?

  • The Stanley Cup Champions seem to be cursed when it comes to injuries to star players. Last year, the Tampa Bay Lightning were without their captain Steven Stamkos for almost the entire season and the playoffs. This season, Nikita Kucherov will undergo shoulder injury that will sideline him for the entire regular season. At least it’s not Victor Hedman and at hey they’ve just won the Cup so you can’t feel too bad for them. Unfortunately for some Sens fans, the dream of Anthony Cirelli in a Sens uniform may have become an even fainter hope.
  • After the departure of their Captain Alex Pietrangelo, the St Louis Blues have had no problem finding his replacement. It was announced yesterday that Ryan O’Reilly will be named the team’s 23rd Captain. There was a time when people were not so sure about O’Reilly’s ability to win or his work character, but I think he’s doing just fine in both areas lately.
  • With the return of the NHL being less than a month away, everyone was curious as to how they would play this season safely. Alongside a new change in the offside rule, the NHL released its safety protocols for the upcoming season. The most notable precaution is that players of visiting teams are not allowed to leave their hotel rooms or dine in the city.
  • That doesn’t seem to be quite enough for the Provincial health authorities though, who continue to go back and forth with the league. They presented the NHL with three options yesterday. The first was enhanced testing protocols and some tweaks to the schedule to further reduce travel between jurisdictions, the second was to start the season in a bubble, and the third was to delay the start of the season. The league is expected to respond today.
  • If you’ve been fretting about the expansion draft, you now have a deadline. Teams are expected to submit their protected lists by July 17 for the expansion draft to be held July 21st. All team will be included in the draft with the exception of the Las Vegas Golden Knights, who continue to be the little annoying darlings of the league. Just kidding, kinda.
  • While the news of Team Germany players testing positive, the Ottawa Senators got a break with their prized draft pick Tim Stuetzle not being on the list of those who tested positive. After injuring his hand a few weeks ago, another blow is not what this team needed.
  • It seems there is one hockey league dealing with the pandemic in a uhhh creative way: not talking about it. Canmore Eagles coach, Andrew Milne, was suspended for 15 games and fined $1,000 by the Alberta Junior Hockey League for speaking to the media about an outbreak on his team. His punishment was officially tagged as “discrediting the league” . In his defense, the commissioner had this to say after he released an order to not disclose any cases publicly:

“Our goal was to be transparent but it’s only drawing negative reactions and not necessary as part of our guidelines,” wrote Bartoshyk.

On behalf of the entire Silver Seven staff, I would like to wish our readers Happy Holidays and a Wonderful New Year!