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Former Sens PTOs, Kovalchuk Back in Russia, An Opt-out and More

It’s the Monday Edition of Links, News, and Notes

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Ottawa Senators v Los Angeles Kings Photo by Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images

The last week of 2020 is upon us and we have hockey to look forward to. Things are heating up as we approach the coveted January 15th date. What’s brewing around the league?

  • Craig Anderson was one of the best goaltenders the Sens had seen in a long time — perhaps in the franchise’s history. Andy stuck with the team through thick and thin and gave us some of our most memorable memories. However, at 39 years old and as a team that is trying to get younger there was simply no place for Andy in Ottawa anymore. The good news for his fans is he may get another chance this season with the Washington Capitals: it was announced yesterday that the former Sens goaltender had signed a PTO with the Capitals. This comes after the news of Henrik Lundqvist’s announcement that he will not be playing this season due to a heart condition. Best of luck Andy!
  • Speaking of former Sens and PTOs; Mike Hoffman has also signed a PTO, and though this may come as a surprise, there is reporting that the two sides actually have a deal in place and that Hoffman has agreed to the contract in order to help the Blues deal with a cap crunch before Alex Steen can go on LTIR.
  • While the NHL has set some strict safety rules on its return, it would not be unexpected if some players still didn’t think it was worth the risk. However, it seems the only player to opt out of next season is the Buffalo Sabres’ Casey Nelson. Nelson played in the AHL last season and 38 NHL games in the 2018/2019 season. It seems he wanted to eliminate the possibility of a call-up.
  • Ilya Kovalchuk appears to have had enough of the NHL, yet again. On Saturday, the KHL tweeted that Kovalchuk is back after the 37 year old forward signed a 2-year deal with Avangard Omsk of the KHL. Kovalchuk’s second go-rou d in the NHL included stops with the Montreal Canadiens, the Los Angeles Kings and the Washington Capitals where he scored 10 goals between all three teams last season.
  • The NHL is continuously becoming a younger and faster league. This weekend, forward Mark Letestu announced his retirement after playing 11 seasons with 4 different teams. Letestu hasn’t been getting a ton of ice time lately so the writing has been on the wall for some time. Good luck in future endeavors, Mark!