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Zamboni Drivers wins NHL game, Kovalchuk Traded to the Caps, 2021 Winter Classic set

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

Montreal Canadiens v Ottawa Senators Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images

With Trade Deadline day finally, finally, upon us, there’s been a real bustle of activity throughout the league over the last few days. To get you ready for the day to come, here are some of the news and stories around the league from this past weekend:

  • As you may have heard, the Carolina Hurricanes were forced into using the Emergency Back-up Goal on Saturday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs when both James Reimer and Petr Mrazek were injured and unable to return. David Ayres turned away eight of the ten shots he faced in nearly half a game’s worth of work to preserve a crucial 6-3 win for the Hurricanes and become the most famous Zamboni driver in the world.
  • The Hurricanes, as one of the few teams that seems to have a good grasp on “fun”, have announced Ayres will be in Raleigh for their Tuesday night game to participate in the pre-game festivities.
  • And finally, I can’t say I didn’t enjoy a little schadenfreude reading pieces like this or this or this after the Leafs lost to an emergency back-up goalie!
  • The Montreal Canadiens, perhaps accepting that they are not going to be making the play-offs, traded Ilya Kovalchuk to the Washington Capitals for a 3rd round pick in the 2020 draft. Kovalchuk had been a disappointment on a terrible Los Angeles Kings team but appeared to be somewhat rejuvenated in Montreal. Washington’s good as hell, and there’s no reason they shouldn’t be doing their darnedest to win another cup with Alex Ovechkin playing at his current level.
  • In other minor roster news, the Tampa Bay Lightning signed Zach Bogosian after he had his contract terminated by the Buffalo Sabres. Bogosian isn’t likely to play a major role for the Bolts, but with Tampa Bay going through a rash of injuries on their blueline they just need a few bodies to help hold the fort for a couple of weeks.
  • The NHL announced Sunday that the Minnesota Wild will face off against the St. Louis Blues in the 2021 NHL Winter Classic. The league had previously said the Wild would be the hosts at Target Field in Minneapolis, on Jan. 1, 2021 but their opponent had not yet been revealed.
  • Lastly, Katie Strang broke a major story at the Athletic on Friday about allegations of extensive sexual abuse brought against long-time Chicago minor hockey coach Thomas Adrahtas. It’s a harrowing, heart-breaking story that eerily echoes the horrors of Larry Nassar and Jerry Sandusky. I don’t have anything else to add to this, it’s just a tragedy. If you have an Athletic subscription, you owe it to yourself to read this piece.