With things remaining on hold in the NHL and the outside world, we still navigate the latest news of this week.
- We start off with some sad updates as we got news this weekend that Marcus Hogberg’s father passed away after losing his battle with cancer in Sweden. Hogberg had taken a leave of absence in February but returned in March as his father’s condition seemed to have stabilized after surgery. Hogberg traveled back to Sweden after the NHL went on hold and was able to spend some time with his father. Condolences to Marcus and the entire Hogberg family on their loss.
- As more NHL testing takes place, more positive cases are revealed. So far, the talk has been about the two unnamed Ottawa Senators players but on Friday, it was confirmed that two players from the Colorado Avalanche also tested positive. It should be noted that the Avs were in Staples Centre in Los Angeles only two nights before the Senators. Gord Wilson also confirmed his positive diagnosis this weekend, stating that he didn’t feel well after the trip and decided to get tested. It really is sad that the league could have avoided a few cases if it had the courage to make the right move sooner. However, for now the cases are still few and in all fairness, many people didn’t deal with this situation well a few weeks back.
- When Taylor Hall was traded to the Arizona Coyotes in a contract year, many assumed he was probably there as a rental. To add fuel to the fire, the Hall party stated that they would leave all discussions about an extension to the off season, which usually means after a bidding war. It seems though that the early break may be in the Coyotes favour as it seems talks have at least begun with the Taylor Hall camp for a potential contract extension. I am biased as I’m a huge fan of Hall and not so much of the Coyotes, so part of me is hoping that he does wait to see another option.
- A little trip down memory lane to a time when many of us weren’t even born: the 1969/1970 season. Fifty years ago, rookie goaltender Tony Esposito got the chance of a lifetime after the Chicago Blackhawks picked him off in an intra-league draft as an “unprotected player” after the Montreal Canadiens decided he was no longer needed in their system. Esposito was determined to prove what he was made of, and went on to play 63 of the Blackhawk’s 76 games while registering an unforgettable performance of 15 shutouts earning him both the Calder and Vezina honours.
- In heartwarming news, with the Belleville Senators’ season cut short the team alongside the Ottawa Senators Foundation have announced a donation of $100,000 to local charities including the Belleville General and Trenton Memorial Hospital Foundations. The team has raised a total amount of almost $500,000 with the final $100,000 being released in a rush to make sure the foundation does its part to support those in need at a very difficult time —especially the healthcare system. Bravo to the baby Sens and the foundation!