After a 2-1 win over San Jose on Saturday, the Sens will continue their West Coast trip with games against the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks later this week. In the interim, here’s some news from around the hockey world:
- Prior to Saturday’s tilt against the Sharks, there had been some discussion that the game might not go forward as planned; the Santa Clara County Public Health Department had recommended that it not. On the weekend, Gary Bettman addressed the issue with the media after the league decided to suspend the practice of media interviews in the locker room. Bettman seemed to want to downplay the possibility of playing games in empty arenas but allowed that might be the required course of action:
“You know what, I don’t want to create any speculation or hysteria. There are obviously a variety of consequences that we may have to focus on, and we’ll do that at the appropriate time,” he said. “But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, OK? We’re staying on top of it and we’re in constant communication with our clubs and the [NHL] Players’ Association, and we’re going to deal with this in as thorough, professional, on-top-of-it manner as possible. But let’s everybody take a deep breath.”
- Speaking of the Coronavirus, the IIHF announced the cancellation of the 2020 Women’s World Hockey Championships. The decision brings an anti-climactic end to what has been a bit of a strange season for women’s hockey. Hailey Salvian had a good piece over at the Athletic recapping the situation in the broader context of women’s hockey on the whole.
- There was also some sad news on Friday as Henri “The Pocket Rocket” Richard passed away at age 84. Henri was the younger brother of the famed Maurice “The Rocket” Richard and had a prodigious career in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s with the Montreal Canadiens. If you aren’t familiar with his story, NHL.com had a nice tribute to the man.
- Back in the current day NHL, the once-mighty Pittsburgh Penguins are in the midst of an awful cold spell and lost twice on the weekend — including in embarrassing fashion to the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday. They’re not in danger of missing the play-offs (yet) but they’ve been surpassed by the surging Philadelphia Flyers and you can tell that the team and fans are getting just a littttleeee bit nervous with each loss.
- Last, but not least, the Florida Panthers retired Roberto Luongo’s number 1 on Saturday night. Luongo became the first player in franchise history to have his number retired and was a bit emotional as he spoke about his wife Gina and their place in the Parkland community:
Luongo spoke for about 12 minutes — showing off English, French and Italian skills — and choked up when talking to wife Gina, whom he met after initially coming to the Panthers. Their family has made their home in Parkland, Florida, for years, and Luongo, now an executive with the Panthers and advocate for those affected by the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland two years ago, said he hopes they never leave.