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Berard States his Case, Life in the NWHL, and Woodz Says Farewell

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The 11th edition of Thursday Links, News, and Notes for Smarch 2020

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Berard scores Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images

Will it snow this week? Will we wear shorts instead? Will we watch the draft this week or just watch the hockey men discuss the possibility of the possibility of a draft this week? Does anyone know more about Jujubes than Christian Jaros? (Probably not). Do you have more free time on your hands than you know what to do with? If so, enjoy these stories:

  • Bryan Berard had torn up the OHL as a skilled two-way defender when the Senators selected him with the first overall pick in the 1995 entry draft, and given his resume it took Berard by surprise when he didn’t crack the NHL roster that fall. Feeling entitled to a shot in the big leagues, Berard had a falling out with the Senators organization and demanded a trade. The trade demand may have left a bitter taste in the mouths of fans in Ottawa had the Senators not parlayed Berard’s rights in second overall pick Wade Redden and goaltender Damian Rhodes who ended up providing plenty of value for the up-and-coming Senators.
  • Over at the Victory Press, the staff did some extensive research and interviewing with a few veterans of the NWHL to get a clearer picture of life for athletes in the self-proclaimed “first professional women’s hockey league in North America.” The article provides a stark and borderline graphic image of the everyday sacrifices these athletes make to play professionally. With minimal funding and few alternatives, the players interviewed describe the uphill battle they face after collegiate hockey to keep competing in a league that often fails to provide proper facilities, transportation, and even a paycheque for its athletes.
  • Closer to home, we say farewell this week to Adam Wood who, along with Craig Medaglia, has provided Senators fans with the best digital content in hockey. And while that may sound like some hometown bias, I challenge any reader to find a professional hockey team with better online content than Ottawa. Wood announced his departure (to an immediate outpouring of say-it-ain’t-sos) shortly after the Senators released episode one of Sens Tonight, and if you haven’t checked it out, then do yourself a favour:

We at SilverSevenSens wish Wood nothing but the best and say an enormous Thank You for all of the top-notch content over the years!

  • Following up on some of the issues Shaan raised last week, we continue to reflect on the state of hockey culture especially as it pertains to toxic masculinity, racism, and homophobia. The hockey world, whether some can admit it or not, has a long, difficult road ahead to actually make the game safe for everyone and I found this article by Mike McIntyre, from Brandon Leipsic’s hometown of Winnipeg, addressed a lot of the salient points in this greater conversation and some of the major obstacles the league keeps attempting to eschew.
  • Finally, coming off the rumour mill, Florida Panthers prospect Henrik Borgstrom will require a new contract as his entry-level deal expires with the 2019-20 season and some sources have suggested that Borgstrom will head to the KHL in the fall. Florida GM Dale Tallon has countered (paywall) in stating that Borgstrom’s agent used the KHL suggestion as a bargaining tool. If, for whatever reason, Borgstrom has soured on the Panthers organization, Pierre Dorion should probably fire up the ol’ iPad and inquire about the former first-rounder. The now 22-year-old centre had 20-plus-goal seasons in his freshman and sophomore years at the University of Denver before signing with the Cats in 2018.