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Evander Kane Opens up, Return to Play Talks Continue, and Ottawa Prepares for the Draft

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Who wants some Monday Links, News, and Notes?

Black History Truck Photo by Brandon Magnus/NHLI via Getty Images

Just three years ago on this day, we were reveling as the Ottawa Senators stood one game away from a berth in the Stanley Cup Finals. Even though a lot has changed since then, I can still remember the hope I felt waking up (exhausted) May 25th, 2017. This spring, we have a lot more than playoff hockey to keep us motivated. Stay committed, Ottawa Senators fans: better times await us.

  • San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane sat down for a video chat with investigative journalist Rick Westhead to discuss the ongoing issue of racial prejudice in hockey culture. Make the time to check it out. The ten-year NHL veteran offers some critical insight into the lack of representation in coaching and management for people of colour, and how it prevents the NHL from overcoming its shortcomings in dealing with racism . Known perhaps more for his goal-scoring prowess, Kane delivers a thorough and articulate explanation of the issues and provides some clear and concise advice for the league to promote inclusion.
  • Turning back to the possible resumption of the 2019-20 NHL season, progress creeps along as the NHLPA has released an official statement acknowledging their intention to cooperate with a 24-team play-off format to determine this year’s champion. While there remain many specifics to negotiate in terms of player and staff safety, playoff format, venues, travel, and other logistics, the NHL and the NHLPA appear determined to award the Stanley Cup in 2020 despite the ongoing pandemic. International travel restrictions posed one of the largest obstacles for the resumption of professional sports, but it seems as though the United States government will allow exceptions to travel bans in order to accommodate professional athletes.
  • Closer to home, with the proposed 24-team playoff format seemingly set in stone, the Ottawa Senators and their record of 25-34-12 and unsightly winning percentage of 35 have nothing left to do but put the final touches on their strategy for the entry draft (whenever it may happen). Although some had speculated otherwise, it appears the league will use winning percentage to determine draft lottery odds and that bodes well for the Senators with their pick and San Jose’s (29-36-5) first-rounder. Make sure to check out the ongoing Draft Profile Series from Colin and Ary as the lottery approaches.
  • Finally, in the wake of the seeming conclusion of Ottawa Senators’ season, and with free agency looming, Bruce Garrioch reached out to Craig Anderson to get Andy’s thoughts about not necessarily going out on his own terms. Anderson and Mark Borowiecki present, by far, the greatest sentimental dilemmas for the organization this off-season. Should Andy depart from the capital or hang up the pads, the Senators owe him nothing less than a hero’s sendoff for all that he has given to this team and its fans. While Borowiecki remains a possible part of the puzzle on Ottawa’s backend, nothing is certain. Like Anderson, Borowiecki deserves so much more in terms of a final salute to one of the good ones.