The beginning of the re-started hockey season is in sight, butt the excitement of having hockey back is met in some corners with mixed emotions about the welfare of players and staff involved. Is it really worth it? Is this a question we can really answer? We discuss some of the injuries that teams have been dealing with, and other new tidbits in this week’s edition of the Monday Links, New and Notes.
- Sidney Crosby is pivotal to the success of the Pittsburgh Penguins, especially in the playoffs, but the team found itself without its Captain at its Sunday practice after leaving a scrimmage early on Saturday with an undisclosed injury. Under the new rules, teams are not allowed to disclose the reason a player might be absent but for now we are told it doesn’t seem serious. For those who are following, the Penguins facing the Montreal Canadiens without Crosby would be a huge advantage to the Habs; and potentially a step closer for the Pens to potentially win that coveted lottery pick.
- On a related note, the Bruins are another team struggling with getting a good rhythm going with many players deemed “unfit” to return to practice. Coach Bruce Cassidy is worried that all these absences may get in the way of the team being ready to return to playoff action in good form. This will be a recurring theme.
- The Vegas Golden Knights came into existence during the 2017/2018 season and took the league by storm. While amassing one of the best expansion rosters in league history and almost winning the Stanley Cup in their first season, they never closed the deal on a team Captain. The team announced yesterday that while the current focus is on the Stanley Cups, they have now decided that an official team captain will be named before the next season starts. They have rotated alternates since their inception in 2017. Not to make any early predictions, but it’s hard to think the “C” would go to anyone other than Mark Stone. If they win the Cup this year, the first holder of the Cup may be a good indication of their future choice.
- All eyes are on Edmonton after the city was chosen as a host (hub) location to resume the NHL playoffs. Things took a bit of a worrisome turn for the organization when a storm caused some damage to Rogers Place. Thankfully, the repairs will not cause a delay for the NHL return but I cannot imagine that the Edmonton Oilers were too happy with the turn of events. Oh 2020, the year that continues to frustrate.
- In an fun story out of British Columbia, the BC Hockey Hall of Fame is turning to hockey fanatics to provide the exhibition with their stories to recount the history of hockey in the province. Fans have been asked to submit any memorabilia or artifacts that hold a story or milestone behind them to further highlight the rich history of the sport in the province and country.
- Last but not least in a lighthearted discovery, CBC’s Jesse Campigotto has found the hockey card referenced in the Tragically Hip’s famous song “Fifty Mission Cap”. The verse “Unfortunately, it was the last goal of Barilko’s career. He disappeared that summer on a fishing trip, and the Leafs didn’t win another Cup until 1962, the year his body was found.” was found word by word on a 1991 Bill Barilko Pro Set card. In all fairness to the late Gord Downie, he did clearly say he “stole” those words from a hockey card.