With hockey approaching a comeback in this brave new world, let’s take a look at how the players are settling into their new hubs as well as other interesting topics from around the league in this week’s Monday Links, News and Notes.
- As we all remember, the Ottawa Senators were unfortunate to be in Los Angeles at a time where the COVID-19 battle was in full force. It was later confirmed that several members of the Sens tested positive for the virus, including Jayce Hawryluk. In a piece by Thomas Drance of The Athletic, Hawryluk opens up about his experience with COVID and why he chose to discuss about his positive result.
For those who do not have access to the article, here are a few interesting quotes:
On when he first started feeling symptoms:
“I just thought, ‘Eh, it’s professional hockey, sometimes you’re not feeling well, some games you’re a bit tired.’ Now looking back at it, I think I probably had COVID at the time. Even though I wasn’t thinking about it like I was playing through anything, I just remember feeling more tired than usual, and after, it made sense.”
On what was the most difficult part of dealing with the virus:
“Your anxiety gets a little high. So you try to stay calm as best as you can. You know you’re healthy, but the uncertainty makes it scary — it makes you nervous and you just have to try and stay strong through that. Then you slowly focus on getting better and taking care of yourself.”
On why he chose to speak out about his illness:
“Honestly at the time I wanted to show people that anyone is susceptible to getting this illness. I’m a professional athlete, I train all the time, I play hockey all the time, I’m in top shape and I still got it. No matter what, it can still come in contact with you. I wanted to help people take it seriously, take safety measures, look after yourself and do all the little things to try and stay healthy. I wanted to try and get the point across that this can happen to anyone, so people should take it seriously.”
- Toronto and Edmonton have been ready for the arrival of NHL players for a while now and today was the day; players from all over the league arrived in Toronto and Edmonton to get ready for the next few months of their isolated hockey “trip”. With hockey officially starting back August 1st, players will be given a chance to adjust to their new environments and get ready to spend every minute with each other and away from their families.
- With the arrival of the players to their respective hub cities and the playoff starting on August 1st, the NHL has released the rosters for all 24 teams. It was expected but it is still interesting to see Max Domi is part of the Montreal Canadiens roster and what extra steps will be taken to protect him (he is a Type 1 Diabetic).
- The Arizona Coyotes have often blessed us with entertaining controversies (they almost put the Sens to shame) and the latest debacle is with their now-former GM John Chayka. The Coyotes are asking the NHL to intercede in the separation as there seems to be a contractual disagreement in his departure. While Chayka had some kind words for his time in Arizona, he made sure to send a clear message about his disapproval of ownership. On the other side, the Coyotes responded by saying Chayka quit on his team at a time they needed him the most. It will be interesting to see how this story develops.
- In some sad news, Winnipeg Jets’ legend and the Barrie Colts’ head coach, Dale Hawerchuk will have to muster yet another fight against cancer after seeing some positive results back in May. Hawerchuk was diagnosed with cancer last summer and after a long road that included surgery and chemotherapy, he completed his final round of treatment in April. Sadly, it seems that the cancer has resurfaced and we him all the best in what we hope will be a successful battle.
- And in some more sad news, Toronto Maple Leafs legend Eddie Shack has passed away at the age of 83. He was a 4-time Stanley Cup Champion and while he was a bit before my time,he was known to be one of the most entertaining players on and off the ice by many who played with and against him.