After two disappointing but still entertaining losses at home, the Ottawa Senators are set to wrap up their homestand tonight against the Washington Capitals. Meanwhile, the rest of the NHL is predictably full of interesting storylines. Here’s your Monday edition of links, news and notes from around the league and the hockey world.
- I don’t always plug routine media availabilities, but this is one you don’t want to miss: Artem Zub spoke to the media yesterday for the first time since he first signed, and the first time without a translator. As it turns out, his English has gotten pretty good! He confirmed that he doesn’t have a lot of powerplay experience, and said that he still needs to get comfortable on the powerplay. Considering how good he looked on the second unit on Saturday, I’m extremely excited to see what other level he can reach once he becomes more comfortable. Also, yes, he is aware that the fans are saying “Zuuub” and not booing him. It’s nice to see him comfortable speaking to the media, and I hope we get to hear from him more in the future!
- After taking a costly penalty in the Rangers game on Saturday, Parker Kelly has been reassigned to Belleville. Scott Sabourin is expected to draw into the lineup tonight, but keep an eye out for newest Senator Dylan Gambrell, acquired yesterday in a trade with the Sharks. Austin Watson is apparently practicing with the team, and hoping to join them on their upcoming road trip. Pinto is still out, and apparently so is Matt Murray, as Gustavsson has been called up.
- Our final bit of Sens news isn’t a huge surprise, but it’s still a disappointment: the Sens are reportedly taking calls about Erik Brännström.
I'm hearing the Sens aren't shopping Brannstrom, but they are taking calls. They won't give him away and want fair value. They would like to add players that help the team, not hurt. They're in no rush but would like to do something soon. 5' 9" offensive D don't grow on trees.— Shawn Simpson (@TSNSimmer) October 22, 2021
- Moving on to league-wide news, Elliotte Friedman says that the NHL is now down to just one unvaccinated player. That would be the Red Wings’ Tyler Bertuzzi, who will have to miss all his team’s games in Canada as long as he remains unvaccinated.
- Here’s a really interesting read from Sportsnet: Sonny Sachdeva profiles a non-profit that’s working to grow the game of hockey in south Texas.
- The US Center for SafeSport has opened an investigation into Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin following a sexual assault allegation.
- Former Senator Anders Nilsson spoke to media in Sweden about his struggles with concussions. He says that while he was playing for the Sens in 2019-20, he was not examined by a doctor after suffering a concussion. As Graeme Nichols points out, this is a very bad look for the organization, especially since Eugene Melnyk recently launched NeurolignFit, which is all about brain health. We always knew NHL teams were bad about this kind of stuff, but it’s good to see players finally speaking out about it.
- The USA vs Canada rivalry series is now underway! This is an annual event in women’s hockey, and it’s always must-see television. Canada won the first game. You can learn all about upcoming games and where to watch them over at The Ice Garden.
- Finally, a piece I thought was fun to read: CBC looks at the budding rivalry between the Habs and the Hurricanes, with an overview of the recent Aho and Kotkaniemi drama. Of course, the article doesn’t include the latest update, which is that Aho and Kotkaniemi both scored against Montreal in the teams’ first matchup of the season. Excellent content.