Hello Darkness, my old friend. For anyone with a passing interest in the NHL, this weekend’s spate of postponements probably brought back an old, familiar, unwelcome feeling. As of this writing, ten teams had elected to shut down all team activities until after the Christmas break. It seems almost a question of when, not if, the rest of the remaining active teams will follow suit. I wish I had better news, but it seems as if we might be starting at the possibility of a somewhat prolonged shutdown of NHL hockey.
- Sportsnet has set up a handy, if depressing, COVID-19 tracker for every team in the league. Right now, only assistant Davis Payne is currently in protocols for the Sens
- With all of their games cancelled through the Christmas break already, Ottawa has announced that they will be cancelling practices as well:
- Canada won’t be sending a team to the Spengler Cup, that delightful international tournament you probably have tuned into by accident on a handful of occassions.
- With COVID posing such a large challenge to the existing NHL schedule, it’s becoming increasingly likely that NHL players will not be participating at the Olympics. Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek discuss that and more on the latest 32 Thoughts podcast.
- In non-COVID news, Ian Mendes has a piece evaluating Tim Stützle at the 82 game mark of his playing career. Without spoiling the whole piece, the kid stacks up pretty well all things considered.
- On Friday, Paul Maurice resigned from his role as coach of the Winnipeg Jets. While the team did make a Conference Finals under his leadership, it’s also the case that there has been a fair amount of under-performance for the last couple of years. Maurice got the best out of some guys, but he also pushed some away. Murat Ates has a great, nuanced take over at the Athletic on Maurice, his tenure, and his ultimate decision to step down.
- Lastly, Brett Connolly has been suspended four games for his hit that injured Tanner Kero in Saturday night’s game between Chicago and the Dallas Stars. Joe Pavelski was emotional his postgame availability when discuss the injury to Kero.