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Thursday Links, News, and Notes: More Arena Troubles For Arizona Coyotes

Plus a Finland-exclusive prospect update, as well as a POY candidate from Trevor Zegras

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Arizona Coyotes v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

It’s always tough to have to wait for more than two days for the next game following a loss. It doesn’t matter if a winning streak was broken, or a losing skid continued — that dreaded ‘L’ in the streak column on the NHL standings is something you want to see disappear as soon as possible. The Ottawa Senators won’t have that opportunity until Saturday, so let’s take a look at what’s transpired around the organization and league to pass a bit of time.

  • After an 11-game stint in which he had three assists and a minus-11 rating, Lassi Thomson was reassigned to Belleville yesterday. I just now brought up plus/minus not to argue that he’s been bad, rather, to simply point out that he’s been on the ice for lots of goals against. Thomson’s made his fair share of mistakes despite showing a lot of promise, and a young defenseman should not be kept in this position, as the lack of NHL talent on the blueline means there’s nowhere he can play where he’s not punching above his weight class. With Josh Brown still out, Ottawa will either call up another player from Belleville or shift Nick Holden to the right side. Let’s have some fun and give Maxence Guenette his first NHL game, at the very least he won’t hurt the team’s defense corps, so why not?
  • Two Sens prospects have been confirmed for Team Finland at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championships, both from the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. Roby Järventie, who went pointless in 6 games in last year’s tournament, has 9 points in 19 games with Belleville in his D+2 season, while Leevi Meriläinen, who’s got a .897 save percentage with Kingston of the OHL, will likely serve as the backup to Joel Blomqvist.
  • In Ian Mendes’ latest for The Athletic, he covers Thomas Chabot’s struggles to score goals this season, and how it’s really the only thing he hasn’t been great at doing this year. In addition, Mendes touches upon Ottawa’s usage of three forwards during 3-on-3 overtime, Josh Norris being really good at shooting the puck, and why we, unfortunately, won’t see too much of Artem Zub in the shootout going forward.
  • Tuesday’s contest between the Anaheim Ducks and Buffalo Sabres featured a goal-of-the-year candidate from Trevor Zegras. Rather than attempting a lacrosse-style goal which has somehow become boring over the last few years, Zegras does this:

He doesn’t flip this puck over the net in one motion — you can see him lift the puck while on his stick, and then quickly toss it to Sonny Milano for a goal that, if not scored by your favourite team, is still incredibly satisfying to watch as long as it’s not scored against them either.

  • Another satisfaction is reading about ownership shenanigans that pertain to a hockey team other than the Ottawa Senators. Of course, I just jinxed the team right there, especially because Eugene Melnyk is the undisputed king of hold-my-beer’ing NHL owners, as shown when Sid Seixeiro stated on Twitter that Rangers owner James Dolan made Melnyk look competent in comparison, literal hours before “new” CEO Jim Little was canned.

But still, this recent news out of Arizona is insane. The Athletic’s Katie Strang reported yesterday that due to outstanding arena and tax charges, the Arizona Coyotes are in danger of losing access to their home rink, the Gila River Arena. The organization must pay the $1.3 million in tax charges by December 20th or team employees will be denied access to the arena. Huh.