- With COVID cases rising around the league, the NHL has announced new protocols for protecting the players, including postponing 26 games. Notably, they’ve removed the glass behind the benches and are looking into rapid testing. The Avalanche are the latest team to have to cancel their games.
- Relatedly, Wild prospect Marco Rossi has returned to Austria after experiencing COVID-related symptoms. Just a reminder that this virus has serious long-term impacts, even for young, elite athletes.
- The North division is the only one that hasn’t had any cases yet, which is of course a huge relief for everyone involved. CBC talked to a few players in the division about what that’s like. Of course, as they mention in the article, you never know what’s going to happen, and while Canada is safer than the States, it is by no means COVID-free. All it takes is one case, and the division could be in trouble. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed that nothing bad happens.
- Also, this is an older article, but a good read on why hockey is especially dangerous when it comes to the spread of the virus.
- Switching gears, it looks like Derek Stepan might be on the trading block. You might remember that Stepan’s third child was born right before training camp. He can’t be with his family right now because of travel restrictions between Canada and the States. I can’t imagine how difficult that must be, and don’t blame him at all for wanting to be able to see his family.
- The latest episode of the End of Sport podcast is a must-listen. They talk about Barstool’s culture, and the recent situation with the NWHL. Cannot recommend it highly enough. There’s some really good stuff there, from some incredibly smart people.
- For subscribers to The Athletic: they’re currently projecting the 2022 Olympic rosters. Former Senator Mark Stone is a popular selection for Team Canada, which almost makes up for the fact that some people want Drew Doughty on their Olympic team. Matthew Tkachuk is projected to be on Team USA, but Brady isn’t, so I will personally be having words with every single person who voted on this. Obviously this is all speculative, but it’s fun to think about potential rosters.
- It’s February, which means it’s Black History Month, and obviously that’s looking a little bit different this year. The Hockey News has a good look at what the NHL is doing during the pandemic.
- Here’s a really good thread from the Hockey Hall of Fame if you’d like some easily digestible Black Hockey History.
Black excellence and innovation in hockey has been around since the sport's formative years. The Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes (1895-1930) was the first to allow goalies to leave their feet + was where the slapshot was invented! #BlackHockeyHistory | #BlackHistoryMonth pic.twitter.com/hhy7d1jKzq— Hockey Hall of Fame (@HockeyHallFame) February 5, 2021
- Sportsnet has also been putting out some cool videos highlighting the experiences of Black hockey players. Here’s one about Saroya Tinker, and another about Angela James, an important figure in Black hockey history.
- This HNIC opening about Black History Month is also well worth watching:
"Thank you to the game of hockey for all you've given Black people. But more importantly, you're welcome for all we've given you."— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 7, 2021
An essay by @donnovanbennett.
: @Nas | #BlackHistoryMonth | @Rogers pic.twitter.com/RwlAA7fgKL
- And finally, the NHL put out a great essay on the topic.
- If you listen to my podcast, or if you’re just a hockey fan with taste, you may be interested in this profile of the guy who was commissioned to paint Gritty like one of his French girls during a recent Flyers game.
- And finally, I’ll finish this up with some Sens stuff: The Hockey Writers had a good writeup about Colin White’s role this season.