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Daccord’s First Win, Karlsson Talks Rebuild, Eichel Injury, And a Year With COVID

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It’s the Monday edition of Links, News, and Notes

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Ottawa Senators Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

The Monday edition of Links, News, and Note always feels so much better when the Sens won the night before. But when Ottawa beats Toronto to cap the weekend, well, Monday feels downright glorious.

Here are a few of the stories that made headlines around the league this weekend:

  • For those of you that may have missed it last night, Joey Daccord gave an emotional interview after posting his first NHL win last night. We absolutely love to see it!
  • I almost hesitate to bring this up because I feel like at this point everyone has their opinion on Erik Karlsson and it’s just poking the bear to bring up any of his quotes. That being said, with the San Jose Sharks’ GM openly discussing a “reset” last week, Karlsson was naturally asked about it recently by the San Jose media and he didn’t seem too keen on the idea of a rebuild. I strongly recommend reading the full extent of his quotes here, which I find totally innocuous in the full context, but there’s no doubt that his future with the Sharks will be one of the big storylines in the league over the next little while.
  • In other Sens-adjacent news, Bruce Garrioch profiled TSN1200 colour commentator Gord Wilson and his battle with COVID-19. Gord’s in good health and spirits now, but there were some scary moments and he says it took approximately six months before he felt like himself again. Scary times, and we’re glad to have him back and feeling like himself again alongside Dean Brown.
  • Things have gone just about as badly as they possibly could have in Buffalo this season, and now Jack Eichel is slated to be out for the “foreseeable future” with an upper body injury. Big yikes.
  • In other injury news, the high-flying New York Islanders have placed their captain Anders Lee on Long Term Injured Reserve retroactive to March 11th. Additionally, Jean-Gabriel Pageau was placed on the COVID protocol right before their Sunday afternoon game against the New Jersey Devils. The Isles are 5th (!) in the league by points%, and are absolutely one of the best stories of the season. These latest setbacks will be sure to test them.
  • In happier injury-related news, it seems there’s a possibility that Henrik Lundqvist will return to the NHL as soon as this season. Washington Capitals GM Brian MacLellan did not rule out the goalie’s return when he was asked about it this weekend. For someone who just recently underwent open heart surgery in January, that’s one hell of a recovery.
  • Greg Wyshynski has a lengthy piece over at ESPN where he re-visits the league’s decision to shut down due to concerns around COVID-19 almost exactly a year ago. There are some interesting quotes in there from all sorts of different folks but this quote from Don Fehr in the context of the CBA agreement really drives home just how uncertain things really were at the time:

“The elephant in the room during the collective bargaining during the summer and into the extension was that, in all of other collective bargaining experience, is that you can always make a deal,” Fehr said. “You might have to give up something you didn’t want to, but you can always make a deal at some point. But this was an elephant that you couldn’t control. The various federal and state governments were all acting differently.”