Let’s take a spin through the stories that are making headlines this week in hockey:
- With yet another win last night, the Ottawa Senators are playing some quality hockey and giving fans a great deal of cause for optimism for next season. Ian Mendes makes the argument that this type of late-season surge might just be an indication of good things to come ($).
- Long-time Sens’ nemesis Ryan Miller announced his intention to retire at the end of this season. He’s the winningest American goalie in history, and at his peak he was one of the very best in the world; is this the resume of a Hall of Famer? Let the debate begin.
- As the play-offs approach, the logistical challenges of dealing with COVID-19 have not necessarily gone away. Greg Wyshynksi is reporting that the cross border travel restrictions could very well remain in place through the Finals.
- Jonathan Drouin is taking an indefinite leave of absence from the Montreal Canadiens for personal reasons. The forward hasn’t played since April 21st and was placed on the long-term injured reserve. It would be awfully irresponsible to speculate about the nature of the departure, so best to leave it to the Habs’ coach Dominique Ducharme who said:
“The most important thing right now is ‘Jo’ taking care of what he needs to take care of,” Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme said Wednesday. “When I heard his name this morning, I don’t think hockey, I think about the person.
“I’m not going to get into the details. All that I wish for him is that he does what he needs to do, that he takes care of his business. We are with him, we support him, his teammates support him. We’re a team and we’re going to remain a team.”
- Melissa Burgess has a comprehensive review of the NWHL’s offseason over at the Victory Press. There’s some good news, the league is planning to double the salary cap for next year, and there’s bad news: with the league operating at a deficit last season, there are questions about how much players were paid. There’s a lot of momentum building for women’s hockey but the NWHL’s struggles sadly persist. Lots to unpack there.
- Over at the Athletic, Sean Shapiro has a fun article on what, exactly, the players and coaches are looking at on their ubiquitous iPads ($). There are some neat charts, images, videos and frankly more stuff than I would have given the league credit for.