Welcome back for another edition of Links, News, and Notes. Let’s take a spin around the stories that are making headlines in the NHL:
- In one of the most concerning stories of the season, it would appear that as many as 16 Vancouver players and several staff have contracted COVID-19. Though the NHL’s official report is fairly sparse on details, Darren Dreger is reporting that several of the players are experiencing very serious symptoms:
Number of positive cases climbing within the Vancouver Canucks. More than 20 players/coaches combined have tested positive. Variant symptoms include vomiting, cramping and dehydration. Family members are getting it. Scary situation. Next 5-7 days will determine scheduling.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) April 4, 2021
The presence of COVID, and particularly the new variants from the UK and Brazil, has loomed in the background for most of this season. This is yet another unpleasant reminder that we are far from out of the woods.
- Meanwhile, Rick Bowness left in the middle of last night’s game between the Dallas Stars and the Carolina Hurricanes as part of the COVID protocol. Jim Nill, the Stars’ GM, confirmed after the game that Bowness is fully vaccinated and the hope is that he gave a false positive. Another situation to follow.
- Over at the Athletic, Ian Mendes has a really nice profile of Jacob Bernard-Docker ($). One of the things that’s come up time and time again with the University of North Dakota players is just how hard it was for them to leave. Seems like there’s quite a special program down there.
- In other prospect news, Maxence Guénette signed a three year, entry-level contract on the weekend. The seventh round pick from 2019 has 22 points in 36 games for the Val d’Or Foreurs.
- Erik Gudbranson will not be in the line-up tonight for the Sens in Winnipeg as he flew home on the weekend to be with his wife; they are expecting their first child any day now.
- Over at ESPN, Greg Wyshynski and Emily Kaplan have a game plan for every one of the NHL’s 31 teams heading into the trade deadline. Will Pierre Dorion be active in the trade market over the next seven days? I haven’t a clue!
- Speaking of the trade deadline, the New Jersey Devils held Kyle Palmieri out of a game on Sunday in anticipation of his being dealt in short order.
- And lastly, though it pains me to share a nice story about the Toronto Maple Leafs, I am happy for the success and role Jason Spezza seems to have found at the end of his career.