Welcome back for another edition of Links, News, and Notes from around the world of hockey:
- It can sometimes be a challenge integrating new players onto a team — particularly if the additions are already well-established players in their own right. Fortunately, it appears that the process is going smoothly for the Ottawa Senators so far.
- The Globe and Mail is reporting that Hockey Canada has a SECOND reserve fund that they use “for matters including but not limited to sexual abuse”. The questionably named “Participants Legacy Trust Fund” was set up to handle claims against member branches from incidents before Hockey Canada purchased liability insurance, and the money in it came from the first reserve fund. There are some serious questions about why this second fund’s existence wasn’t mentioned by Hockey Canada during the federal hearings when they were asked about where the money to pay for sexual assault claims was coming from. Those hearings resume tomorrow, with testimony from both the current and previous board chairs.
- It seems that the odds-on favourites for this year’s Calder Trophy are Owen Power and Matty Beniers. While neither of the Sens’ super rookies made the top five in voting, both Jake Sanderson and Shane Pinto received votes from the PHWA panel. We’ll be sure to check in on this as the season progresses.
- Greg Wyshynski recently took a stab at figuring out which teams in each division were the most likely to miss the play-offs after making them last year, and which teams were most likely to make the play-offs after missing them last year. His picks for the Atlantic division were a bit, err, surprising.
- On Saturday, the Winnipeg Jets unveiled a statue to honour Dale Hawerchuk, the long-time Jets icon. Several friends, family, teammates, and other NHL players with connections to Hawerchuk spoke at the dedication ceremony. Hawerchuk passed away in August 2020 from stomach cancer.
- Sonya Sachdeva has a great profile of the Little Native Hockey League over at Sportsnet. After three straight cancellations due to COVID, the tournament that typically welcomes more than 200 teams representing First Nations, is set to return in March 2023 — hopefully better than ever.
- On Saturday, the Seattle Kraken revealed their mascot Buoy. Mascot appraisal is more Beata’s thing than mine, but the reveal did come as a something of a surprise and that appears to have been by design: Seattle worked very hard to keep the details of the mascot a secret. Congratulations on pulling it off, I guess?
- Lastly, Justin Bourne has a fun piece over at Sportsnet where he dives into the topic of position-less hockey. Bourne’s thesis is sensible: you need to know where your teammates are going to be to make split second decisions in the NHL, but I do think there’s maybe a bit more room for creativity than he’s allowing. Innovate or get left behind.