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Draft Lottery, Amanda Kessel Joins the Pens, Kraken Ownership Update and More

Thursday’s Edition of the Links, News and Notes

Hockey: Canada USA Rivalry Series-USA at Canada John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The regular season is getting to the finish line but that doesn’t mean that the news cycle ever stops. Let’s dive into this week’s news and events from around the hockey world.

  • With less than 10 games left in the season, it’s only natural that the bottom half of the league will start looking to their future. That future starts with the upcoming draft and perhaps more importantly the draft lottery. The NHL announced yesterday that the 2022 NHL Draft Lottery will be held Tuesday May 10th. As it stands today, the Sens would have the 7th pick but the standings are far from final and who knows how the lottery will treat Ottawa.
  • Diversity and inclusion in hockey have been spoken about endlessly the past few seasons, but it’s actions that truly make a difference. The Toronto Maple Leafs were one of the first teams to bring on female talent within their team when they were joined by hockey legend Hayley Wickenheiser as an Assistant Director of Player Development. Now, the Pittsburgh Penguins are joining the wave to showcase the female talents in hockey. On Wednesday, the Penguins announced that Amanda Kessel will be the first hire of the new Executive Management Program. This program is a 1-year opportunity to work with Penguins’ management and executives and is aimed specifically at bringing in women and visible minorities into the program.
  • It seems the NHL has no issues being lenient when it comes to dangerous hits, but don’t go grabbing your opponent’s jersey from the bench. New York Islanders’ Mathew Barzal was fined $2,500 for unsportsmanlike behaviour after he was caught grabbing Mitch Marner’s arm from the bench. Marner thought the whole thing was funny but the league obviously did not approve.
  • Hockey Canada will have a new face leading the organization. After serving the position of Hockey Canada CEO for 8 years, Tom Renney is retiring. He will be replaced by Scott Smith who has has been the COO fsince 2007.
  • The Seattle Kraken are not having the inaugural season they hoped they would have. However, there are many good vibes around the team and with a bit of smart hockey work, I think they’re going to be a force in this league very soon. A key part of growing the team will be stable ownership and on Monday, the Kraken’s ownership got a little boost with the addition of rapper Macklemore and retired Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch. They will be playing a key role in fan engagement growing the team’s popularity within the city and around the league.
  • It wouldn’t be right to look at the weekly news without mentioning Ottawa’s favourite topic, new ownership. The Greenberg family are well known in the Ottawa community, largely for being the founders of Minto, but also their many philanthropic initiatives. They’re local, part of the OSEG group and have been Senators fans for a while. So naturally, if the opportunity is there, why wouldn't Roger Greenberg be interested in being part of the potential new ownership group?