The NHL Playoffs have moved beyond round one as this weekend we had the pleasure of watching five (!) game sevens.
Outside of the playoffs, mostly, here’s what’s happening around the NHL this week:
- We’ve always known Nick Paul could do it all for the Senators but it turns out, his skills were transferrable. Joe Smith put together a fantastic piece for The Athletic ($$) on Paul’s big game on Saturday.
- In another article on The Athletic, Michael Russo posted some interesting thoughts on Kevin Fiala’s almost certain trade out of Minnesota. Specifically, Russo talks about the team’s cap crunch spelling out the idea that futures will be involved, because it’s all they can technical financially afford. The likely return involves a first round pick, high end prospect and maybe more. Although Russo also indicates Minnesota may use Fiala to, in part, fill a backup goaltending spot for next season. It’s also important to note that Fiala’s contract is expected to be “north of $6M AAV” for the armchair GMs in the crowd.
- Thomas Chabot was named Captain of Team Canada this week, leading his country to two wins against Germany and Italy to kick off the tournament. Chabot has a pair of assists through two games while Drake Batherson has an apple of his own. Tim Stützle, like Chabot, also has a pair of assists as Team Germany has a win and loss so far.
- Amongst many publications, the NHL introduced a new mock draft following the results on Tuesday which saw Ottawa selecting either Pavel Mintyukov or Joakim Kemell, depending on who you’re asking. The Athletic posted a mock of their own which, once again, saw Kemell heading to the Nation’s Capital.
- Speaking of Kemell, Derek Lee has been doing some fantastic video work on upcoming prospects and posted a fantastic, 15 minute review of the potential Ottawa Senator.
- With the elimination of the Boston Bruins, many people across the NHL are keeping their eyes on Patrice Bergeron and what decision he makes about his future. An unrestricted free agent, Bergeron clearly has plenty left in the tank on the ice as he contributed 65 points to the Boston Bruins top line this season, but at the age of 36, his body may have had enough.
- James Mirtle posted an article for The Athletic ($$) pondering the next steps for the Toronto Maple Leafs as they, once again, find themselves on the outside looking in following the first round of the playoffs.
- Ken Wiebe over at Sportsnet worked through a mailbag recently surrounding the Winnipeg Jets and covered questions on the possibility of trading up in the draft, what Cole Perfetti’s short term future will look like and Chaz Lucius (great name) ending his NCAA career early.