It’s only the pre-season, but the return of NHL hockey is real and good. Did this weekend’s match-ups feature a lot of players that had me saying “who?” or “that guy’s still in the league?” to the TV? Yes. Was it still great? Also yes.
Let’s get caught up with some news from around the league:
- Winning back-to-back championships is never easy, and it looks like Colorado’s path back to the promised land will get off to a bit of a rocky start when it was announced that Gabriel Landeskog is slated to miss at least the early part of the season.
- Speaking of injuries, Nicklas Backstrom is a long ways from making it into the Washington Capitals’ line-up but he remains optimistic that he will play this year. He had “resurfacing” surgery on his left hip, which sounds like something you do to an old kitchen table and not one of the human body’s most crucial joints. Good luck to that man.
- For my money, Justin Bourne is one of the most insightful hockey writers out there, so I always perk up when he pulls together a season preview. He recently took on some pressing questions for the Western Conference after doing the same for the Eastern Conference (though his Sens take was admittedly a bit weak).
- In women’s hockey news, Kristina Rutherford reports that the PWHPA will not be moving forward with a new league in January as was previously believed to be the case.
- Over at the Athletic ($$), Michael Russo has the pretty incredible story of Kirill Kaprizov’s journey from Russia to the U.S this summer.
- In Leafsland, they are trying to talk themselves into the Matt Murray and Ilya Samsonov duo. I do not say this to be unnecessarily cruel, but Murray’s struggles in Ottawa were so deep that reading stuff like that makes me wonder how much the Leafs really watched him in that time.
- The man with maybe the most riding on those goalies’ performance is Kyle Dubas who, as you may have heard, is without a contract at season’s end. You may have also heard that during his tenure the Leafs have been a stellar regular season team that has yet to win a play-off series. Perhaps it is not surprising then, that questions about Dubas’ future abound.