Let’s start off the week with some various links, news, and notes within Ottawa and around the NHL:
- The Ottawa Senators had their Skills Competition on Sunday, which is always a fun event for the fans to go to. Team Tkachuk beat Team Chabot 16-12, and PWHPA players Jamie Lee Rattray and Rebecca Leslie also joined in on the fun today:
Mark Kastelic was surprisingly the fastest player, Josh Norris won the accuracy competition, and Drake Batherson had the hardest shot.
- The Boston Bruins beat the Anaheim Ducks 7-1 on Sunday, giving them a ridiculous record of 32-4-4. That puts them on pace for 139 points...which would be seven more than the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens, the current most successful team of all time. Even while taking loser points into consideration, the Bruins have been historically good and seem like a good bet to be a top-5 team of all time. It’s incredible that we were thinking (maybe just hoping) that the Senators could leapfrog them this season.
- Despite the fact that the outdoor NHL games don’t get much press coverage before the fact anymore, the 2023 Winter Classic at Fenway Park was the most-watched regular season game of all time on cable TV. There were 1.8M viewers (up from 1.4M at last year’s game), with a peak of 2.1M. I think a lot of that can be contributed to the NHL finally being on ESPN and TNT.
- After winning a gold medal for Canada, Shane Wright was loaned back to the Kingston Frontenacs. With the Frontenacs not being contenders, he is all but assured to be traded to a contending team in the OHL. Ken Campbell reported that he was about to be dealt to London for Oliver Bonk and six draft picks, although Scott Wheeler is refuting part of it. Either way, Wright should be on the move shortly, and most likely to the Knights. Talk about some good luck for Kingston, getting a ton of assets out of nowhere:
FWIW: My understanding is that Shane Wright to London is not a done deal (though that may be where it finishes), and that Oliver Bonk may not be involved in a package for him. Fronts/Wright still considering options and gathering info. https://t.co/w62FADpY6g— Scott Wheeler (@scottcwheeler) January 8, 2023
- Brady Tkachuk will be representing the Senators at the All-Star game, and rightfully so. Other Senators are able to be voted into the game as well, with Tim Stützle probably representing the best chance to get in. I would say it’s unlikely that he gets in, although he’d be more than worthy with 39 points in 35 games. You can try to stuff that ballot box until the end of January 17th.
- As the season approaches the halfway mark, ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski looked at who is leading the awards race in all the main categories. There’s a surprise leader from an old friend as well. Sadly there are no current Senators mentioned in the piece, although I’d have to imagine that Jake Sanderson and Shane Pinto will get some Calder votes.
- Chicago Blackhawks rookie Lukas Reichel scored his first career NHL goal on a between-the-legs play. If only he could give this kind of luck to Brady: