An All Star Snub, Staal Making an Olympic Push, A Coach’s Mistake and More

Monday’s Edition of the Links, New and Notes

After a successful trip through Alberta, the Ottawa Senators return home for a game on Tuesday night against the Buffalo Sabres. Yes, the Sens are riding high these days, but what’s been going on in the rest of the world of hockey over the weekend?

  • It certainls seems as if the All-Star games have lost a bit of their luster in recent years. They’re still fun for the host city but fan participation does seem to be waning — particularly in this strange season. In an attempt to keep all fans engaged, the NHL has a mandate that every team needs to be represented. While I understand the notion, it’s also hard to sell the All-Star weekend if you don’t have actual all star players participating. Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan McKinnon would seem to agree as he took it personally that his teammate Nazem Kadri got snubbed despite Kadri’s superior performance. We’ll see if his plight is enough to get Kadri in the All-Star games via fan voting.
  • Speaking of snubs, ESPN’s got a fairly comprehensive list here.
  • Team Canada Men’s Olympic hockey team should be shaping up soon and one player who really wants a spot is 37-year old Eric Staal. The eldest Staal signed an AHL professional tryout contract with the Minnesota Wild affiliate to get himself prepared for a possible call to wear the Maple Leaf. Staal isn’t far removed from the game as he was part of the Canadiens team that went to the Stanley Cup finals last season. Staal’s made it clear that he still wants to play hockey at a high level and surely Team Canada will benefit from his experience.
  • We’ve seen many conflicts between coaches and players here in the NHL but have you ever seen a coach kick one of his players during a game? Russian Junior league coach Vladimir Gromilin, was seen kicking 19-year-old Jegor Razumnjak’s side during one of the games. As expected, he was fired after the incident but I really wonder what was going through his head thinking anything about kicking your own player was a good idea.
  • If Quebec Nordiques fans had any hope of an NHL return anytime soon, I’m sorry to tell you that Gary Bettman has shut down the idea — at least for now.
  • Every time you think this league is moving forward, you get a story about how NHL teams are eager to get Evander Kane signed. Yes, he’s a talented player that will provide immediate help to any team but is he worth it? People deserve second chances and there’s a lot of complexity in Kane’s situation but he is muddled with domestic abuse allegations, faking vaccination cards and is now being investigated for breaching COVID-19 protocol by entering Canada before competing his 10-day quarantine. It seems to me, Kane has no regard for anything or anyone, how do you trust bringing someone like that onto your team?
  • Lastly, if you missed it last week be sure to check out the Sens’ trivia challenge from Ian Mendes over at the Athletic. Major congrats if you get more than half of them!/

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