Labour Day edition of Links, News, and Notes—it's finally September!
- Tim Stützle was the latest player featured in NHL.com's "15 players under 25" alongside some prominent names like Jason Robertson, Dylan Cozens, Andrei Svechnikov, and others. The list has just eight names so far, with others to be highlighted once per week. It's pretty cool to see Stützle getting such league-wide recognition, as he's truly already one of the league's best.
- This was from last week, although it was not covered here, so I thought it was worth mentioning. Dom Luszczyszyn asked for feedback from all 32 fanbases regarding how they feel about their front office (as well as others). The Senators dropped from a high of 8th last year all the way to 17th in 2023. That's no surprise considering some people were hoping for a playoff spot last year, although 17th still isn't too bad. The public had a much higher opinion of the front office, as they ranked them higher in all six categories compared to the fanbase. The public gave them an overall grade of a B and the fanbase gave them a C-.
- The NHL released their US national broadcast schedule for the upcoming season, with games on ABC, ESPN, ESPN+, and Hulu. It doesn't surprise me too much, but it's still insane to me that the Senators will be featured zero times—same with the Flames, Canadiens, and Jets. Then again, another Canadian team, the Oilers, are featured 18 times. I guess they really want to market Connor McDavid:
- The NHL has been playing exhibition and regular season games all over the world over the past 15 years or so, and 2023 will be no different, with two exhibition games in Melbourne, Australia being the most exotic destination. Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said they are hoping that if they're "successful in growing a fanbase in Australia and a business base in Australia that [they'll] make it a regular part of [their] rotation." They expect two sellouts for the games with the Arizona Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings, and the league will probably return in another season—and perhaps to even more countries. The Senators, Red Wings, Wild, and Maple Leafs are also going overseas this year, but during the regular season in Stockholm. I wouldn't expect the NHL to stop their search for unique markets, nor should they. I think a cool next place to visit would be the Middle East or Central America, regions that have even been brought up before.
- Phil Kessel owns the all-time Ironman streak at 1,064 games, which is an incredible accomplishment. He didn't play in many playoff games, but that doesn't count towards the official Ironman streak. He still wants to play, although if he gets scratched at any point, he will lose his streak. However, he's willing to lose the streak to sign with a team, so I'm sure some team will at least bring him in on a PTO.
- In what is one of the strangest sagas in sports because of its connection to war, Philadelphia Flyers prospect Ivan Fedotov, as well as his team CSKA Moscow, violated the sanctions that the IIHF imposed on them. Fedotov did not obtain a release from the Flyers but then signed a two-year contract with Moscow, so the IIHF then gave him a 4-month suspension. Despite the suspension, Fedotov played last week. Who knows if the IIHF can even do much here because it seems like Russia just wants to play by its own rules. Fedotov was previously sent to a Russian military base before he was hoping to move to the USA, so he's been through a strange few years. The 26-year-old is one of the best goalies in the KHL, so I wouldn't expect his name to go away.
- Max Bultman of The Atheltic has a great profile on an up-and-coming 16-year-old player, Chloe Primerano. She was the first ever female skater to be taken in the WHL Bantam Draft in May 2022, and she's been playing against boys her age all along. Despite being drafted in the WHL, the left-shot defenseman intends to go the College route, and she could quickly become one of the best Canadian talents. Bultman does a great profile on her, and it's great to see more of these stories and coverage of the women's game.
- Emily Sadler has a great PWHL free agency primer in advance of Friday when teams can begin signing players. She talks about free agency, the draft, and predicts where some players could go. Her guesses for Ottawa's acquisitions? Defenseman Renata Fast and forward Emily Clark. It'll be exciting to follow it all!
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