We’ve got links, news, and notes to start your week!
- Connor Bedard will be out 4-6 weeks with a fractured jaw. It came on a clean hit from Brendan Smith, although that doesn't mean Blackhawks fans weren't upset about it. It sucks to see the phenom out for a significant amount of time, especially because it means he won't be at the All-Star game. I sincerely hope that doesn't ruin his Calder Trophy chances because he's clearly been the best rookie so far.
- Joe Smith of The Athletic details what it was like for the PWHL Minnesota team's home opener. He talks about Marcus Foligno's daughters, Camila and Olivia, getting to see women play for the first time, in front of a record-breaking crowd of 13,316. It seemed like an electric night where dreams came true, not too different than Ottawa's home opener. You can't ask for a better start to the PWHL.
- Team USA defeated Team Sweden 6-2 on Friday to take home gold at the World Junior Championships. They were a dominant 7-0 during the tournament, with just two close games: a 4-3 shootout win over Czechia and a 3-2 semi-finals win over Finland. It's the USA's sixth gold medal overall and their fifth since 2010—tied with Canada during that span. Sweden was so close to a story-book ending trying to win at home, but they failed yet again. It's baffling that a country as good as them has only won it twice. They now have a whopping 12 silvers and 7 bronzes. Oof.
- With the first batch of All-Stars being announced, the NHL Fan Vote will continue until Thursday, January 11th. Fans will select the 33rd-44th All-Stars, and then fans will also get to vote for the final 4/12 players participating in the new version of the skills competition. They're trying something different, which is all you can ask for! Vote here for who you want in.
- It isn't confirmed yet, but all signs point to Willam Nylander re-signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs for around $11.5M x 8 years. It certainly wouldn't be a discount at all, but Nylander has been one of the best players in the league this season with 54 points in 37 games. If he's that player, then the deal is worth it, but this will still represent a significant risk.
- Oliver Bjorkstrand was the Seattle Kraken's All-Star selection, and he didn't exactly share a ton of emotion upon hearing the news. Bjorkstrand joked on Instagram about having to cancel his vacation to San Diego, but he made sure to share his appreciation as well.
- At The Athletic, Corey Pronman gives his standouts from the World Juniors including the likes of Macklin Celebrini, Jonathan Lekkerimaki, Gavin Brindley, and others.
- On Saturday night, Marc-Andre Fleury notched his 551st win, which tied him with Patrick Roy for 2nd most all-time. He also just played his 1000th game, just the third goalie ever to do that. Who's first in wins you might ask? Martin Brodeur at 691, which won't be broken for quite a long time.