Recognizing O’Ree, Scheduling Updates, and a New GM in the Division
It’s YOUR Thursday Links, News, and Notes
Like most of you, I need a distraction because I’ve kept replaying the officiating breakdown that cost Ottawa the game on Tuesday night (meaningless as the game may have been). Maybe score more than one goal against a fifth-string netminder though? Just a thought. Either way, whether it’s the garbage-eating Sabres or the garbage-eating Penguins, Go Sens Go. And with that said, let’s take a look around the league!
- Among the bigger stories this week, the Boston Bruins retired Willie O’Ree’s number on Tuesday night, and Shireen Ahmed wrote a really informative profile of O’Ree over at the CBC with lots of fascinating trivia about one of the most significant individuals in the history of the game.
- After so many postponements resulting from COVID outbreaks around the NHL, the league has released its updated schedule for all the affected games, and you can get all of the updated Ottawa Senators dates and times specifically here.
- Speaking of scheduling nightmares, Sonny Sachdeva recently profiled Melissa Caruso (AHL Vice President of Hockey Operations) and looked in particular at her Sisyphean task of rescheduling hundreds of AHL games throughout the pandemic. If you’re anything like me then you’ll find the process fascinating and immensely stress-inducing to read about.
- While on the subject of the pandemic (and trust me, I won’t impart my opinion here (I’ve learned my lesson!)) Emily Kaplan reports that after the all-star break, the NHL will no longer test asymptomatic players for COVID. All I know for sure is that everyone will agree about this and no one will have any strong opinions one way or the other.
- On a more positive note that we can actually all agree on, the Edmonton Oilers stink and it’s funny! I don’t know how any Canadian hockey fan can survive without schadenfreude so enjoy this statistical breakdown of the Oilers’ struggles courtesy of Shayna Goldman. We sure Sens’d ‘em good.
- Over in Montreal, one has to wonder, have we seen the peak of the schadenfreude the 21st-century Canadiens have to offer? With Marc Bergevin out the door, we can only hope Kent Hughes does an equally atrocious job returning the Habs to their glory days. Our sibling site out of MTL reports here. (For real though, Kent, thank you for the Drake Batherson contract.)
- With Hughes taking the helm in Montreal, Sylvain St-Laurent examines the dilemma facing the Senators and agent-less, contract-less Nick Paul. Arguably the elephant in the room at this year’s trade deadline for us as a fanbase, Paul doesn’t have a guaranteed future in Ottawa (unlike Hughes’ other former clients Batherson and Colin White (who already signed long term with the Sens)). Not unlike the J.G. Pageau contract year, the organization has to weigh the importance of retaining a fan favourite without potentially overpaying for a depth forward who excels defensively without generating a lot of offence individually. I really struggle with this one.
- And finally, if you need a reminder of the unfathomable gender inequality issue in professional hockey to get your blood boiling, enjoy this list of twenty female candidates (who seem on average to all have some combination of an ivy league education, Olympic gold medals, and experience as an executive in professional hockey) who for whatever reason don’t manage NHL teams while Ken Holland is a GM who exists. In all seriousness, systemic misogyny plagues this sport and we desperately need a breath of fresh air in the form of diverse leadership to rectify the social issues holding the NHL and other hockey leagues./