Thursday LNN: Babcock Controversy, Tatar Signs, New Captains, and more!

Babcock is in hot water again, Tatar finally signs in Colorado, new captains are named, and more!

Thursday LNN: Babcock Controversy, Tatar Signs, New Captains, and more!

There is Ottawa Senators hockey tomorrow! Sort of. The prospect games still count, right? The 29-man roster was announced, with not a whole lot of big names for the Senators. In the meantime, here are some links, news, and notes to keep you thinking about hockey:

  • Mike Babcock is in hot water once again, as Paul Bissonnette and Ryan Whitney were told by another player that Babcock was allegedly asking for players' phones and then showing them on his office TV in front of others. This prompted Babcock and Jenner to actually release their own statements, saying that Babcock simply wanted to get to know some of the players better. I don't exactly want to believe either of these sides considering the lack of credibility for both, and perhaps the truth is somewhere in the middle. Aaron Portzline detailed some of the story here as well.  The NHLPA is also investigating. At the end of the day, Babcock has to go above and beyond to show that he's different though. Seeing news about this does make me appreciate the kind of good person that DJ Smith appears to be.
  • Tyler Boucher didn't take the morning skate today at rookie camp due to a "groin tweak" but that he also "isn't injured". OK then. The man is cursed.
  • Tomas Tatar finally signed with a team, for a bargain of a price at one year and $1.5M with the Colorado Avalanche. The Avalanche sneakily don't have the best forward depth anymore, and Tatar could help a lot in terms of their offense. The 32-year-old had 48 points in 82 games last season in New Jersey and has also averaged 48 points per season in his career. What's crazy is that he has just 13 points in 52 career playoff games, which I'm sure is why it's taken him this long to sign. Still though, you need good players to help you make the playoffs.
  • Quinn Hughes was named the 15th captain in Vancouver Canucks history on Monday. The soon-to-be 24-year-old has quickly become the Canucks best defenseman of all time, and his quiet leadership could end up being similar to how Markus Naslund was.
  • The Winnipeg Jets also named their third captain in franchise history: Adam Lowry. It's a bit surprising if you don't follow the team too much, but there's a chance a guy like Mark Scheifele might not be in Winnipeg beyond this season. Lowry's been a Jet for all nine of his NHL seasons, and he's always been highly regarded.
  • Nick Holden has retired and joined the Vegas Golden Knights in a prospect development role, focusing on defensemen. He played for three seasons in Vegas so I'm sure he made quite an imprint on the organization there. He seemed like the most fun person to be around who could boost the morale. I mean, how many players are actually going to show this much personality? Best of luck to Nick in his retirement.  
  • The Ottawa Senators certainly aren't thinking about lottery odds anymore, but plenty of other teams are. Harman Dayal of The Athletic takes a look at what teams are best positioned to get the number one pick in 2024.
  • Bill Daly told ESPN writer Greg Wyshynski that an NHL team in Atlanta, whether expansion or not, isn't out of the question. It would be the third time they try bringing the NHL to Atlanta, but Daly says "I think some of the challenges that we've seen in the past in Atlanta can be overcome." I do think Daly is right that a massive city like Atlanta could overcome their previous struggles with good ownership and smart management due to the success in other non-traditional markets, but man, I really don't like thinking about expanding the league again.
  • There was a minor trade between the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday, as Jakov Novak was sent to the Habs for future considerations. Novak was a 2018 7th-rounder, and he'll be 25 in October. He went unsigned by the Senators after finishing his NCAA career, and he put up 12 points in 14 ECHL games with the Allen Americans. I'm sure the "future considerations" are some drinks.
  • The Calgary Flames are in a difficult spot, as they have Elias Lindholm, Mikael Backlund, and Noah Hanifin as pending UFAs next summer. Eric Francis of Sportsnet says they're all non-committal so far, which is fair considering the organization is a bit directionless right now. The Flames have enough talent to make a wildcard spot but could easily fall off as well.

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