It’s been an interesting and exciting season so far, with records being shattered and new players experiencing their breakout seasons. While the Ottawa Senators’ on-ice performance is slowly coming back to what we had all hoped for, they haven’t been short for the off-ice entertainment and news. So what have the Sens and the rest of the hockey world been up to this week? We’ve got you covered in the Thursday edition of Links, News, and Notes:
- At 37 years old, there remain some doubts about whether Alexander Ovechkin is capable of reaching Wayne Gretzky’s elusive 894 goals record but this week he got to score his 800th career goal to bring himself one back from Gordie Howe — and one step closer to one of the most storied records in hockey history. He is now only the third player to reach the milestone. Like him or lump him, Ovechkin has earned the respect of many hockey fans with his level of pure skills even after all these years.
- As was expected, Alex Formenton has signed a deal to play in Europe since he is no longer eligible to play in the NHL this season. The Ottawa Senators official position remains that this was strictly a contractual dispute issue and refused to acknowledge any other issues related to the delay in the signing of Formenton. Yesterday, the Ambrì-Piotta Hockey Club of the Swiss National League signed Formenton to a 1-year deal and released the following statement:/
- It seems the NHL’s success could be dependent on the Ottawa Senators making the playoffs and bringing in those precious Canadian revenues. Gary Bettman has lowered his optimism about this season’s revenues and his original prediction of a possible salary cap of $4 million now seems a bit out of reach. In the recent Board of Governor's meeting, Bettman stated that a salary cap for next season will most probably be around $1 million instead.
- If you follow the Premier Hockey Federation, you will be happy to hear that the league plans to increase its salary cap to $1.5 million per team. The PHF, which includes two Canadian teams in Toronto and Montreal, started off with a salary cap of $150,000 per team at its inception in 2021. An increase in a salary cap is a success for the league and a better future for its player.
- It seems it’s all good news on the Ottawa Senators ownership front of late. With Daly and Bettman confirming a high level of interest in the purchase of the team, the future seems to be bright. However, for many Sens fans, the most crucial part of new ownership is the whether Deadpool will be involved or not. News that Bettman and Daly have met with Ryan Reynolds to discuss his interest can only mean good news for us.
- If a team was hoping they could get Barry Trotz’s services this season, they should make other plans. Trotz, who is currently taking care of a family matter, has stated that he does not see himself returning behind the bench this season as he continues to focus on taking care of his family./
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