Happy Monday! After extensive talks, NHL players will be able to participate in the 2022 Winter Olympics. Does the Jesperi Kotkaniemi offer sheet impact the Jack Eichel sweepstake? These NHL stories and more in today’s daily links!
It seems that NHL players will be headed back to the Olympics this winter, according to a new report. Ken Yaffe of Hockey Wanderlüst, and a colleague of Vancouver Hockey Now’s Rob Simpson, is reporting that the NHL players taking part in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Bejing is a “forgone conclusion.” It appears the only thing that would change that is a massive COVID-19 outbreak. It will mark the first time since the 2014 Olympics in Sochi that NHL players will participate in the Winter Games. (NYI Hockey Now)
So now that it’s apparently a done deal that NHLers will be playing at the 2022 Beijing games, what Boston Bruins will be joining their native countries? Hockey Canada already named Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney as an Assistant General Manager to St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong, who will serve as the GM. After Armstrong named his staff back in February, he named Tampa Bay Lightning and back-to-back Stanley Cup champion-winning coach Jon Cooper as his bench boss earlier this month. Cooper, in turn, named Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy as an Assistant on his staff. What about the Canadian-born players on the Boston Bruins’ roster? (Boston Hockey Now)
The somewhat ridiculous chaos theory posits that a butterfly flapping its wings can create a tornado. We know small changes in the typical order can create far-reaching consequences, and the Montreal Canadiens could have set in motion a chain of events two years in the making that could end the NHL trade drama surrounding Jack Eichel and more. Maybe the butterfly theory isn’t so ridiculous. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
Sean Couturier is the Flyers’ most important player and he might just finish his career in Philadelphia.
While this offseason was important to reshape the team, next offseason was shaping up to be just as –– if not more –– important. Both Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux were set to become free agents in 2022. That is no longer the case for Couturier. The Flyers locked up Sean Couturier with an eight-year, $62 million ($7.75 million AAV) contract extension on Thursday. It’s a contract that works well for both sides. (Philly Hockey Now)
The Keith Petruzzelli divorce from his status as Detroit Red Wings prospect officially came to a conclusion on Sunday. The goaltender has signed a two-year contract with the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies, the top farm club of the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was at one time viewed as Detroit’s goalie of the future after his selection by the Wings at 88th overall in the 2017 NHL entry draft. However, it became clear this offseason that the two sides intended to go their separate ways. (Detroit Hockey Now)
NHL Network is getting ready for this season by ranking the top 50 players in the League. Researchers, producers and on-air personalities compiled the list, and players 50-41 were revealed Sunday in the premiere of the first program in a five-part offseason series. Here is the list: (NHL)
William Douglas has been writing The Color of Hockey blog for the past nine years. Douglas joined NHL.com in March 2019 and writes about people of color in the sport. Today, he profiles Chanel Keenan, hired by the Seattle Kraken as an intersectionality consultant. Chanel Keenan, the Seattle Kraken’s intersectionality consultant, said announcing the Kraken’s selection of former Carolina Hurricanes forward Morgan Geekie in front of a TV camera during the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft on July 21 was one the coolest things she has ever done. (NHL)
Nikolaj Ehlers of the Winnipeg Jets scored the insurance goal with 3:12 to play to help Denmark to a 2-0 win against Norway in the final qualification round for the 2022 Beijing Olympics at Jordal Amfi in Oslo, Norway, on Sunday. It’s the first time Denmark has qualified to play in the Olympics. Ehlers, a forward, scored after taking a pass from forward Frans Nielsen, an unrestricted free agent who played for the Detroit Red Wings last season. (NHL)
Yesterdays seemed like April Fool’s day in the world of hockey. I can’t say I was shocked when I heard that the Carolina Hurricanes tendered an offer sheet to forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi. But I started to laugh. The first thing that came to my mind? Don’t piss off a billionaire because it can come back to haunt you. In that case, does it haunt the Habs? I’m not so sure, and in the contrary, I think it helps them out. (Sports Illustrated)
The World Junior Championships are the marquee event for U-20 international hockey, but four top teams got an early glimpse at their potential teams at the recent Four Nations event this past weekend. With the event being held in Hodonín, Czech Republic, the host nation put on a show for the fans and scouts in attendance. The Russians, Finns and Swedes all brought some talent expected to make their respective WJC rosters, but they were also filled with many wildcards. They took full advantage of this event for self-scouting and team-building purposes, and that’s what makes this event a bit different than the final big show. (Sports Illustrated)
People close to Montreal Canadiens restricted free agent Jesperi Kotkaniemi predicted that the forward had played his last game for the club following a healthy scratch in the Stanley Cup Final, according to TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger. After sitting out the first game of the Habs’ 2021 playoff run, Kotkaniemi had played 19 consecutive contests before being scratched for the final two games of the Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The 21-year-old signed a one-year, $6.1 million offer sheet with the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday, giving the Canadiens seven days to match the offer. TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reports that the Canes attempted to trade for Kotkaniemi over the past few days, but a deal did not transpire. (TSN)
The Ottawa Senators have signed backup goalie Filip Gustavsson to a two-year deal. The team said in a release Sunday that the first year of the contract is two-ways and worth US$750,000 in the NHL, while the second year is one-way with a value of $825,000. (TSN)
Welcome to The Athletic’s 2021-22 edition of the NHL Pipeline Rankings where we look at the future of the NHL, team by team. Every team will have a full ranking of the best young players in its organization with a projection of what is expected of each. Then those core groups are ranked from 1 to 32, so show how each compares to the rest of the league. Player eligibility is determined by age. A player is eligible if they are 22 years of age or younger as of Sept. 15, 2021. This encompasses almost every prospect selected between the 2017 and 2021 NHL drafts. This is used to include a team’s top prospects, without aggressively graduating players who have a lot of prime development years ahead of them, even if they are already in the NHL. (The Athletic)
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