Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while basking in the first few golden moments of 2018.
*Kevin Shattenkirk is pumped to play in front of family and friends in the Winter Classic at Citi Field as a member of the New York Rangers.
*It’s a happy new NHL New Year for 2018, and here are a few hopes for things, courtesy of ESPN.com, that are “in or out” for 2018 including if this will be the year that Jaromir Jagr finally hangs up his skates.
*It’s been a tough season for the Pittsburgh Penguins, and perhaps appropriately they ended their 2017 schedule on a down note.
*Speaking of low points, the Edmonton Oilers bumped down another rung on the ladder with an embarrassing shutout loss to the Winnipeg Jets. This team just really doesn’t look like playoff material right now.
*The silent leadership of Jamie Benn has been a huge boost to the Dallas Stars this season as they creep back into possible playoff position.
*For something completely different: Here’s a preview of the top-10 TV items that are returning/debuting on the winter schedule. I certainly NBC’s always engrossing Winter Olympics coverage is part of this list.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while getting ready to go purchase the Haggerty Family Christmas Tree. Tis the season, everybody!
*Wow, Barry Trotz isn’t known for burying his players past or present, but he kind of did that with Kevin Shattenkirk when asked about his contributions to last season’s Capitals team. I don’t really disagree with much of what Trotz said, I don’t think Shattenkirk is a No. 1 or a 2 defenseman either and it seems like the NHL is of that same opinion when it comes to the current New York Rangers D-man.
*Time is wasting for the Edmonton Oilers, who register as this season’s most disappointing team in the NHL.
*PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Sean Leahy has the NHL indicating that the salary cap will go up by about $3 million next season, which is good news for clubs that could use a little breathing room. The Bruins aren’t currently one of those teams right now, but every little bit helps with a new deal for Charlie McAvoy coming down the pipe after next season.
*In an interesting twist, the bookies in Vegas could be in major financial distress if the Vegas Golden Knights end up making the playoffs.
*Mitch Marner dishes on movie night with Auston Matthews and Patrick Marleau where they apparently go see animated films. It feels right on brand for Marner and Matthews. Marleau? Not so much unless he also brought his kids.
*The New Jersey Devils’ Ben Lovejoy becomes the first NHL player to agree to donate his brain to CTE research.
*For something completely different: Apparently Patrick Stewart is in for another "Star Trek" movie if Quentin Tarantino is involved.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while the dust is settling on NHL free agency.
*Larry Brooks says that the NHL has destroyed budding dynasties, and I say, well, it could be worse. They could be the NBA where only two teams have a chance of actually winning, and there is zero parity to the league whatsoever. Also, Brooks clearly has an issue with Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs being named to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Hey, it’s not the Hall of Hockey Popularity or the Hall of Being Well-Liked. As I wrote last week, Jacobs is never going to be beloved because he was a bit of an absentee owner and because there was a reputation for not spending enough money to really go for Cups in Boston. Nobody will argue those points, but Jacobs has been one of the most powerful owners in the NHL for the last thirty years while the game was grown exponentially. That’s exactly the kind of thing that the HHOF Builder category was, well, built for.
*The Buffalo Sabres have plenty to prove with a new GM in place, and a group of players being brought in to change the culture.
*Meanwhile in Montreal, the Habs filled a need by signing Karl Alzner as the kind of player that will fit in well with Claude Julien’s system.
*The Blue Jackets were active ahead of the opening of free agency, and still might have a few big moves up their sleeve while they try to build something that can net them Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene as well.
*Kevin Shattenkirk clearly really, really wanted to play for the New York Rangers after taking less years, less money and a much smaller deal to fit in with the Blueshirts for the next four years.
*PHT writer James O’Brien has the Nashville Predators perhaps preparing another move after shipping a third round pick to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for Alexei Emelin.
*For something completely different: The Ansel Elgort think pieces are exactly why I don’t go to the Ringer on a regular basis. It’s a perfectly well-executed Hollywood think piece/deep dive, but there is just no appeal to me for this kind of stuff.