The 24 teams that will participate in the Stanley Cup Playoffs Qualifiers and Round-Robin have arrived in the NHL Hub Cities of Toronto (Eastern Conference) and Edmonton (Western Conference) on Sunday. All but two of those teams were scheduled to hold their first practices in Scotiabank Arena and Rogers Place on Monday and Zoom media availabilities were being held throughout the day. That means an already ramped up NHL news cycle got even more fluid and with that here’s your better late than never daily BHN Puck Links:
Welcome To The Family NYI Hockey Now!
The National Hockey Now family continues to grow! On Monday morning, we welcomed Christian Arnold and NYI Hockey Now. I’ve known Christian for six years dating back to when I hosted Top Shelf on Sirius/XM NHL Network Radio. He is one of the most underrated New York Islanders and hockey reporters around and I’m psyched to call him a colleague now! Islanders fans you definitely want to subscribe to NYI Hockey Now right now! Here’s one of Christian’s first pieces for his new site looking at three questions facing the Isles as they prepare for their Qualifying Round matchup with the Florida Panthers.
Panthers’ Big Guns Need To Get Hot Again
Speaking of the Panthers, as George Richards of Florida Hockey Now writes, if Sasha Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau don’t snap out of the funk they were in just prior to the NHL Pause back on March 12, it could be a quick stint for the Panthers in the NHL bubble.
Could The ‘McPatty’ Line Be The X-Factor For Pens?
Dan Kingerski has some fun giving the Penguins’ new third line some nicknames over at Pittsburgh Hockey Now. All kidding aside though, the Pens will definitely need newly acquired Patrick Marleau to mesh with linemates Jared McCann and Patric Hornqvist if they’re to take care of Carey Price and the Montreal Canadiens in the Qualifying round.
Pastrnak Back For Bruins
Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy confirmed to the media Monday that not only did superstar winger David Pastrnak travel to Toronto with his teammates Sunday but that he will also return to practice Monday. This will be the co-Rocket Richard Trophy winner’s first practice since his only one in training camp back on July 15. There was some bad news though from the two-time Jack Adams Award finalist Monday. Forward Ondrej Kase did not make the trip to Toronto and there is no timetable for his return. Also, forward Nick Ritchie, who is in Toronto, will remain out of the lineup for now.
Looking Back On The Ray Bourque Trade
Our colleague Adrian Dater of Colorado Hockey Now has plenty of free time while still in quarantine in Edmonton and he’s been an awesome follow as he battles the boredom of being stuck in a hot Airbnb. Dater posted an oral documentary of the Ray Bourque trade to Colorado from Boston he did with a previous employer on Colorado Hockey Now and it’s a must-read for any Bruins fan!
Coyotes Continue To Be A Hot Mess
The Arizona Coyotes just continue to be a hot mess in the desert but this time it may not be their fault. News broke Sunday that now-former Coyotes General Manager John Chayka had terminated his contract with the team. The team released a statement saying Chayka ‘quit on his team’ and it’s been a pissing war between Chayka and the new ownership group for the last 24 hours. Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet takes a deep look into the heated battle and as yours truly has heard as well, speculates that the New Jersey Devils ownership could be the group that tried to lure Chayka away with a ‘Godfather offer he couldn’t refuse’.
Zero Positive COVID19 Tests For NHL Last Week
The NHL released the latest COVID19 testing data and revealed that 4,256 tests were administered to more than 800 players during the seven-day period from July 18-25 and all of them were negative. After a COVID19 outbreak ravaged the Miami Marlins and postponed their home opener Monday, Major League Baseball may want to put a hold on its season and follow the NHL’s lead.
Our colleague Sheng Peng of San Jose Sharks Now penned a touching tribute to his late father who passed away four weeks ago. August 4 marks six years since I lost my Dad and as anyone who has lost a parent can attest, it never gets easier. Once again, my condolences to Sheng and his family