The Boston Bruins are clearly trying to transition to the future and incorporate some of their prospects into their NHL roster but how many of those prospects are ready for the show? Could UFA forwards Mike Hoffman and Erik Haula sign soon? When will the 2021 NHL season begin? Also, how will the NHL and sports be affected by Joe Biden being elected as the 46th President of the United States?
All that and more in the latest edition of Boston Hockey Now Puck Links!
Our own Joe Haggerty spoke to multiple NHL talent evaluators (scouts and management) about the Boston Bruins pipeline of talent. The Bruins surprised a lot of NHL insiders when they signed defenseman Jakub Zboril to a one-way contract last month, considering some don’t think he can make it in the NHL. From one NHL talent evaluator that Haggs spoke to:
“Heavy boots, man. I don’t think he’s ever going to play. He has a really hard time keeping pace even at the AHL. Laterally he’s not the best mover, so when guys drive wide or cut back, it’s tough for him to stop, reset and start.” “He does an okay job moving the puck. I wouldn’t call him a puck mover. He does an okay job in the defensive zone. What is the one trait where I say ‘okay, he’s going to play in the NHL?’ I just don’t see it with him.”
The news wasn’t all that bad for the Bruins top prospects. (Boston Hockey Now)
In the latest National Hockey Now ‘Off The Record’ column, I have an NHL source telling me that Erik Haula and the Dallas Stars are talking again. Also, could Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney get another shot at acquiring Norwood, MA native and Calgary Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin? (Boston Hockey Now)
The NHL and Adidas teased the reported ‘Reverse Retro’ jerseys on Tuesday. This came a day after the Boston Bruins version was leaked. (Boston Hockey Now)
Speaking of ‘Reverse Retro’ jerseys, colleague and friend of BHN, George Richards, takes a look at what the Florida Panthers version may look like. (Florida Hockey Now)
Another friend of BHN and myself, Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, reported that the NHL will present best and worst-case scenarios for a 2021 NHL regular season to the Board of Governors this Thursday. (Ottawa Sun).
Could the NHL actually play in front of packed arenas this season? One NHLer told the Athletic he’d have no issues with that:
“I’m good with full-blown, 100 percent (attendance), if they put a little bit of protection from the tunnel. If you’re that much of a fan and you miss the game that much? It’s your own choice coming to the games … obviously, we want people to be safe, but things have to get back to normal here pretty soon.”
In the humble opinion of this puck scribe, that player is living in fantasy land. There were however some really interesting takes on the possibilities for the upcoming season in the latest player poll. (The Athletic)
With plenty of spare time these days, friend of BHN and yours truly, Adrian Dater posted an excerpt from his book ‘100 Things Avalanche Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’ that chronicled the end of Ryan O’Reilly’s time with the Colorado Avalanche. (Colorado Hockey Now)
How will a new President of the United States affect the NHL and pro sports? Sheng Peng takes a look. (San Jose Hockey Now)
Finally, as the son, cousin, and good friend of a US Marine, November 10 is always a big day for my family and friends. My late Dad, who served in Vietnam, refused to blow candles out on his actual birthday, November 5, and waited until the Marine Corps birthday. So to all Marines out there, happy 245th birthday and thank you for your service! Semper Fi.