The NHL finally came out with their big dates and tentpole events for the 2021-22 NHL season along with a plan for an 82-game schedule that will begin in October. Ah, that is the feeling of normalcy coursing through your hockey veins after a long, strange and bizarre past 18 months. The season will begin around the midway point of October, and the Winter Classic will be played between the Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues at Target Field.
The NHL said they’re also going to try and implement multiple games between teams in the same city after the baseball-style schedule really worked during this 56-game COVID restricted regular season, but it will be tough to make happen regularly once the schedule goes back to the way it used to be.
The NHL All-Star weekend will be in Las Vegas to the chagrin of Floridians (more on that later) and next summer’s 2022 NHL Draft will be held in the fair city of Montreal. The last time the draft was in Montreal was when the Bruins selected Jordan Caron in the first round, so they will certainly be looking to rebound from that one.
The only real bummer is that it appears there are currently some significant snags in NHL players taking part in the 2022 Winter Olympics, and that is why the NHL is holding off on presenting a regular season schedule for year.
“We’re getting to be on a rather short timeframe now because this can’t go on indefinitely,” said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.
Let’s hope that can get worked out given how important is to the NHL players, but let’s also just be happy that it looks like the NHL will be going back to normal next season.
Hallelujah to that!
*Congrats to former Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara on the honors he received back in Slovakia this week. (Washington Hockey Now)
*Jack Todd takes a look at the Tampa Bay Lightning moves to keep salary cap compliant that have some up in arms. Is it taking advantage of the rules a bit? Probably. But it’s also something made possible by the unique circumstances of a compacted 56-game season and an unbelievably deep team that could withstand being without their best player (Nikita Kucherov) all year until the playoffs. There aren’t going to be a lot of copycats of that. (Montreal Gazette)
*Speaking of the Stanley Cup Final, Shea Weber was fined $5,000 for this slash to the back of Nikita Kucherov’s legs that somehow didn’t draw a penalty. Refs at previous playoff levels at the Stanley Cup Final.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 29, 2021
*Thoughts and prayers to David Pastrnak and his girlfriend Rebecca on the loss of their 6-day old son Viggo. No parent should have ever have to endure such heartbreaking pain and loss. Everybody here at Boston Hockey Now sends love to you and your family, Pasta. (Boston Hockey Now)
*Plenty of familiar, local names included in the ESPN roster that’s going to provide NHL coverage for the foreseeable future including FOHs like Brian Boucher, AJ Mleczko and Sean McDonough. Rick DiPietro was a surprise in the mix, but he’s never been shy about giving his opinions…never a bad thing.
Your ESPN hockey fam. Let’s gooooooooo! 🏒🥳 pic.twitter.com/943qbIMIYq
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) June 29, 2021
*Should any Vegas Golden Knights player be untouchable if Jack Eichel becomes a possible trade target? (Vegas Hockey Now)
*The chatter around the league is that the Philadelphia Flyers are definitely working on a Seth Jones, and of course why wouldn’t they be? (Philly Hockey Now)
*It appears that the Florida Panthers have lost NHL All-Star weekend to Las Vegas, who is going to host the 2022 NHL All-Star Game festivities. FOH (Friend of Haggs) George Richards should be rightfully bummed. (Florida Hockey Now)
*Love that FOH Elliotte Friedman is a big Bill Burr podcast fan as he mentions on his latest 31 Thoughts column. Burr is a major league Boston Bruins fan that’s in agony over this current Montreal Canadiens run. (Sportsnet)
*For something completely different: This story about a Yankees fan realizing a childhood dream 60 years later is pretty cool…even if it is the Yankees. (SB Nation)