With the Jason Dickinson contract out of the way, at $2.65-million AAV for three years, Jim Benning and the Vancouver Canucks can turn their full attention to the last two, biggest off-season tasks. Contracts for Quinn Hughes and Elias Pettersson. The latter will likely get done first. More on that shortly.
Besides getting player’s names on contracts, the other main NHL issue at the moment is whether or not the league will participate in the Beijing Winter Olympics that start in six months. In the Hockey Wanderlüst international puck newsletter, Ken Yaffe spoke to some NHL executives and others to get their latest sentiments with the NHL’s decision-deadline looming at the end of this month.
Speaking of Olympians, Pittsburgh captain and Vancouver’s friend Sidney Crosby and his Penguins have some serious issues to deal with as those back-to-back Stanley Cup titles gradually drift away in the rearview mirror. As our man Dan points out, it’s an aging roster with hefty, unshakable salaries. Pittsburgh Hockey Now plays GM.
Elsewhere on the international puck front, more often than not it’s the big two, USA and Canada, that end up facing off in the Womens World Championship Gold Medal match. In fact, since it started in 1990, it was only those two in the final until Finland snuck into the ultimate game against the USA in 2019. Because of Covid, that’s the last time this IIHF event was held, and the Americans won 2-1 in a shoot-out. Finland’s appearance could be a harbinger of things to come as the rest of the world tries to catch up to North America in terms of the female talent base.
TSN’s Meaghen Johnson takes a peak at some of the great players from different countries in this year’s affair. The entire tournament will be front and centre on network television and it starts in four days. You may find yourself watching more than just the games against the dreaded rival to the south, with good reason.
By the way, after Canada won the first eight Women’s Worlds, the United States has won nine of the last eleven, including the last five in a row.
Enjoy the hockey action!