Greetings folks. When it comes to off-season signings one can always expect the unexpected, but as it stands we’re not holding our breath on a Vancouver Canucks transaction just yet. We will be nosing around. In the meantime, unfortunately, more sad news …
Let’s Skate …
The Boston Globe has the latest on the death of 31-year-old former NHL’er Jimmy Hayes, although no cause has been given. The hockey world has been reeling this morning on social media.
The biggest star of the New York Rangers GAG (Goal a game) Line was Rod Gilbert. With left winger Vic Hadfield and centre Jean Ratelle he gave opponents fits in the late-60’s and early seventies. Gilbert remains the franchise’s all-time leading goal (406) and point (1,021) scorer and his #7 was the first jersey to be retired by the Original Six franchise. He played all 18 of his NHL seasons for the Blueshirts although he only played one game in each of his first two years. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1982.
Sunday, Gilbert died at the age of 80. The NHL’s remembrance features other NYR heroes.
There are a few more details on the car accident that claimed the lives of three young hockey players in Surrey in the wee hours of Saturday morning. Caleb Reimer, Ronin Sharma, and Parker Magnuson were killed when their car left the roadway and hit a tree. The Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL issued these statements on the passing of Reimer.
Team Canada, the women’s version, improved to 2-and-oh in the IIHF WCC on Sunday with a 5-1 victory over the athletes representing the Russian Olympic Committee. They had already come from behind to beat Finland 5-3 on Friday. Today’s an off day for the Canadians, they’ll take on Switzerland tomorrow (Tuesday). We mentioned Canadian youngster Sarah Fillier in our tournament preview on Thursday and as you may have noticed, she is the reeeeeaal deeeeeaal. Just ask her veteran teammate Erin Ambrose.
Speaking of the Olympics, it was reported Saturday by Larry Brooks via Twitter, “Updating from a week ago: IIHF has agreed to purchase insurance—including COVID coverage—for NHL players participating in Olympic qualifiers, per PA.” The NHL has stated it will make its final decision by the end of this month on whether its players will participate in the Winter Games.
As the Quinn Hughes/Vancouver Canucks contract watch continues, the Philadelphia Flyers signed one of their important defenceman. Not to the talent level or tune that one would expect from Hughes, but still an important deal. Travis Sanheim inked a bridge deal on Saturday for two-years at an average salary hit of $4.675-million. He’s the Flyers fourth highest paid defenceman and the deal takes him to Unrestricted Free Agent status in 2023.
And finally, the CHL is starting up again on Thursday. No, not the Canadian Hockey League, as in the entity that makes up the three Canadian major junior circuits, but instead the Champions Hockey League in Europe. That CHL pits the best of the best from all of the different leagues, 32 clubs in all, playing matches intermittently during the course of the regular season. This Thursday opens up with Mladá Boleslav of the Czech Extraliga facing off against Frölunda of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL), Lukko Rauma of the Finnish Liiga hosting Lausanne of the Swiss National League, Rögle Ängelholm (SHL) welcoming EV Zug from the Swiss league, IFK Helsinki (Liiga) travels to Zurich to take on the Swiss league Lions, Adler Mannheim, the champs of the German DEL travel to Wales to take on the Cardiff (Wales) Devils of the British Elite Ice Hockey League, and the Danish League’s Sønderjyske Vojens host Red Bull Munich of the DEL. This marks the official start of the 2021-’22 professional hockey season. Here’s more on the groups.
Enjoy the hockey action!