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Simmer’s Skate: Canucks in Motown, Big $$ in Boston, Uh oh Covid, Suspensions

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The Vancouver Canucks are in Detroit for this evening’s 4 pm-ish pacific start against the Red Wings. Two notes: Expect 36-year-old Slovakian Jaroslav Halak to get the start in net for the Canucks. Secondly, Red Wings’ captain Dylan Larkin will sit this one out, serving a rare (for him) one-game suspension. There’s also a chance he’s injured. While we’re awaiting the countdown to puck drop, let’s go for a little NHL twirl …

Let’s Skate! …

Starting in 2022, Boston Bruins defenceman Charlie McAvoy will be $76-million dollars richer over the following eight years, as the team announced a deal early Friday. The defenceman will make $9.5-million per season in a deal the Bruins completed early. McAvoy will play 2021-’22 for $4.9-million. It’s tough to compare the numbers to Vancouver Canucks D-man Quinn Hughes because the age is different, as is the overall productivity, as is the fact that this is McAvoy’s third contract. Most would argue Canucks General Manager Jim Benning did pretty well to get Hughes for $7.85-million per season and lock him up for six years, which he did, but that number is pretty darn nice for the player as well if you average things out in the comparison.

We welcome our crew to Montreal Hockey Now, although it’s been an inauspicious start for the team they are covering. If you didn’t happen to catch it, the Carey Price-less Habs lost on Wednesday night in Toronto and then were embarrassed at home by the Buffalo Sabres the very next night.

On the Covid front, oh yes, that’s still a big thing even in the stringent NHL, the Colorado Avalanche had some important updates to make on Friday. They got their coach back, but continue to be without their best player. Colorado Hockey Now tells us the latest about Jared Bednar and Nathan MacKinnon. Also, in the Covid hockey world, Ryan Strome of the New York Rangers will miss tonight’s (Saturday) game against the Montreal Canadiens as he goes through positive test protocol. He’ll be replaced in the line-up by Greg McKegg.

Oh, and while that was all happening, Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog was suspended two games for his boarding hit on young Kirby Dach of the Chicago Blackhawks, the third-overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. You can watch Dach’s body crumple and hear the rationale behind the suspension with this video from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. It’s the fourth time Landeskog has been suspended in his career.

That cloud over the Buffalo Sabres, the Vancouver Canucks 1970 NHL expansion brethren, just continues to hover. Even when there’s good news, there’s bad news. We mentioned the win over the Habs … it didn’t come without a price. And that’s no pun. Two key young players were injured. What did Sabres fans, statistically the most dedicated to the game in general based on per-capita national TV ratings over recent decades, ever do to deserve this? They’re still waiting for a solution the Jack Eichel crisis.

Well, all I can say to Vancouver Canucks fans …

Enjoy the Hockey Action!!

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