If you happened to be on the RFK (Triboro) Bridge yesterday around 2:00 p.m. and saw an old, green Ford Focus hatchback with its hood up and its engine/transmission pissing, OR if you saw the same car strapped to a tow truck on the LIE all the way to Deer Park, congratulations, you probably saw me. Now it is time to find another car, I suppose.
Regardless, it is Labor Day, and I hope you are not performing any. You should be enjoying a cup of coffee, or a mimosa, or a Bloody Mary, or a bowl of cereal, or anything else, and not working nor getting ready for it. These Bits are all you should labor over today.
This weekend, we at LHH finished up one series while beginning another, as a third continues steadily along.
- First, we have reached the end of our Top 25 Under 25 Islanders, and the top two players should be no surprise: Ryan Pulock, potentially elite defenseman, checked in at no. 2, and the new savior and Calder Trophy winner, Mathew Barzal, is of course no. 1.
- Now that August is over and so is our countdown, it is time we address some pressing questions. Over the first twenty days of September, we intend to achieve this very goal. This coincides with and brings us to the twenty-first of September, a night to remember. Of course, we could use your help to get there, if you’ve got any questions of your own.
- In the mean time, here is Question No. 1, pondered by Noel: Do the Islanders need to name a captain to replace John Tavares? [LHH]
- And while we’re at it, here’s Question No. 2, answered by Travis (look for No. 3 today): Will Mat Barzal suffer a sophomore slump? [LHH]
- And, as he has through the background of the entire summer, Mike B resumes his Cheaper than Therapy series with Part 8: An Actual Game of Simulated Hockey. [LHH]
- NHL.com/NHL Network are now unveiling who they think are the top 50 players, overall, throughout the league. Barzal is number 49. [NHL]
- Bode Wilde joined Blade Jenkins on the Saginaw Spirit (OHL) this season, and they played their first preseason game Friday afternoon against the North Bay Battalion. Jenkins assisted on the first goal of the game, and Wilde scored a beaut for the third. [MLive]
- John Tortorella and Barry Trotz are friends going back decades. Torts relayed a quick story of the 1995 AHL Calder Cup Finals, in which Gabby (Trotz) insisted he and Torts hang out and talk on their shared flight between Games 6 and 7. Trotz “waddled like a penguin” to find him. [LHH]
Beyond the Isle
- Yesterday’s big story throughout the league is that Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt was suspended twenty games as a first-time offender violating the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substance Program. [NHL]
- In response to his suspension, Schmidt offered this statement, in which he reveals he was suspended because the league found less than 7 billionths of a banned substance in his system, an amount so small that two experts that testified explained that it could not have been the result of intentional use. [Twitter]
- The full Q&A with Tortorella from which the Trotz story hails can be found here. He also discusses the futures of pending Russian UFAs winger Artemi Panarin and goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. [The Athletic]
- Patrice Bergeron will skip the Bruins’ trip to China this September as he rehabs from his groin surgery in June. [Sportsnet]
- With training camps on the horizon, Willie Nylander, Darnell Nurse, and Josh Morrissey are three important RFAs on Canadian teams that remain unsigned. [Sportsnet]
- Robby Fabbri, of the Blues, is eager to prove himself after consecutive knee injuries. [Sportsnet]
- Alexei Emelin has moved on to the KHL after seven seasons in the NHL. [TSN]
- For the fourth time in the last five BioSteel camps, Tyler Seguin’s team claimed the championship, and this time, he was captain, coach, and GM of the team that took down Connor McDavid and the rest of Team Nurse. [Sportsnet]
- Jordan Subban is excited to prove to the Maple Leafs that he’s better, and his mother is excited he’s a part of their organization. [Sportsnet]
- Johnny Gaudreau, Sam Bennett, Mark Giordano, and Curtis Lazar represented the Flames at Calgary’s 28th Annual Pride Parade. [NHL]