I hope everyone had a nice weekend. Here on Long Island, it was perfect summer weather. Nice time to be outside.
In the hockey world, the Return to Play picture became a little clearer toward the end of last week. Some of the finer details are already getting worked out, as you’ll see below.
Bits of All Kinds, but Mostly Islanders
- It has not been officially announced, but Las Vegas will assuredly be a hub city in the NHL’s Return to Play plan. The identity of the other hub city remains to be seen and determined. [Sportsnet]
- And Newsday seems to have confirmed that both the Islanders and Rangers will be in Las Vegas, assuming the plan goes forward, to play the Panthers and Hurricanes, respectively. The article is silent on it, but I would guess that means the entire Eastern Conference tournament will be in Nevada. [Newsday]
- Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello says the Belmont Park arena is going to showcase a new style—it will meld the state-of-the-art of the new arenas with the cozy feel of the old arenas. It will have “Coliseum atmosphere.” [Newsday]
- WATCH: Lamoriello and Isles owner Jon Ledecky dropped into a Zoom call with season ticket holders to discuss the Belmont arena, Adam Pelech, the roster, and more. [Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3]
- Sound Tigers coach Brent Thompson said Oliver Wahlstrom, Kieffer Bellows, and Otto Koivula made steady progress in Bridgeport this season. [Newsday]
- Stan Fischler remembers the day Bill Torrey swung both the Pat LaFontaine and Brent Sutter trades—October 25, 1991—with the Sabres and Blackhawks, respectively. Coming back the other way included a few guys key to the 1993 run: Pierre Turgeon, Benoit Hogue, and Steve Thomas, among others. [Maven’s Memories]
- Speaking of LaFontaine, a “heavily used” game-worn home no. 16 Isles jersey of his, complete with the alternate captain’s ‘A,’ is available for auction for another four days. 14 bids have already been submitted. [Lelands]
- Players that need their work visas extended were “strongly encouraged” to return to Canada or the United States, depending on which team they play for, by June 21. [Sportsnet]
- And finally, I’ll let the headline do the talking: “Cue the ‘Brass Bonanza’—The Ballad of the 1985-86 Hartford Whalers.” [The Athletic]
Dan included this in the last edition of Bits, but the Islanders used to have a softball team. No, really.
The #Isles used to have a softball team...— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) June 11, 2020
And it was no joke. A couple of guys like Bob Bourne and Clark Gillies were drafted by MLB teams, so they were just as impressive on the ball field as they were on the ice! ⚾️ pic.twitter.com/iUGfxDPU3e