The ink is drying, the schedule is printed, and things are moving toward the qualifying and playoff “tournament,” come hell or high virus.
The official window to sign (but not play, because NHL) players like Ilya Sorokin starts Monday. Meanwhile, there’s other news, like a trickle of players (but no Islanders, yet) who are opting-out of playing during the pandemic.
- Lou Lamoriello expects all of the Islanders players to report to camp. In a totally non-threatening way, I assure you. [Newsday]
- Lamoriello and Barry Trotz are pretty happy to be back at it, and feel their players are prepared. [Isles | Isles video]
- For some of their players, the time off provided some needed rest. [Newsday]
- And those are some of the key questions — i.e. how well Adam Pelech and Casey Cizikas will be after recovering from their injuries. [Newsday]
- You of course know of the Dave Volek goal and the 1993 Upset of Righteousness that prevented the Penguins from pursuing dynastic ambitions. Stan Fischler recalls the first five games of that seven-game series. [Isles]
Elsewhere, but not Far
Solid-to-the-core Travis Hamonic will be opting out, in concern for the health needs of his daughter. (This likely doesn’t need pointing out, but Hamonic himself lost his father at a young age.) [Sportsnet]
- Not sure we need* this reminder, but it’s 2020 so maybe we do? Please respect athletes who decline to play during this uncertain and still high-risk time. [Faceoff] *Whoops! Turns out we do.
- Karl Alzner of the Canadiens, Mike Green of the Oilers and Steve Kampfer of the Bruins are also among those opting out.
- Guess who thinks the NHLPA sold its soul with the new CBA? That’s right, it’s “make no mistake” Brooksie! [Post]
- But — I know this is odd, Slapshots has not learned — it turns out that during nearly unprecedented pandemic conditions, the league and union prioritized labor peace. [Newsday]