I know that GM Lou Lamoriello does not love the media. But at this point, it is fair to wonder if he has held off announcing his signings because he is trying to be nicer to them and does not want to ruin the beat writers’ vacations.
I thought that the big hold-up on further New York Islanders news was signing Adam Pelech. He may be waiting until he has all his RFAs inked. I had been under the impression that both Anthony Beauvillier and Ilya Sorokin had agreed upon new deals since neither player filed for arbitration. But perhaps they just did not want to add any tension to their negotiations.
He may be working a trade, as Elliotte Friedman speculated not long before Pelech’s new contract hit the wire. For whom he would trade remains a mystery.
Whatever the case may be, I hope that something happens soon. It is too hot out, and we need something to keep us entertained while stuck inside with the A/C.
- We now have start times for the games. The Islanders adopted a 7:30 p.m. puck drop for the new building. They will also play quite a few 12:30 p.m. Saturday games, oddly. Brunch hockey, complete with Bloody Marys. [Islanders]
- Seven NHL site writers selected the goalie that they thought would be the best in the league this season. William Douglas chose Semyon Varlamov. [NHL]
- One of the reasons Douglas picked Varly was the Isles’ team defense, led by Pelech and Ryan Pulock. They’re among the best defensive pairs in the NHL. [Empire]
- The Bridgeport City Council finally closed a deal with the B-Isles to renovate the Webster Bank Arena and keep them in it for ten more years. [CT Post]
- It is based on contracts officially filed only, but as of right now, Dom Luszczyszyn’s model says the Islanders have the 10th-most efficient salary structure in the NHL. [The Athletic]
- Stan Fischler has been around, man. He’s seen things and he knows about arenas. He claims to be the only active hockey journalist to have seen all six Original Six buildings. And he says that UBS Arena will be the NHL’s crown jewel. [Maven’s Memories]
- LISTEN: Denis Potvin was the latest guest on the Talkin’ Isles podcast. [Islanders]
“The Rangers Are Broken” Section
Now former New York Rangers defenseman Brendan Smith dropped some trail mix doing a radio hit a day or two ago.
Former #NYR Brendan Smith just said on NHL Radio there’s a lot of info that will come out one day regarding the Tom Wilson incident and the aftermath.— Forever Blueshirts (@4EverBlueshirts) August 13, 2021
Some Twitter joker had some fun with Smith’s soundbite, but I still cannot wait to see it all play out; the Rangers open their season visiting the Washington Capitals. I hope that they kill each other.
Anyway, I don’t think this applies to “The Rangers Are Broken” necessarily, but it is tangentially related, as Chris Drury would not be the new GM were it not for the team breaking: Drury named Ryan Martin his new assistant GM. He previously played the same role for the Detroit Red Wings. [NY Post]
- It has been reported before, but now there is more juice. Apparently, everyone in the San Jose Sharks locker room, aside from Timo Meier, dislikes Evander Kane. When he had to answer to veterans like Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, he pulled his weight. Now, on top of the gambling allegations, he was frequently late to practice and games and half-assed practice. Some current veterans have said that if Kane returns, they would prefer to play elsewhere. [The Athletic | THN on SI]
- Speaking of Joe Thornton, he signed a league-minimum deal with the Florida Panthers for his 25th NHL season. He’s old—just turned 42, to be exact—but he’s still pretty good defensively, and that is likely the role that he’ll play in Florida. [Litter Box Cats]
- When Thornton’s former team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, begin training camp, Auston Matthews probably won’t be there. He just had wrist surgery. [NHL]
- The Tampa Bay Lightning have a pretty good chance to be the first team to three-peat since the Islanders. According to the Maven (our second article from him today!), they can learn a few lessons from the 1949 Maple Leafs, who were the first team ever to three-peat, also doing it after losing a handful of key players after their second Stanley Cup win. [NHL]
- Elias Pettersson missed the Vancouver Canucks’ last 30 games in what turned into a disaster season. He is “hungry for revenge.” [NHL]
- All full-time Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks employees—yes, players and front office members included—must be vaccinated against COVID-19 (legal exceptions apply, of course). They’re two of five professional sports franchises in Southern California to require the vaccine.
- Content Warning: Former Chicago Blackhawks skills coach Paul Vincent shared an hour-long interview that he did with the law firm investigating the Brad Aldrich sexual abuse allegations and the team’s alleged cover-up and later positive job reference. [TSN]
- In the wake of the organization’s awfulness coming to light, many Blackhawks’ fans, including some season-ticket holders, are re-evaluating their loyalty to the team. [The Athletic]
- Tony Esposito was not just a Hall of Fame hockey player; he led a Hall of Fame life. [NHL]