Well, Lou Lamoriello probably would have had us wait all summer if it was up to him. But the rumored reason behind his secrecy is him trying to make a trade while signing his RFAs—having already locked up his UFAs—and it also seems like he has deals with two of his big three RFAs, given that they had arbitration rights and chose not to file for it, in Anthony Beauvillier and Ilya Sorokin.
The one guy he apparently has had trouble signing is Adam Pelech, the New York Islanders’ defending wizard. Pelech filed for arbitration earlier this week, and the league and players’ association announced yesterday the dates for the players’ hearings. Pelech’s will be early, hopefully bringing the Isles’ off-season to a head and forcing all the other transactions to go through.
UPDATED: Toss that out the window! Pelech and the Islanders announced an eight-year deal today.
- For ease of organization, let’s start with some non-roster news: Scott Mayfield rode in an F-16 Viper with his Air Force Captain brother. [Islanders]
- With Marc-Andre Fleury no longer in Vegas, the Islanders may have the best goaltending tandem in the NHL. [Empire]
- Excellent news here: Brendan Burke is close to a new contract with MSG to remain the Isles’ play-by-play broadcaster. Burke is one of the best in the business. [Newsday]
- Okay, roster news: Pelech’s hearing has been set for August 11, the first possible day for a hearing. That means that Pelech and Lou have five days to negotiate a deal on their own. [Newsday]
- But once Pelech has a contract, whether from Lou or from the arbitrator, we should expect a deluge of Isles’ news, including potentially a Vladimir Tarasenko trade. This is the St. Louis Blues’ beat writer for The Athletic in response to Tomas Tatar's signing with the New Jersey Devils, another rumored Tarasenko suitor.
I understand. I don't think so, but you never know.— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) August 5, 2021
I keep hearing Islanders, but they appear to have a few contract situations to get through first.
- For a full list of arbitration dates, enjoy this link. [NHL]
- Now-Winnipeg Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois will honor former Columbus Blue Jackets teammate Matiss Kivlenieks by wearing his no. 80 this season. [NHL | Winnipeg Sun, an ironically named newspaper]
- Carey Price’s wife, Angela, thought for sure that her family was bound for Seattle. [Sportsnet]
- Former Jackets coach John Tortorella has joined ESPN as a studio analyst. I expect a lot of measured analysis and calm, reasonable takes. [NHL]
- First-ever Vegas Golden Knights draft pick Cody Glass is looking for a fresh start with the Nashville Predators. [NHL]
- The Blues avoided arbitration with Zach Sanford, locking him up for another year. [TSN]
- The New Jersey Devils are the league’s most improved team, while the Arizona Coyotes and Carolina Hurricanes took big hits. The Isles are down -1.7 wins by GSVA, but that does not include any players that they have signed and whose contracts have not been filed. [The Athletic]
- The Vancouver Canucks have gone through quite the transformation this summer. For it to translate to success, the key is apparently not defense, which they lack in spades, but “commitment.” God, I wish I was a hockey columnist. [Sportsnet]
- Speaking of Western Canadian teams with poor defenses, do the Calgary Flames have a chance at the playoffs even with their dreadful defense corps? In that awful division, yes. [TSN]
- Anaheim Ducks prospect Olen Zellweger, who apparently is not related to Renee, has risen through the rankings his whole young career. [The Athletic]
- The Seattle Kraken, led by former Bridgeport trainer Jeff Camelio, have to get a ton of equipment in just over a month’s time. [The Athletic]
- The number of power plays was historically low this past season. [OilersNation]
- The growth of legalized gambling has permeated sports media, unsurprisingly coincidental with sports media’s decline. It’s a reason for people to read. [Columbia Journalism Review]
- In response to notoriously bad teammate Tony DeAngelo signing with the Hurricanes, Justin Bourne relies on his experience to discuss how bad teammates disrupt team chemistry. [Sportsnet]
- Speaking of bad teammates, Nathan MacKinnon sounds like a huge jerk! [Deadspin]
Some may just call MacKinnon’s style demanding and say that is what it takes to win, but count me among those that would not tolerate his food policing and his screaming at his teammates for every bad pass in practice—that’s not leadership, that’s a dictatorship. It’s not like these tactics have helped MacKinnon and the Avs actually win; he has never made an NHL semifinal.
Also, I’m speculating here, but don’t you think that having a teammate like that would make you walk on eggshells a little? And when things went wrong, like they so hilariously did for the Colorado Avalanche in the second round this year, do you think a guy like that is going to help them come together and re-group?