Another weekend, another round of Washington Capitals and NHL news. As NHL free agency rolls on, the newest Carolina Hurricane Brendan Smith had some interesting things to say about Tom Wilson and the New York Rangers. Meanwhile, arbitration cases are happening one day at a time. We also take the time to remember Rick Rypien.
Without further ado, let’s catch up on the latest news and notes from across the league.
- Former Rangers blueliner Smith spoke out about the Wilson incident with the Rangers, saying there was a lot more information that’ll eventually come from that night. Ian Oland has more on what Smith had to say on Sirius XM. (Russian Machine Never Breaks)
- Meanwhile over here, we opened the latest WHN Mailbag and ponder if the Capitals will make another move, Zdeno Chara’s future, plans for Connor McMichael and more. (Washington Hockey Now)
- Peter Laviolette helped Washington maintain a strong penalty kill in 2020-21, which ranked fifth in the league (84 percent). David Atlas dives deeper into how the Capitals can keep the momentum going on the PK. (Stars & Sticks)
- There’s a lot of competition for the 13th forward spot (and first call-up) heading into training camp. Is Shane Gersich, who’s lighting up Da Beauty League, ready to take the next step? (WHN)
- With Joe Thornton joining an already-talented Florida roster, the Panthers face great expectations next season. Adam Gretz explains why the time is now for the team to find success. (Pro Hockey Talk)
- Fellow National Hockey Now site, Colorado Hockey Now, also had their mailbag this week, with Adrian Datar taking a look at Alex Newhook’s role, what may have led to Philipp Grubauer’s departure and more. (CHN)
- Amid issues with COVID-19 insurance, the NHLPA has reportedly advised players not to play in the Olympic qualifiers. Here’s the latest surrounding players heading to Beijing for the 2022 games. (Sportsnet)
- With Ryan Suter and Braden Holtby joining the mix, the Stars are hoping a team reset will lead to success in 2021-22. David Satriano breaks down Dallas’ offseason, key moves and the Stars’ outlook. (NHL)
Sammi’s Top Shelf Takes
- It’s the 10-year anniversary of Rypien’s passing. He was an outstanding player with an incredible journey to the NHL and played a hard-hitting, physical game that made him a fun player to watch. Rypien committed suicide after years of struggling with clinical depression. Rest in peace, and know that you changed a lot of lives for the better, you’re missed and you’re loved. The Canucks, Jets, former teammate and close friend, Kevin Bieksa and many more took to social media to pay tribute to RYP37. To anyone reading this: it’s okay to not be okay, and you’re not alone.
— Kevin Bieksa (@kbieksa3) August 15, 2021
Although it's been 10 years since you've left us, you've always been in our hearts. We remember Rick Rypien as a hero both on and off the ice.
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) August 15, 2021
10 years ago today, we lost Rick Rypien.
We remember and honour Ryp by keeping his legacy alive, and helping empower kids on and off the ice to make a positive impact in their daily lives.
Know that you are not alone. Ask for help.
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) August 15, 2021
- Opening night against the Rangers will certainly be interesting, but at this point, Wilson has likely moved on. It appears that’s not the same for New York, and if that’s the case, I wonder how it’ll impact the Blueshirts’ season.
- Reminder in regards to the 13th forward position: the Capitals have just about $668k remaining in space and must be under or at the cap when they announce their opening night roster. Last season spoke volumes in regards to injuries and run-ins with COVID-19 so an extra forward will be key. This means Washington would, in fact, have to clear some space, but it’s all a matter of how.
- I think the Devils can surprise as legitimate competitors in the Metro this season if of course, everyone stays healthy. Dougie Hamilton, Tomas Tatar and Jonathan Bernier are all additions that can help New Jersey reach new heights.