This past weekend was jam-packed with headlines, both positive and negative. Marc-Andre Fleury is officially ready to start a new journey with Chicago. Meanwhile, the Jack Eichel situation is heating up in Buffalo. NHL Free Agency also continues to roll, and the arbitration deadline passed Sunday.
Let’s take a look back and break down all the news and notes from this past weekend.
- Heading into 2021-22, it appears the Capitals are sticking with almost the same group as they had last season – with the exception of a couple of moves. Here’s why it’s the right call — for now. (Washington Hockey Now)
- Ilya Samsonov was one of the RFAs eligible to file for arbitration, but he passed. Peter Hassett explains why this was a smart move for the 24-year-old netminder. (Russian Machine Never Breaks)
- Alex Ovechkin, who signed a five-year extension Tuesday, not only helped define a new generation of hockey but inspired an entire city. Brian McNally details how Ovechkin transformed D.C. sports. (NBC Sports Washington)
- Fleury is committed to playing for the Blackhawks. “Flower” took to Twitter to tell Chicago fans he’s “in” for 2021-22 and is ready to make an impact in net for the new-look team. (ESPN)
- Tensions continue to rise between Buffalo and Eichel, and his agents released a statement about how “the process is not working” in regards to a trade. Paul Hamilton takes a look at where the Sabres go from here with their captain and what comes next for Eichel. (WGRZ)
- San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane is in the midst of an investigation after allegations that he gambled on games by his wife, Anna Kane. Sheng Peng provides the latest on the situation and Kane’s response. (San Jose Hockey Now)
Sammi’s Top Shelf Takes
- With Samsonov not filing for arbitration, it’s likely that there won’t be complications when it comes to an extension. Brian MacLellan expects a bridge deal for the Russian, and he’ll have to work hard to prove that he’s a starter and of course, earn a bigger contract next time. Plus, he has Vitek Vanecek to compete with — again.
- Stick taps to Fleury for taking the time to speak with his family and get comfortable with Chicago before making the decision to play. Hockey players are human at the end of the day, and it’s great to see him prioritizing his family and children (Fleury looked at schools with his kids and places to live, per Kevin Weekes).
- With everything going on in the world and sports right now, I’m passing along this reminder: mental health and well-being are incredibly important. Just remember you’re loved, you’re valued, you matter and the world is a better place with you in it. If you needed to hear that, you hear it here. Take care of one another, be kind and look out for each other.