It looks like the busy part of the NHL offseason is finally here. An action-packed Monday kicked off with the Ottawa Senators announcing the hiring of Pierre McGuire following his long career “Inside the Glass.” Then, the Edmonton Oilers and Chicago Blackhawks made an interesting deal. All the while, something appears to be brewing in Nashville, and the Stanley Cup sustained some damage in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s festivities.
So, let’s not waste any more time and check out what’s going on around the league on this fine Tuesday.
- Way-too-early Stanley Cup odds for 2022 are officially here, and the Washington Capitals rank seventh. Ian Oland has more on how the Capitals stack up. (Russian Machine Never Breaks)
- With the expansion draft looming and the Seattle Kraken potentially taking from the Washington blue line, Michael Marzzacco takes a look at which defensemen the Capitals could target in free agency. (Stars & Sticks)
- Since 2007, Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom have been one of the NHL’s most dynamic duos while also transforming D.C. into a hockey town. Here’s more on their friendship and how they inspire each other both on and off the ice. (Washington Hockey Now)
- The Stanley Cup is being sent back to Montreal for repairs after Tampa dented it during their boat parade and continued celebration. (ESPN)
- Edmonton acquired three-time Stanley Cup champion and veteran blueliner Duncan Keith and AHL center Tim Soderlund from the Blackhawks in exchange for Caleb Jones, and a conditional 2022 third-round pick. Adam Gretz breaks down the deal and what it means for both Edmonton and Chicago. (Pro Hockey Talk)
- After 24 years on TV, McGuire joins the Sens as the senior VP of player development. Bruce Garrioch explains why he will play a vital role in helping Ottawa return to its winning ways. (Ottawa Sun)
Sammi’s Top Shelf Takes
- This isn’t the first time that the Stanley Cup has sustained damage; it was dented in 2008 and 2011, and the Caps even bent the top of the bowl a bit. However, this is quite a bit of damange… like, a lot more. While celebrations are fun, and yes, it’s a huge accomplishment to win it all, it’s a storied trophy that’s over 100 years old and it’s still scary to see Lord Stanley suffer an injury like this. It’s great to have fun, but also, be careful with an award like this. So many players sacrifice everything, play through injury, tears, everything to win it. It deserves the utmost respect.
- Seeing a lot of criticism toward the Oilers after trading away Caleb Jones for Keith, but they have a reason to be positive. They get a veteran presence on the blue line and a proven winner who can bring a lot to the locker room and help further establish a winning culture. He can additionally serve as a mentor to their younger defensemen like Darnell Nurse and Ethan Bear. Sure, Keith’s advanced stats are not superb, but Edmonton needs a strong foundation and a player who can step up and help Connor McDavid lead. The three-time Stanley Cup champion, Conn Smythe winner and Norris Trophy recipient can do that. So I do also see the Oilers as winners in this deal.
- The Predators announced that they will hold a “major press conference” today. Whether it revolves around Pekka Rinne or another key part of the organization, it seems like it’ll significantly change the outlook in Smashville.