It’s finally Friday, and there have been quite a few headlines heading into the weekend. Jumbo Joe is returning for another NHL season, Henrik Lundqvist is working toward a comeback and the Washington Capitals are 61 days (shoutout to Steve “Binky” Oleksy) from the start of the 2021-22 campaign.
Today’s drink of choice: Coca-Cola Zero Sugar. Let’s get rolling with the latest news and notes across the NHL.
- Henrik Lundqvist is strapping on the pads again as he continues to work toward an NHL comeback. Ian Oland shares the 39-year-old netminder’s latest update. (Russian Machine Never Breaks)
- The Metro Division looks a bit different following a busy — and quiet (a smart move for the Capitals) — offseason for a handful of respective teams. Greg Young and J-Fresh look at the state of the division heading into 2021-22. (Japers’ Rink Radio)
- The Capitals have loaned Damien Riat to the Swiss League’s Lausanne HC after he decided to sign with them instead of return to North America. Jon Sorenson has more on the Swiss forward’s choice to stay in his home country. (NoVa Caps)
- The Panthers have inked Joe Thornton to a one-year deal worth $750,000. George Richards breaks down the team’s latest signing. (Florida Hockey Now)
- Speaking of the Panthers and former Capitals, Jaromir Jagr is turning 50 in February, but that’s not stopping him from continuing his pro career. He’ll reportedly continue to lace ’em up with the Czech League’s Kladno, the same team he owns, for the upcoming season. (NHL)
- Forget best and worst contracts; how does each team’s contract efficiency stack up? Dom Luszczyszyn goes by the numbers for all 32 teams. (The Athletic)
Sammi’s Top Shelf Takes
- The Jumbo Joe deal is an absolute gem for Florida. This is a team that’s become one of the top contenders, in my opinion. And with Thornton’s leadership, Sam Reinhart joining the mix and Spencer Knight making the full-time jump, the Panthers could make serious noise in 2021-22.
- Riat will benefit greatly from another year in the Swiss League. He had seven goals and 18 points in 20 NL games last season before joining the Bears following the season. The 24-year-old will get more development with a chance to play overseas as well as ice time in North America when the Swiss League season comes to a close. He’ll be an RFA when 2021-22 ends.
- Mark my words: Shane Gersich will create a stir at training camp and emerge as a dark horse for a roster spot if he can carry over his play from Da Beauty League.
That is an absolute dart for Shane Gersich. He’s riding a major hot streak right now. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/JmpX1GQeMJ
— Sammi Silber (@sammisilber) August 12, 2021