It’s been quite the weekend around the NHL. The first wave of free agency is nearly over, and the Edmonton Oilers shook the market with Darnell Nurse’s mega extension. Meanwhile, Washington Capitals forwards Daniel Sprong and Shane Gersich are continuing to train hard for next season, and fans celebrated “Tweet Like Ovi Day” on 8/8 after Sidney Crosby’s birthday on 8/7.
Let’s recap this past weekend and take a closer look at the state of the NHL.
- Daniel Sprong is getting in shape and preparing for the 2021-22 campaign over in Sweden. Jon Sorensen has more on his summer training regimen. (NoVa Caps)
- Speaking of next season, Nic Dowd is looking to keep the momentum going after a standout performance in 2020-21. Here’s how he was able to take his game to the next level and what lies ahead for the 31-year-old in a contract year. (Washington Hockey Now)
- The Seattle Kraken added another former member of Washington’s roster and inked Marcus Johansson to a one-year deal. Peter Hassett discusses the Swede’s new opportunity. (Russian Machine Never Breaks)
- In other Capitals news, Alex Ovechkin went digital and launched his official NFT collection on Sunday. (WHN)
- Edmonton is betting high on one of their young defensemen, inking Darnell Nurse to a massive eight-year extension that pays $9.25 million per year. Here’s an inside look at his new contract and what the 26-year-old had to say about the deal. (Canadian Press/Sportsnet)
- On the topic of major contracts, there’s been quite a few this offseason, from Cale Makar to Seth Jones. Adam Gretz breaks down the riskiest and safest deals signed so far this summer. (Pro Hockey Talk)
- Sidney Crosby turned 34 on Saturday. Pittsburgh Hockey Now reflects on the top moments of his career. (PHN)
- With the first wave of free agency nearly over, it could be time to shift attention to the trade market. From Christian Dvorak to Anton Khudobin, Lyle Richardson gives his take on deals that should happen. (Bleacher Report)
Sammi’s Top Shelf Takes
- In honor of #TweetLikeOviDay, I’m bringing this gem back.
— Alex Ovechkin (@ovi8) September 29, 2013
- Brendan Perlini signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Oilers over the weekend, and he’s one of my favorite interviews. The UK native learned the game overseas in a nation that didn’t put too much emphasis on hockey, relying on rollerblading and knowledge from his hockey family until he was able to get more ice time and move to Canada at the age of 11. Here’s one of my older features and 1-on-1 interviews with him where we discussed his English upbringing, British TV shows and career goals.
- Scott Allen is going to do a great job behind the bench in Hershey. He’s coached over 1,800 NHL, AHL and ECHL games, and also worked as an assistant coach with the team since 2019. Allen was also integral to helping the Bears capture the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy as the AHL regular-season champions last year.
- Shane Gersich is still putting on a show in Da Beauty League, and his 17 points in five games rank third among all league skaters. He’s returning on a new one-year deal, and if he can carry over his shooting, speed and skill he’s showcasing right now, he could surprise everyone as a dark horse for a spot on the Capitals opening night roster.
Ok @shane_gersich9 go off 🗣🗣
— Da Beauty League (@DaBeautyLeague) August 4, 2021