It’s almost the start of another week, and the hockey qualifiers for the 2022 Winter Olympics are right around the corner. The IIHF Women’s Worlds is also taking place in Calgary, Alberta, with Canada and Team USA sitting atop the standings. Meanwhile, the Washington Capitals and NHL are still awaiting the start of the 2021-22 campaign.
We also remember the lives of three young promising players and Rod Gilbert, who passed away this weekend.
Here’s the latest news and notes from across the hockey world.
- The Capitals’ 2021-22 schedule proves interesting as the team aims to return as Metro Division champions. Nick Ashooh breaks down key dates to know for next season. (NBC Sports Washington)
- Gary Bettman explained on WFAN Sports Radio that George Parros did not think the Tom Wilson play against the Rangers was “worthy” of a suspension. Here’s what else he had to say. (Washington Hockey Now)
- Michal Kempny took the time to speak with the Czech media about his injury and comeback over the last couple of seasons. Jon Sorenson shares the defenseman’s comments. (NoVa Caps)
- It’s been a long time since the Leafs made it past the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and Auston Matthews, the NHL 22 cover athlete, acknowledged the disappointments in an ESPN interview. James O’Brien takes a look at his comments and Toronto’s potential and depth chart next season. (Pro Hockey Talk)
- Owen Power, Matty Beniers and Kent Johnson, the respective No. 1, No. 2 and No. 5 picks in the 2021 NHL Draft, announced that they will be returning to Michigan next season rather than making the NHL jump. Here’s more on the prospects and their decisions. (The Athletic)
- Even though we’re still in the offseason, we can still look ahead to 2022 NHL Free Agency. Jason Chen previews the 2022 UFA Class. (Sports Illustrated)
Sammi’s Top Shelf Takes
- To start off: condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to the families of youth hockey players Caleb Reimer, Ronin Sharma and Parker Magnuson. The three promising prospects and members of the Delta Hockey Academy died when their car crashed into a tree in Surrey, B.C. They are gone too soon. Rest in peace.
- The same goes out to Rangers legend Rod Gilbert, who died at age 80 on Sunday. When he retired, he was 13th on the NHL’s all-time goal list with 406 tallies.
- Per Larry Brooks, the IIHF has agreed to cover insurance, which includes COVID-19, for NHL players who elect to participate in Olympic qualifiers. Martin Fehervary (Slovakia) is among those skating this coming week.