Years from now, complex problems will arise, and people will say it’s time to quit or give up. The refrain from society’s problem solvers should include the phrase, “hey, we lived through 2020. We can do this.” The new 2020-21 NHL season with its myriad of moving parts and collective willingness to overcome obstacles is a prime example. Also in the daily links, NHL trade talk, the key NHL dates, and full details.
In case you missed the updates on the new NHL season, here’s the full story (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
29 NHL teams are ready to go. Two teams are still looking for homes as the San Jose Sharks cannot play at home, and reports from Canada are the British Columbia health minister will not allow teams to travel to B.C. to play the Vancouver Canucks.
Despite strict safety protocols (NHL players will essentially be prisoners on the road), B.C. is the last holdup for the all-Canadian division (The Score)
We don’t know what date the next NHL trade deadline will be but circle your calendars for July 28. To give credit where it is due, the national reporters are now getting all of the info.
Pittsburgh Penguins players will have until Dec. 27 to opt-out of the coming season. Camp begins on Jan. 3. And the Penguins can begin negotiating new contracts with players on expiring contracts on March 12:
So, to recap:
Puck drop: Jan. 13
Trade deadline: April 12
End of reg season: May 8
Expansion draft: July 21
NHL draft: July 23-24
Free-agent Frenzy: July 28
July 29: LeBrun goes to cottage https://t.co/um2EkAIOc6
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) December 20, 2020
Some new key dates: Opt-out deadline is Dec. 24 for non-playoff teams, Dec. 27 for playoff teams. Group II RFAs must be signed by Feb. 11 to play this season (usually Dec. 1). And, players on one-year deals can extend on March 12 (usually Jan. 1).
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) December 19, 2020
It appears Santa Clara county officials have chased the San Jose Sharks from San Jose. The team will hold training camp and begin the season in Arizona (AP News)
There’s logic. There’s science. There’s fear. And, there’s power. I’ll leave you to decide on which basis some officials across North America are relying.
Erik Gudbranson leads a crowded field of Ottawa Senators on the NHL trade block (The Athletic)
More NHL trade talk via mailbag columns. What about Vegas, Max Pacioretty, and Marc-Andre Fleury? (The Athletic)
The Colorado Avalanche caught a break, according to Adrian Dater. The Minnesota Wild will be in their division (Colorado Hockey Now)
The start of training camp is just a couple of weeks away, but several high profile RFAs remain unsigned. The New York Islanders are still trying to find a way to sign Mathew Barzal (NYI Hockey Now)
Finally, we’ve made it. Pittsburgh Hockey Now has published every day, except two, since March 11, when the NHL season came to a grinding halt. No other outlet can match that, nor can any other outlet in Pittsburgh match the quality of coverage we’ve been able to bring regarding the NHL negotiations. From the inside stories and analysis, we’re quite proud of the work we’ve done.
Beginning this morning, we finally turn our attention to covering HOCKEY. We’ll examine the Pittsburgh Penguins’ place in the absolutely stacked Atlantic Division. We’ve been talking to people who have worked with and who know defenseman Mike Matheson. He will be a project, but you’ll want to know what we learned about him. We even have feature stories on Mario Lemieux and his final retirement.
Hockey. Thank God.