Despite nearly universal opposition throughout the decision-making levels of the NHL, the 2020 NHL Draft will be held in June. Hockey folks are unique in their ability to acquiesce and support decisions they don’t like. There is suddenly a red-hot Finnish UFA on the market. And despite closed borders, NHL players not currently in Canada will be allowed back.
First, our boys at Boston Hockey Now aced the weekend reporting. I held out hope that wide-spread opposition to the NHL Draft in June would indeed mean the draft wouldn’t happen. Silly me. “No one likes it, but…” (Boston Hockey Now)
Sportsnet reporter Elliotte Friedman reported the opposition to the draft and is taking a wait-and-see approach if it gets through. Bank on it.
Friedman also had tons more info on the big conference call scheduled for Monday. Pittsburgh is one of 10 or more NHL cities to submit a bid for “pod” games. (Sportsnet)
If you missed it, here is the NHL “sales pitch” for the June Draft, which includes the revised rules and proposed way to deal with conditional trades and the order of selection (TSN)
The order of selection doesn’t really involve the Penguins. They’ll pick in the third round, somewhere in the neighborhood of 86th overall. And, unless Penguins GM Jim Rutherford is willing to deal a player before the pod games start, thus losing that player for the playoffs, the Penguins will not have a chance to acquire a first or second-round pick.
The Penguins will be one of the most negatively affected teams. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
And we finally selected a coach for the Penguins All-Time team. It was a tough interview process, but we got some stories which we never before heard about Badger Bob Johnson (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
Former Penguins enforcer Georges Laraque is in a Quebec hospital with COVID-19. The story he tells is harrowing, as he was both ignored by the health system and how severely the virus affected him. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
Laraque is not shy, that is certain. Without wading into a political discussion, perhaps the US and Canada aren’t so different. His complaints sound very familiar.
Canada has also closed its borders. However, NHL players will be allowed to return, though Canadian PM Justin Trudeau demands the quarantine upon arrival (Sportsnet)
Remember some of these fun hockey video games? (Colorado Hockey Now)
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