The NHL changed the off-side rule, released their advanced medical protocols and safety procedures for COVID-19, teams are unveiling their helmet advertisements, and the Pittsburgh Penguins don’t appear to be shopping for any of the remaining UFAs.
How’s that for an opening sentence with some meat on the bone?
We’ll start with the Penguins. After an afternoon of digging, the Penguins aren’t pursuing the most notable free agents. Though they have checked in on at least one (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
In the story, we explained how the Penguins will have well more than the listed $1.3 million of cap space. And, I’m a little surprised GM Jim Rutherford hasn’t expressed interest in Carl Soderberg.
Never again will hockey fans be tortured with celebrating a goal, then watching five minutes of super zoomed, slow-motion replays to see if a player’s skate was actually on the ice as he crossed the blue line (NHLPA.com)
You can also read the NHL’s full medical protocol. The NHL has gone above and beyond for player safety, including daily tests for the first four weeks, and holding infected players out of competition until they not only have negative tests but pass heart tests, too. On the road, rules essentially confine players to the hotel and the rink. And, teams must purchase two hotel rooms for each player, so if a player tests positive he must immediately quarantine in that city.
Former Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Deryk Engelland retired. In Pittsburgh, fans will remember the gritty d-man for pounding Colton Orr in a fight and being a “salt of the Earth” guy. In Las Vegas, he will always be THE first Golden Knight and community pillar (Vegas Hockey Now)
Sound the opening bell. The Tampa Bay Lightning are now well over the salary cap.
It’s about time someone moved forward. Tampa Bay signed forward Erik Cernak to a three-year, $8.85 million deal ($2.95 AAV), and defenseman Jan Rutta to a $1.3 million deal. Tampa Bay is now almost 10% over the salary cap (Raw Charge)
The San Jose Sharks are officially going to open camp in Arizona and begin their season in the desert. Sheng Peng broke the news (San Jose Hockey Now)
Get this — Elliotte Friedman suggested the Sharks could be forced to play in … Kansas City. Here’s Freidman’s podcast. The K.C news is at 6:30 (Sportsnet)
Canadian politicians are taking a firm line on the NHL. Ontario Premier Doug Ford says no decisions have been made to allow (or disallow) the Toronto Maple Leafs to play in Toronto (CBC)
At some point, adults have to be allowed to make decisions for themselves. But that’s my philosophy. It seems almost preposterous to me that the NHL can propose such complete and sweeping protections but be held up by politicians.
And Conor Sheary signed with the Washington Capitals. To celebrate, he chose Jack Johnson’s number (Russian Machine Never Breaks)