The first day of NHL training camps in anticipation of the Phase 4 return to play was anything but normal and anything but uneventful. Welcome to the new normal as players discussed testing positive, were held out because of false positives, and nine Pittsburgh Penguins were isolated because they came into contact with someone who came into contact with COVID-19.
Oh, and the Penguins lines were actually on the ice.
The Penguins lines were as anticipated. Unfortunately, top prospects P-O Joseph and Sam Poulin were part of the nine-member group who were isolated due to secondary exposure, so we didn’t get to see where Mike Sullivan would place them in the lineup.
Zucker was with Malkin, and Crosby is “having fun” with Guentzel and Sheary (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
There were nine Pittsburgh Penguins players isolated due to COVID-19 secondary exposure, including Patric Hornqvist, Poulin, Joseph and more (PHN)
Remember the report on Sunday that three Montreal Canadiens tested positive? Well…only one really tested positive. The other two came back as false positives (Sportsnet)
It’s not doctors who are holding Montreal forward Max Domi out of play, it’s Domi who wishes to remain in Toronto for the next week to see if things go well in camp and things are safe (Danslescouldisses.com)
NHL trade rumor alert: Contrary to public discussion, Vancouver GM Jim Benning vehemently denied Brock Boeser trade talks (TSN)
Speaking of Vancouver, here’s why they will have to make significant sacrifices — the flat cap, and they’re in trouble (Sportsnet)
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In Boston, Patrice Bergeron didn’t call out his teammates, but he laid down the law about getting prepared and getting to the hub city. (Boston Hockey Now)
The Florida Panthers spent a truckload of money last summer. Sergei Bobrovsky and coach Joel Quenneville spring to mind. A top-notch coach can do a lot in the playoffs. And Q is quite happy with his Florida Panthers on Day 1 (Florida Hockey Now)
Don’t sleep on, or overlook the Colorado Avalanche. They are one of the best teams in the NHL. If their goaltending holds up, they easily could win the 24-team tournament and hoist the Stanley Cup. They’ll be contenders for a long time, too. Part of the reason is young defenseman Cale Makar. He and Erik Johnson are bracing for the “weird” no-fan experience (Colorado Hockey Now)
Have I mentioned we’re adding more Hockey Now sites? The family is growing again soon.
This is for PHN+ subscribers. In case you missed our story with Ron Francis. He and I had a good chat about Jim Rutherford and what to name Seattle (PHN+)