Interesting headline today isn’t it? The NHL Draft Lottery changed in advance of the 2021 NHL Draft, and not coincidentally in advance of the 2021 NHL trade deadline. The Pittsburgh Penguins put Radim Zohorna on the ice at Cranberry on Tuesday, and the NHL is investigating an on-ice incident involving a referee and hot mic.
Shelly Anderson did her usual bang-up job at the Penguins practice on Tuesday.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Jason Zucker is skating, but none of the injured players, including Brandon Tanev, were at practice.
One guy who was at practice was Radim Zohorna. Cue the Penguins fans’ buzz. Zohorna chatted with the media, too.
Philly Hockey Now: The Philadelphia fans have had enough of the Flyers middling play. ENOUGH! They booed the Flyers off the ice in their loss to the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.
The NHL changed the draft lottery and it could affect the Penguins in the next couple of years (but not this year since they ceded their No. 1 pick). The number of teams that could win the first overall pick shrank from 16 to 11 and the worst overall team cannot pick lower than third. Here are the NHL Draft Lottery Changes.
This will be an interesting conversation. The NHL is investigating officials Tim Peel and Kelly Sutherland after a hot mic caught one of them admitting they called a soft penalty because they wanted to penalize Nashville.
I wish I had time for more live chats this year so I could really explain and talk with you about this: THE most informative interview I ever did on 93-7 the Fan (as a host) was with former referee Kerry Fraser. The short of it is: YES, officials manage the game. You can’t call EVERYTHING. And yes, some players are marked, and that’s how officials keep control of the game. Some nights, the boys don’t care, most nights they obey but you can’t have 40 minutes of special teams and 20 minutes of hockey.
After a precipitous drop in players entering the COVID protocol, we’re seeing another spike. Montreal has postponed games, Boston has five in the protocol, and Anaheim closed their practice facility.
NHL Trade Talk:
TSN: The Insiders believe Arizona could be a big seller at the NHL trade deadline and this summer, and Michael Granlund fits well with Toronto.
According to Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts, former Penguins AGM Jason Karmanos is a strong contender for Buffalo’s AGM spot. Of course, EF drops some big-time trade talk, too.
One wonders if Karmanos’ former boss will be his new boss this summer…
THN: Goalie Trade Bait!
National Hockey Now
San Jose: The Sharks are their own worst enemy.
NYI: In a sign of things to come, beginning April 1, you can attend Islanders games, BUT…you have to be vaccinated or show a negative test within the last six hours to watch the Islanders games.
Seems like NY state is groping for answers, eh?
Florida: This time as the visitor’s coach, Joel Quenneville returns to Chicago.
Boston: Boston’s COVID list is full, but Tuuka Rask could play Thursday.