Some troubling notes from David
Shoalts of the Globe & Mail this morning, in light of the news
that up to six NHL teams needed advances from television and/or
revenue-sharing money to help “pay the bills.” Pay the players and staff
is more likely the meaning behind it.
Shoalts mentions that the
Dallas Stars, Atlanta Thrashers, Phoenix Coyotes, Florida Panthers, New
York Islanders and possibly the Tampa Bay Lightning are those teams that
needed financial. Not exactly a surprising list, especially when you
factor in Stars owner Tom Hicks’ financial troubles and the mediocre
seasons every other team is mired in year after year.
worrisome is his notes that Islanders owner Charles Wang may have to
eventually move the team from the Town of Hempstead, as he’s running
into nothing but trouble and roadblocks trying to improve Nassau
Coliseum or even build a new arena.
If the town does
not come through, Bettman said, Wang will “start
looking at his options on Long Island first to see what he can do, but
the club has to have a new arena.” Newsday writer Steve Zipay noted that
Bettman did not deny a possible move to Queens to “a Flushing Meadows
tract adjacent to Citi Field that apparently will be up for bid this
Shoalts then states that Wang may end up having to
give the team over to the NHL, as Wang is frustrated over losing massive
amounts of money each season. My solution for Wang, if he’s so tired of losing money, is to stop giving carte blanche permission to his GMs to make insanely horrible decisions with his team’s financial future.
Now granted there’s a caveat here. David Shoalts — a much better reporter than his recent reputation would lead you to believe — is going off sources and some speculation here. But there’s truth in here, and nothing completely out of left field.
It’s refreshing that hockey fans have, for the most part, moved on from debating Tyler Bozak‘s merits.
The general feeling is that the Toronto Maple Leafs use him in appropriate ways these days, so we can simply enjoy his work as a pretty spiffy hockey player.
Speaking of spiffy, check out the sweet moves he made against the Minnesota Wild for the goal above. Feels like you could dub over a Chris Berman “whoop” or two in there, right?
(If you’re into that kind of thing.)
Here’s that gaudy move in isolation and in GIF form:
Even with two games in hand, some might be surprised to see the Washington Capitals tied with the Boston Bruins in standings points in early December.
That’s the case on Wednesday Night Rivalry, as a somewhat up-and-down Capitals team (which is glad to welcome T.J. Oshie back) hosts a Bruins squad that’s riding a three-game winning streak.
It should be an interesting matchup on NBCSN, which you can also watch online or via the NBC Sports App.
Click here for the livestream.
No one wants to hear “It could be worse” when injuries are really piling up, but … uh, it could be worse for the New York Rangers.
At least, it could have been worse for Rick Nash. The team announced that he’s only expected to miss about a week after undergoing an MRI related to a groin injury.
It’s been a redemptive season for Nash, so it’s nice to see that it isn’t getting totally derailed. Granted, injuries like these can linger even if a guy returns to the lineup, so we’ll need to see if he gets back to 100 percent.
The Rangers certainly aren’t at full-strength right now. Their laundry list of injured forwards is quite daunting, even for a team with vaunted depth at that position:
(It sounds like Pavel Buchnevich is still quite a ways from returning, sadly.)
Alain Vigneault sells the biggest benefit of these issues: opportunities for other players – including Oscar Lindberg – to step up.
“I just think this is part of the NHL and it is what it is. It’s there and you deal with it,” Vigneault said . “You get a lot of players at different times that wish that they can get more ice time to prove that they can have a bigger role and that they can do more. Well, no better time than the present for us right now.”
Thanks to two knee injuries, the Montreal Canadiens suddenly seem pretty slim at center.
The team announced two unfortunate and strangely similar timelines for important centers: both Alex Galchenyuk and David Desharnais are expected to miss six-to-eight weeks with their knee issues.
It will be a challenge for Michel Therrien to make everything work, to the point where you wonder if maybe he’ll move a player from the wing to center (hey, Max Pacioretty DOES want an elevated role, if you believe the rumors about discontent).
Tomas Plekanec becomes that much more important to the Canadiens, and one might assume that Andrew Shaw may go back to the middle. LNH.com’s Arpon Basu listed some options, in case you’re more of a visual learner:
Yeah, not ideal.
The road ahead
It isn’t all bad news when you look at Montreal’s overall situation.
For one thing, they gave themselves a nice cushion, as they currently lead the Atlantic Division by five points. With four games in a row and six of seven at home, they may be able to manage these tough losses pretty well in the short-term.
The real challenges might come late in December and early in January. They play seven road games in a row – though with a break around New Year’s – and nine of 10 away from Montreal from Dec. 23 – Jan. 12.
While they’ve suffered some minor bumps in the road so far, this is their truest test of 2016-17. It should be interesting to see how they handle this.