Add “offer Justin Bieber a tryout” to the list of colorful things that hockey leagues have done to draw attention.
The ECHL’s Bakersfield Condors are the team in question, earning bonus points for an amusing “scouting report” for the pop star:
A good skating stride
The highlight is: “A devastating wrist shot capable of beating NHL-caliber goaltenders.”
Perhaps the most amusing bit describes his “sick flow.”
The 5’7″, slender built superstar should provide a rookie presence for the second-year laden Condors squad. Plus, his sick flow will fit right in with a Condors team known for their style. The Condors have reserved his much publicized favorite number 6 to be worn in Condorstown.
Chicago’s Central lead is pretty secure over the Minnesota Wild at the moment, which likely reduces motivation to rush Anisimov back before he’s truly ready. The Blackhawks close out their regular season on April 8, so there’s still time for him to heal up.
Ducks demote Enroth, so Gibson’s close to a return
Enroth actually never got a shot to start for the Ducks, as his last NHL appearance came on Nov. 30, closing off his ill-fated run with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Considering that Enroth was once a fairly hot commodity as at least a promising backup, it will be interesting to see how his 2017-18 season pans out. Will he get more or less of a chance than he received this season?
Bernier, meanwhile, is richly rewarding the Ducks for sticking with him.
He’s provided them with a Vezina-caliber March: 9-1-1, 1.71 GAA and .943 save percentage with one shutout. You almost wonder if there’s at least some potential for a goalie controversy if Gibson stumbles whenever he gets back into action … but hey, having two good goalies to choose from is better than none.
(Which was the scenario that must have scared the Ducks when Gibson got hurt in the first place.)
WATCH LIVE: Chicago Blackhawks at Tampa Bay Lightning
The Tampa Bay Lightning almost certainly haven’t faced the Chicago Blackhawks in a game this important since the two teams were vying for a Stanley Cup.
While the Blackhawks have already punched their ticket to the postseason and are merely trying to pad their lead in the Central Division, the Bolts are fighting for their playoff lives. At the moment, they rank three points behind the Boston Bruins for the final spot in the East. With a game in hand, they can make up a lot of ground tonight.
With all of that in mind, it should be an entertaining contest. You can check it out on NBCSN, watch online or via the NBC Sports App.