North Dakota

NHL 2019-20 North Dakota
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PHT Morning Skate: If NHL returns, could games take place in … North Dakota?

Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at phtblog@nbcsports.com.

• Elliotte Friedman details North Dakota as a possible host city in potential season resumption scenarios. Friedman notes that Ralph Engelstad Arena might work, in part because of the state’s low population density. The NHL should consider Engelstad’s controversies if they go probe deeper on a North Dakota plan, though. (Sportsnet)

• Bruce Garrioch expands on some of the issues the NHL and NHLPA are facing, stemming in part from Gary Bettman’s weekly conference call with the Board of Governors. Garrioch provides some interesting details about how players might try to limit the damage from big escrow challenges, and other issues that need to be cleared up. (Ottawa Sun)

• In the latest edition of his The Color of Hockey feature, William Douglas explores how Hockey Is For Everyone programs are helping rinks and schools adjust to the coronavirus pandemic. (NHL.com)

• Travis Yost analyzes the continued decline of “workhorse” goalies in the NHL. Yost shares some fascinating stats, including that Connor Hellebuyck and Carey Price are the only goalies to start 75 percent (or more) of their teams’ games in 2019-20. Could these trends eventually push No. 1 goalie salaries down, and backups’ cap hits up? Certainly plausible, and possibly more sensible than putting all your eggs in one goalie-shaped basket. (TSN)

• Sabres coach Ralph Krueger believes that Rasmus Dahlin‘s defensive game keeps going “up a notch.” Frankly, I’d argue that Dahlin’s ice time needs to go up multiple notches. After averaging 21:09 TOI per game as a rookie, Dahlin’s down by almost two minutes this season (19:18). While that climbed a bit toward the end of 2019-20, it’s baffling that Krueger hesitates to send Dahlin out on the ice at least as much as Dahlin was out there in 2018-19. Maybe such rave reviews will translate to more reps in year three? (Buffalo Hockey Beat)

• You might say that I accused Krueger of under-coaching in the tidbit above. Barry Trotz, meanwhile, wonders if he over-coached his Islanders at times this season. (Newsday)

• John Barr compares 2019-20 attendance numbers to what we saw in previous seasons. Plenty of interesting graphs and charts to chew on if you’re interested in sellouts and other figures. (NHL to Seattle)

Connor McDavid and Gary Roberts teamed up for a video series to try to help kids find creative ways to stay fit indoors. Good stuff from ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski. (ESPN)

• Ranking the Nashville Predators’ jersey designs, from worst to best. Yes, mustard ranked low on the list. (Hockey By Design)

• Binging TV shows during the pause? Milan Lucic will provide staunch competition. He consumed Game of Thrones in just 19 days. That’s 73 episodes, and that wasn’t a 22-minute sitcom … although the travel logic of the latter episodes might’ve deserved a laugh track. (TSN)

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

North Dakota saying goodbye to Fighting Sioux nickname

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There have been discussion, negotiations, and even lawsuits over the last few years revolving around the University of North Dakota and their Fighting Sioux nickname and logo. Finally, there is some action to go along with all of the talk.

The school is now taking significant steps to transition away from the Fighting Sioux nickname/logo—a process that will be “substantially completed” by December 31, 2011. The hockey team will continue to wear the same jerseys until February when the new jerseys are available, but around campus the school will take steps to remove the logo and nickname from just about all visible locations.

According to the University, the school is aiming for “several key values” while they transition the nickname and logo. They say they want to show respect, take care, provide inclusiveness, and show transparency as they make the move away from the Fighting Sioux.

That’s politically correct speak for “we’re going to do it and try really hard to not upset anyone in the process.”

After expunging the Fighting Sioux from the campus, the next step will be to settle on a new nickname for the university. It’s a process that the school isn’t even allowed to start working on until January 2012; and it’s a process that won’t be completed overnight. According to the school, “the law stipulates that neither UND nor the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education may adopt a new nickname or logo before January 2015.” Until then, the school will just be known as the University of North Dakota and will use their interlocking ND logo as their primary logo.

It’s been a long time coming, but the Fighting Sioux nickname is finally on its death bed. For anyone that wants jerseys or memorabilia that will soon be “vintage,” you have a couple of months before their licensed dealers will be prohibited from selling merchandise with the Fighting Sioux logo.

At least the fans will still be able to wear whatever they want to games.