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Bettman: Money 'is not what's driving' return plan
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said fans' desire to finish the season was a more important factor than money in the league's plan to return to play.
Posted: 05/28/2020

Kings agreed with NHL plan to resume play, even though it ended their season
Kings defenseman Matt Roy said the team voted for the NHL plan to resume play even though it ended their season because it was best for the league.
Posted: 05/30/2020

Who are the Top 10 NHL players from Massachusetts?
Massachusetts is home to some of the best players in NHL history. Joe Haggerty names the top-10 all-time players who hail from The Bay State.
Posted: 05/30/2020

Flyers Talk podcast: Analyzing Flyers' odds in NHL's 24-team format, Bill Daly's insight on what's next
On the latest Flyers Talk podcast, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Katie Emmer and Jordan Hall analyze the orange and black's odds in the NHL's 24-team return-to-play plan.
Posted: 05/29/2020

This Date in Bruins History: Blues beat B's in OT of Stanley Cup Final
Only one game in the history of the Boston Bruins has been played on May 29, and it's one that fans of the Black and Gold would like to forget.
Posted: 05/29/2020

Ducks’ offensive woes extend to rare 2-year playoff drought
The Ducks are still in full rebuilding mode after winning just 29 of their 71 games, including a Western Conference-worst 24 non-shootout victories.
Posted: 05/29/2020

Blackhawks defenseman Calvin de Haan skating in Ottawa a positive sign for Hawks
The NHL has yet to formally enter Phase 2 of their Return To Play protocol, where players can take part in voluntary practices and workouts in small groups at team facilities, but with gradual reopenings across North America, players are slowly ramping up on-ice activities if rinks are allowing them to.
Posted: 05/29/2020

Blackhawks, Czech F Chalupa agree to 2-year contract
CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago Blackhawks have agreed to a two-year contract with Czech forward Matej Chalupa.
Posted: 05/29/2020

USA Hockey president Jim Smith facing investigations
USA Hockey president Jim Smith is the subject of two investigations surrounding his tenure as the president of Amateur Hockey Association Illinois. USA Hockey spokesman Dave Fischer confirmed Friday that the organization has hired an independent investigator to look into Smith’s business dealings with AHAI. Fischer also said the US Center for SafeSport is investigating allegations that Smith was aware of reported sexual misconduct by a coach and didn’t take action against him during Smith’s tenure with AHAI.
Posted: 05/29/2020

Capitals could bring up Connor McMichael to be a 'black ace' for the playoffs
When the Caps head to their hub city for the playoffs, Connor McMichael may be going with them as a practice player.
Posted: 05/29/2020

PHT remembers hockey video games: “NHL Hitz 2003” still delivers
Tony Abbott recounts the legendary rivalry between ... Mike Comrie and Ron Francis.
Posted: 05/29/2020

Ducks' offensive woes extend to rare 2-year playoff drought
The last time the Anaheim Ducks missed the playoffs in back-to-back seasons, they went all the way to their franchise's first Stanley Cup Final just one year later. Not many observers expect the current Ducks to duplicate the feats of those beloved 2002-03 Mighty Ducks after they complete another long offseason made even longer by the coronavirus pandemic. The Ducks were in sixth place in the Pacific Division standings primarily on the sturdy strength of goalies John Gibson and Ryan Miller, who bailed out their teammates all winter long.
Posted: 05/29/2020

2020 NHL playoffs: Bill Daly discusses 24-team plan, hub cities, testing and more
What's next for the NHL? Deputy commissioner Bill Daly on Friday discussed the 24-team plan, hub cities, testing and more. By Jordan Hall
Posted: 05/29/2020

2020 NHL Playoffs: Will Bruins' experience, mental toughness carry them through?
When the NHL was coming off a lockout in 2013, the Bruins reached the Stanley Cup Final. As Joe Haggerty writes, B's president Cam Neely hopes that the B's veterans who went through that experience can duplicate that feat this time around.
Posted: 05/29/2020

Goalie competition to force big decision for Rangers vs. Hurricanes
David Quinn has a big choice to make ahead of their series against Carolina.
Posted: 05/29/2020

Roundtable: Qualifying round excitement; draft lottery reaction
We pick the Qualifying Round series we're most excited to see and opine on this season's unique draft lottery in this week's Roundtable.
Posted: 05/29/2020

Mayor Lightfoot 'enthusiastic about the possibility' of NHL playoffs in Chicago
Chicago was named a finalist among the 10 cities being considered as a hub location by the NHL for it's 24-team playoff format on Tuesday. That's more than okay with Windy City mayor Lori Lightfoot.
Posted: 05/29/2020

Golden Knights introduce AHL affiliate: Meet the Henderson Silver Knights
The AHL Henderson Silver Knights will begin play in 2020-21.
Posted: 05/29/2020

Why Patrick Kane and Corey Crawford are Blackhawks' biggest threats for Oilers
On the latest Blackhawks Talk podcast, Sportsnet's Mark Spector discussed the pluses and minuses for the Oilers as they get ready to take on the Hawks under the NHL's 24-team playoff format to come out of the NHL pause.
Posted: 05/29/2020

PHT Morning Skate: Neely on Return to Play; NHLers on extended downtime
Friday's collection of links.
Posted: 05/29/2020

Why Oilers fans aren't happy about facing Blackhawks in play-in series
Sportsnet's Mark Spector chatted with Blackhawks pre and postgame host Pat Boyle and former Hawk turned broadcaster Eddie Olczyk on the latest Blackhawks Talk podcast to help present an Edmonton side of the play-in series against the Blackhawks under the NHL's 24-team playoff format.
Posted: 05/29/2020

NHL recognizes Presidents' Trophy, scoring title and goaltending award winners
With the regular season officially over because of the coronavirus outbreak, the NHL recognized the winners of three season awards Thursday.
Posted: 05/29/2020

Report: NHL training camps for 24-team playoff won't open before July 10
NHL players have been self-isolating under the league's instruction since the time of the NHL pause on March 12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic under its Phase 1 protocol.
Posted: 05/28/2020

Gary Bettman on NHL's 'return to play' strategy amid COVID-19 crisis
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman joins Bret Baier on 'Special Report.'
Posted: 05/28/2020

Report: NHL training camps won't start before July 10
The NHL's return to play plan was a step in the right direction, but we are still a long way off from resuming the season.
Posted: 05/28/2020

How Blackhawks are impacted by NHL counting play-in results as playoff stats
The NHL will officially count stats accrued in the play-in round of the new 24-team postseason as playoff stats. Here's what that means for various specific Blackhawks.
Posted: 05/28/2020

Hurricanes agree to arena lease extension through July 2029
The Carolina Hurricanes have reached a five-year lease extension to remain in PNC Arena through July 2029. Arena owner Centennial Authority and Hurricanes parent company Gale Force Sports and Entertainment announced the agreement Thursday. The News and Observer of Raleigh reported that deal provisions include an agreement by the Hurricanes not to relocate during the current lease, as well as eliminating rent payments following the 2020 fiscal year.
Posted: 05/28/2020

Yzerman-led Red Wings sticking to long-term plan to rebuild
Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman is sticking to his rebuilding plan, which includes not making a coaching change or attempting to pull off a splash in free agency. Yzerman is not interested in short-term fixes such as firing coach Jeff Blashill or outspending other NHL teams to add available veterans on the open market. Red Wings fans have heard that refrain often in recent years.
Posted: 05/28/2020

Eichel lets loose: Sabres captain 'fed up' with losing
Sabres captain Jack Eichel kept his frustrations in check for the first 14 minutes of an end-of-season interview session with Buffalo-area reporters Thursday. It wasn't until he was asked to assess the future of a team that's not made the playoffs during his five-year tenure, when Eichel let loose. Where they've gone is essentially nowhere for the 23-year-old Eichel, who was celebrated as the franchise's key building block after being selected with the No. 2 pick in the 2015 draft.
Posted: 05/28/2020

Sabres fans are fed up with losing, and so is Jack Eichel
Ristolainen and others vented frustrations recently, too.
Posted: 05/28/2020

NHL playoff format could hurt Oilers, but Connor McDavid won’t complain
The NHL's new playoff format has the potential to severely negatively impact the Edmonton Oilers. But Connor McDavid acknowledged the league is doing what's best.
Posted: 05/28/2020

NBCSN’s Hockey Happy Hour: Beleskey helps Ducks’ winning ways in 2015
This week’s Hockey Happy Hour on NBCSN will feature four notable milestone and record performances.
Posted: 05/28/2020

Devils reportedly interested in former Flyers head coaches Peter Laviolette, John Stevens
The Devils aren't in a terrible spot with the NHL draft lottery and they're also reportedly eyeing former Flyers head coaches Peter Laviolette and John Stevens. By Jordan Hall
Posted: 05/28/2020

Zdeno Chara 'grateful for the opportunity' to play, not focused on NHL playoff format fairness
When Cam Neely was asked about the NHL's playoff format, he had termed it "disappointing" from the Bruins perspective, but Zdeno Chara wouldn't go there, instead saying he's just happy for the chance to play, writes Joe Haggerty.
Posted: 05/28/2020

LA Kings hope late-season surge indicates brighter future
The Kings haven't lost a game since Feb. 23, and their 10-3-1 surge prior to the pause suggests coach Todd McLellan's work was finally paying off.
Posted: 05/28/2020

NHL awards regular-season trophies for season cut short
Since the NHL is planning to go straight to the playoffs, it's handing out a handful of trophies for the regular season cut short by the coronavirus pandemic. Play was halted March 12 with 189 regular-season games remaining. Washington's Alex Ovechkin and Boston's David Pastrnak share the Maurice ''Rocket'' Richard Trophy as the top-goal scorer after tying with 48.
Posted: 05/28/2020

Blackhawks could be getting help on defense from Ian Mitchell for play-in series
Here's how a possible rule-tweak embedded into the NHL's new postseason format could allow the Blackhawks to beef up their defense for a matchup with the Oilers.
Posted: 05/28/2020

NHL announces Bruins have won these three end-of-season awards
Here's a recap of the three end-of-the-season NHL awards officially won by the Boston Bruins.
Posted: 05/28/2020

USA Hockey president under investigation for handling of youth hockey abuse allegations
USA Hockey president Jim Smith is being investigated for his handling of sexual abuse allegations in youth hockey.
Posted: 05/28/2020

NHL Power Rankings: Are Bruins, Blues on track for Stanley Cup rematch?
The Bruins were leading the NHL standings when the season was put on hold, but does that make them favorites to win the Stanley Cup? Joe Haggerty stacks up the 24 teams still alive once the postseason kicks off.
Posted: 05/28/2020

Criticism doesn’t alter Sabres GM’s plan to build with youth
Botterill is very much aware of the criticism he’s attracted overseeing a team that extended its playoff drought to nine years.
Posted: 05/28/2020

AP Exclusive: Athletes wary about virus, testing upon return
Chris Thompson is an NFL running back. “If I go practice or play and I come back home with the virus ... that’s my biggest worry,” said Thompson, who signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars this month after seven seasons with the Washington Redskins.
Posted: 05/28/2020

NHL monitoring situation before choosing where to play games
Seven of the 10 locations the NHL has zeroed in on to hold playoff games if it resumes are American cities not restricted by Canada's 14-day mandatory quarantine upon arrival.
Posted: 05/28/2020

PHT Morning Skate: Wilson on Sharks’ future; Miller helping charity
Thursday's collection of links.
Posted: 05/28/2020

NHL announces return with 24-team playoff in two hub cities
The NHL will abandon the 2019-2020 regular season and resume with a 24-team playoff; former NHL goalie Kevin Weekes explains the format.
Posted: 05/28/2020

The NHL's bloated playoff proposal is a bid for normalcy that's anything but
Gary Bettman has announced plans to complete the NHL’s coronavirus-interrupted season with an expanded 24-team postseason, but one question persists: Why bother?Sites, dates and times are to be determined, but the National Hockey League is planning to complete its coronavirus-interrupted 2019-20 season at some point this summer with its best aspect by far, the Stanley Cup playoffs.OK, fine. So why is it even bothering?“We’re not planning this for the economics,” Gary Bettman, the NHL commissioner, said after making the announcement Tuesday on NBC, the NHL’s broadcast partner. “The economic consequence of what’s going on has for the most part already been sustained, and we’re feeling the impact. We’re doing this because we’re hearing from our fans overwhelmingly that they’d like us to conclude the season. They’d like the game back. It represents a sense of normalcy.”Here is the thing: a sense of normalcy is more like a very faint whiff of normalcy. First, these playoffs will likely be in mid- to late-summer (not normal), in two “hub” cities (not normal), before no fans (not normal). A whopping 24 of the league’s 31 teams will be eligible for the Cup, not the normal 16.The format is not normal, either: As 16 of the 24 teams compete in best-of-five series (not normal) in a qualifying round, the eight teams that have earned byes will play a round-robin tournament (not normal) to determine seedings for series against the first-round winners (not normal).The conference finals and Stanley Cup final will be best-of-seven series, as normal, but the lengths of the first and second round have not been determined. It is possible that a team could need to win more playoff games for the Cup than the usual 16, which is not normal, either.Even though NBC lost thousands of hours of summer programming because of the one-year postponement of the Tokyo Olympics, this was the NHL’s idea. It is clear from the solid ratings of early telecasts of live Nascar and golf events that people want to watch sports, even though they don’t carry the same impact because there are no fans.Those events are not the Stanley Cup playoffs, though. They always say the Cup is the hardest to win in sports because each round is quite literally a two-week battle – and there are four rounds. By the end, almost everyone is playing with some sort of injury. Each series, even the last one, ends with a noble handshake line of the two combatants, honoring each other.Teams have competed for the Cup for nearly 130 years through a simple playoff system free of gimmicks. There are no shootouts in the playoffs, and if six overtimes are needed for a tie-breaking goal (as in 1936), well, they play six overtimes. This get-up feels like a gimmick.To its credit, the NHL is approaching these amended playoffs with caution per the coronavirus, with NHL Players’ Association executive director Donald Fehr saying on NBC: “We have done as best we can at this point to design appropriate health and safety protocols. If they need to be amended over time, we will amend them. This is a living document.”The playoffs won’t feel anything like a stirring crescendo, as usual. The season was suspended on 12 March, so the players will have been out of action for more than three months before they gather again for pre-tournament training camps. Eight teams could see their seasons end after going through a training camp, then losing three straight games.Those first-round “seeding” games among the top eight teams, four per conference, won’t feel anything like playoff games – or even regular-season games among the league’s elite. Hockey players, much like basketball players, feed off the thunderous emotions of its fans (or feed off shutting up the other team’s fans). This will feel like watching a good practice. Meanwhile, the players will be sequestered in hotels.Bettman is not optimistic about, but has not ruled out, holding later rounds of the playoffs in cities in which the teams play, but that seems to bring up other logistical problems, even without fans in the seats – like, those famous watching parties outside both teams’ arenas. These will pretty much exclusively be a watch-it-from-your-couch playoffs.Which is the way most people watch sports on TV, anyway, so it is not as if most people will be missing a lot. I’d bet the players will be trying their hardest. But the quality of play could be compromised by the long layoff, and the atmosphere will be lacking inside the arenas.It just feels so … forced. This is not like cancelling the NCAA basketball tournaments, which include teams that change entirely over four years. There was no Stanley Cup champion in 2005 because an unresolved labor dispute led the NHL to cancel the season. There was no World Series champion in 1994. It sucked, but both leagues got back to it next year.The 2020 Stanley Cup champion, if one is decided, won’t feel the same as the others. Teams did complete 85% of the regular season, and the season is expected to be concluded with the winners’ hoisting of the gleaming silver chalice. But it won’t come close to a sense of normal, even to the players, I’d bet.A pandemic is certainly a valid enough reason to cancel the crowning of a sports champion for one year. What has been derived for the NHL takes away some value of a beloved and cherished trophy that, in normal times, is the most difficult to win.
Posted: 05/28/2020

Winners and losers from the NHL's 2020 playoff format
A changed playoff format was not going to benefit everyone. Here are the biggest winners and losers.
Posted: 05/28/2020

2020 NHL Draft: Predicting Sharks' targets based on prior team history
The Sharks are targeting forwards, which just happens to be the strength of the 2020 NHL Draft.
Posted: 05/28/2020

How Blackhawks' paused 2020 NHL season may compare to 2012-13 lockout
When the Blackhawks had group practices at Johnny's IceHouse West during the 2012-13 lockout while they waited for the season to start, there was a purpose and intensity that carried into official team practices, training camp, the regular season and hoisting the Stanley Cup after the 2013 playoffs concluded.
Posted: 05/27/2020

Criticism doesn't alter Sabres GM's plan to build with youth
Jason Botterill is very much aware of the criticism he’s attracted overseeing a Buffalo Sabres team that extended its playoff drought to nine years by failing to even qualify for the NHL’s expanded 24-team format. “There’s always urgency in this position, and I’m not surprised that our passionate fans want to see a winner on the ice,” Botterill said during a Zoom conference call Wednesday, a day after the Sabres were officially eliminated following the league’s decision to forego the remainder of the regular season. , there wasn’t enough consistency to extend the Sabres’ 50th anniversary year after games were placed on pause due to the pandemic in March.
Posted: 05/27/2020

Canada urged to lift Covid restrictions for NHL players
Canada's federal government has been urged to relax its coronavirus quarantine controls to boost Edmonton's chances of hosting part of the National Hockey League playoffs. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney made the request in a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday as the NHL announced it is considering Edmonton as one of 10 possible hub cities to restart the season in.
Posted: 05/27/2020


1. BOS 70 44 14 12 53 100
2. TBL 70 43 21 6 50 92
3. WSH 69 41 20 8 25 90
4. PHI 69 41 21 7 36 89
5. PIT 69 40 23 6 28 86
6. TOR 70 36 25 9 11 81
7. CAR* 68 38 25 5 29 81
8. CBJ* 70 33 22 15 -7 81
9. NYI 68 35 23 10 -1 80
10. NYR 70 37 28 5 12 79
11. FLA 69 35 26 8 3 78
12. MTL 71 31 31 9 -9 71
13. BUF 69 30 31 8 -22 68
14. NJD 69 28 29 12 -41 68
15. OTT 71 25 34 12 -52 62
16. DET 71 17 49 5 -122 39

1. COL 70 42 20 8 46 92
2. STL 71 41 19 10 30 92
3. VGK 71 39 24 8 16 86
4. EDM 71 37 25 9 8 83
5. DAL 69 37 24 8 3 82
6. CGY 70 36 27 7 -5 79
7. WPG* 71 37 28 6 13 80
8. VAN* 69 36 27 6 11 78
9. NSH 69 35 26 8 -2 78
10. MIN 69 35 27 7 0 77
11. ARZ 70 33 29 8 8 74
12. CHI 70 32 30 8 -6 72
13. ANA 71 29 32 9 -37 67
14. LAK 70 29 35 6 -34 64
15. SJS 70 29 36 5 -44 63

BOS 70 44 14 12 100 227 174
TBL 70 43 21 6 92 245 195
TOR 70 36 25 9 81 238 227
FLA 69 35 26 8 78 231 228
MTL 71 31 31 9 71 212 221
BUF 69 30 31 8 68 195 217
OTT 71 25 34 12 62 191 243
DET 71 17 49 5 39 145 267

WSH 69 41 20 8 90 240 215
PHI 69 41 21 7 89 232 196
PIT 69 40 23 6 86 224 196
CAR 68 38 25 5 81 222 193
CBJ 70 33 22 15 81 180 187
NYI 68 35 23 10 80 192 193
NYR 70 37 28 5 79 234 222
NJD 69 28 29 12 68 189 230

COL 70 42 20 8 92 237 191
STL 71 41 19 10 92 222 192
DAL 69 37 24 8 82 180 177
WPG 71 37 28 6 80 216 203
NSH 69 35 26 8 78 215 217
MIN 69 35 27 7 77 220 220
CHI 70 32 30 8 72 212 218

VGK 71 39 24 8 86 227 211
EDM 71 37 25 9 83 225 217
CGY 70 36 27 7 79 210 215
VAN 69 36 27 6 78 228 217
ARZ 70 33 29 8 74 195 187
ANA 71 29 32 9 67 186 223
LAK 70 29 35 6 64 178 212
SJS 70 29 36 5 63 182 226
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