I’m back after a two-week hiatus. I hope everyone ate themselves sick during Thanksgiving or just another Thursday for our Canadian readers. Most of all, I hope everyone stayed safe.
It’s been an odd last two weeks. The biggest news was Tampa Bay inking Mikhail Sergachev to an extension. The rest of my takes this week will cast a wide net from interesting to flat out weird. If I accomplish anything this week, I hope you learn something.
And if you don’t learn anything, at least listen to this song. But, if you don’t like my column, you probably won’t like the song either.
1. Sergachev Extended in Tampa
We have re-signed Mikhail Sergachev to a three-year contract worth $4.8-million AAV!
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) November 25, 2020
The reigning champs accomplished what was arguably their most-important goal this offseason, retaining defensemen Mikhail Sergachev. Sergachev signed a three-year extension with a $4.8 million AAV.
With all of their stars signed to multi-year deals, Tampa didn’t have a ton of cap space to work with. However, they chose to prioritize Sergachev and got a deal done. After Kevin Shattenkirk left for Anaheim in free agency, they couldn’t afford to lose him. The 22-year-old was a key cog in Tampa’s Stanley Cup-winning squad of last season. He finished the 2019-20 regular season with a career-high 10 goals and added 24 assists. He chipped in another 10 points in the postseason.
Extending Sergachev was vital for Tampa Bay to keep their window open. $4.8 million is a solid price for Sergachev now, but it will certainly be a bargain in three years. I’m sure all eyes will be on Tampa next season as they look to defend their title.
2. Evander Kane Wants to Fight Jake PaulWarning. If you’re over the age of 23-years-old, this take will probably make zero sense to you.
With that being said, Evander Kane of the San Jose Sharks has made headlines this past week after expressing interest in fighting YouTuber/boxer/celebrity, Jake Paul. For those that don’t know, Jake Paul and his brother Logan rose to fame through the old social media app, Vine. The two have broken out and have become full-blown celebrities.
Recently, the brothers have entered the boxing world. Jake, the younger of the brothers, made headlines on November 28th when he fought former NBA player Nate Robinson. For many on the outside, Robinson was a lock to win. But, the younger Paul knocked Robinson out.
Since the knockout, many pseudo athletes have come out of the woodwork and have expressed their desire to fight Paul. Kane jumped into the mix with this tweet.
Jeeezzzz 😳 maybe I should take on @jakepaul next.
— Evander Kane (@evanderkane_9) November 29, 2020
After the tweet, Kane and the older Paul, Logan, got into it on Twitter.
For many, this would be a very odd fight. For the few that are aware of Jake Paul and Evander Kane, I would be very interested to see the two square off.
Before I get into it, I do think many outsiders forget one aspect of a fight with Paul; he has been training in boxing. Paul’s first fight was in February of 2018. It’s obvious he’s in shape and at worst he’s been training specifically to box for two and a half years now. With that knowledge, it’s not as surprising that he knocked out Robinson.
Kane would be an interesting opponent. Obviously, as a hockey player, he’s no stranger to chucking knucks. It’s not uncommon for hockey players to train in boxing either. It wasn’t too long ago that Justin Abdelkader, formerly of the Detroit Red Wings, spoke about his boxing training on The Red and White Authority podcast. What’s unclear is how much boxing training Kane has and if he would risk the utter embarrassment of losing to Paul.
Kane is just about as big as Paul, he’s 6’2″ to Paul’s 6″1.” Again, without the proper training, I don’t think it would be wise to jump into the ring yet. If the fight does happen, I’ll be rooting for Kane to bring honor to his brothers in the NHL.
3. NWHL to Host 2020-21 Season in a Bubble
The NWHL’s season was in jeopardy the same way the NHL’s season was due to COVID-19. However, it was announced on November 25th that the NWHL would follow the same path as the NHL and will complete their season in a bubble. According to Hailey Salvian, a Senators and Women’s Hockey reporter for The Athletic, here is some of the logistical highlights of the season (which you can find on this thread):
- All six teams will play five games plus playoffs.
- No fans in attendance.
- Routine COVID testing.
- Players will be paid their full salaries. They will not be pro-rated.
- Players have the opportunity to opt-out of the season and still receive their full salary.
- The league reports that 95 percent of players are committed to playing.
- The bubble will be in Lake Placid, NY and games will be played at Herb Brooks Arena.
This is really cool. Women’s professional hockey deserves more fanfare and I’m happy to see they’ll get to play a regular season. The best part about this agreement is that players will be receiving their full salary. I doubt that any of these talented players are making in the millions, but it’s nice to see them get paid their salaries in full.
I’m hoping to see more updates from the NWHL so I can report them back to you all!
4. Stars Unveil Full Reverse Retro Unis
— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) November 30, 2020
A few weeks ago, I hopped on the Puck Junk Podcast to talk about each and every Reverse Retro jersey. The pod was so long we had to split it into three segments. (Here are Part One, Part Two and Part Three of the series.) One jersey we couldn’t agree on was the Dallas Stars’ white Reverse Retro. Personally, I like what the Stars came up with. They’re not my favorites, but I like them.
However, we agreed that our opinions would be on ice until we could see the full uniforms. This is especially true for Colorado’s uniforms after I brought up that Nathan MacKinnon had leaked his powder blue gloves earlier this summer.
Dallas also fell into that category. Thankfully, we have to wait no more as the Stars gave us a sneak peek of the full uniform. They don’t crack into my top three, but they’re icy in all the ways they can be. If you’re going to go white, you have to go all the way, and the Stars did that here. The white gloves are what really send these over the top. The gloves are always such an underrated part of a hockey uniform. Dallas’ white gloves really show their commitment to going all white. The glare off the visor helps, too.
Would I buy one of these jerseys if I was a Stars fan? No. But, I think the entire uniform will look sick on the ice, and that’s all that matters.
5. Bauer Launches New Skates for WJC
— Spittin’ Chiclets (@spittinchiclets) December 4, 2020
If this isn’t the coolest thing you’ve seen all week, then I don’t know what is. These skates were designed by Bauer for players at this year’s World Junior Championships, which will take place in Edmonton, AB at the end of this month. Each skate will bear the flag of that player’s country.
I’m not even patriotic and I would love to be seen gliding around in these. I actually own a pair of American flag Vans and they’re don’t even approach the level of drip these things have. I’m so jealous that the kids competing at this year’s WJC will get to rock them. I hope they get to keep them, too. If I wore these skates I would never let them go and would have them framed at my house. If we’re lucky, maybe we’ll get a few memorable moments from this tournament so we can see these skates in the future. ■