By Sal Barry, Tim Parish, Blake Isaacs, Jim Howard & Kyle Scully
Before we turn our attention to the upcoming hockey season, we wanted to take a look back at the 2019-20 NHL season. And what a crazy season it was! A global pandemic halted the league for the first time in over 100 years. Players spoke up and spoke out against racial injustice in the United States. A Zamboni driver became a goaltending hero. And that’s just the start of it.
The past season was the longest NHL season, too, starting on October 2, 2019 and ending almost a full year later on September 28, 2020. The team at Puck Junk rounded up what they thought were the biggest stories of the 2019-20 season. Like the fictional band Spinal Tap, we couldn’t settle on just 10 — we turned it up to 11. So, here are the 11 biggest stories of the 2019-20 NHL season.
It’s been over a year of anticipation, but the newest NHL team finally has a name: the Seattle Kraken! On Thursday morning, the Seattle Hockey Partners revealed its name, logo, colors and uniform design. Last year, the writers at Puck Junk gave their suggestions for potential team names for the NHL’s 32nd franchise. Now, they’ve teamed up again to share their thoughts on Seattle’s brand identity.
The 2019 American Hockey League’s Calder Cup Finals start on Saturday (schedule here). The Charlotte Checkers, who are affiliated with the Carolina Hurricanes, take on the Chicago Wolves, the AHL affiliate of the Las Vegas Golden Knights. AHL teams only play against teams within their conference during the regular season, so this is the first time this year that the Checkers will take on the Wolves.
Jim Howard, Puck Junk’s resident “Caniac,” and Sal Barry, who has followed the Chicago Wolves the past 25 years, give their insight as to which team will win. Either way, it won’t be a sweep.
What makes a trade lopsided? Many hockey fans think it is when one team gets the better players, declaring that that team had “won” the trade. But getting the better players doesn’t necessarily mean that team always wins.
For example, look at the Wayne Gretzky trade. One could rightly surmise that the Los Angeles Kings won that exchange, since they acquired the game’s greatest player in the deal. But consider that the Edmonton Oilers got $15 million in the trade, which allowed them to stay afloat, and won the Stanley Cup in 1990 with some of the assets they received. The Kings raised their profile exponentially with Gretzky on their team, but did not win a Stanley Cup Championship until 2012, long after that trade had any bearing.
That trade doesn’t seem so lopsided anymore when you look at it that way, does it?
With today being the NHL trade deadline, here is a look at five lopsided trades, where one team clearly benefited, while the other got hosed.
Yes, we know. The new Seattle NHL team won’t start playing until the 2021-22 season. And the ownership group probably won’t reveal the name of that team until at least 2020. But we still can’t help but think what nickname the new team will use. Will the ownership group go retro and pick the name of a prior pro hockey team that played in Seattle, such as the Totems? Or will it go with something original? And if so, what? Members of the Puck Junk Team gave their suggestions on what they think would be a great name for the new Seattle NHL team.