Blake’s Takes: The 2021-22 Season is Underway

The 2021-22 NHL season has officially begun. It’s been an exciting first week. The Seattle Kraken took the ice for the very first time as an NHL team. NHL GMs decided to get some last-minute work in signing a few massive extensions, too. So many extensions in fact I won’t be able to get to all of them this week. I will provide my two cents on the Kraken, one extension, as well as a few other notable stories around the NHL.

Happy Monday!

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The Best 2021-22 NHL Game-Night Giveaway Items

Today is the start of the 2021-22 season. All teams will play a full 82-game schedule for the first time in three seasons, and all teams will allow spectators at their games. Also making a comeback are game-night giveaways. You know, the free stuff that you can get when you go to certain games. 

So, here is a list of the best game-night giveaway items that teams will dole out during the 2021-22 season — from a Ryan O’Reilly Winter Classic bobblehead, to a Star Wars-themed Flyers poster, to ugly holiday sweater t-shirts that several teams will give out. 

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Blake’s Takes: The 2021-22 Season Starts Tomorrow

The day we’ve been waiting for is almost here. The 2021-22 NHL season starts on Tuesday at 7:30 pm EST when the puck drops in Tampa Bay as the Lightning take on the vising Penguins. In addition to looking at the upcoming season, I’ll also look at a massive contract extension, and a few very notable injuries. 

Happy Monday and let’s get this season started.

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Puck Junk Podcast: The Best and Worst NHL Mascots

Episode #100: October 8, 2021

For the 100th Episode of the Puck Junk Podcast, Sal Barry is joined by Tim Parish, Blake Isaacs and Jim “Not the Goalie” Howard to talk all about NHL mascots. Which mascots are the best? The worst? Which mascots give us nightmares? Which mascot are we most likely to kiss? Plus, will the Seattle Kraken ever have a mascot? It’s 95 minutes of fun hockey talk.

Show Notes, Links and Images: 
Gritty hanging out with Patrick Stewart and Stephen Colbert (YouTube)
Gritty on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (YouTube)

The original Tommy Hawk (left) and the current Tommy Hawk:

Nyisles was the New York Islanders’ mascot during the team’s “Fish Sticks” jersey era.

Finally, here is the evil Purple Tentacle from “The Day of the Tentacle” computer game. Could this become the Seattle Kraken’s first mascot?

Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk & Instagram @PuckJunk
Follow Tim Parish on Twitter @TheRealDFG & Instagram @therealdfg66.
Follow Blake Isaacs on Twitter @bisaacs1995 & Instagram @bisaacs1995.
Follow Jim “Not the Goalie” Howard on Instagram @flyingv2112.
Podcast opening and closing music by Jim “Not the Goalie” Howard.

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Blake’s Takes: Extensions for Everyone!

This week’s set of takes is all about extensions. With training camp beginning, many teams did some last-minute negotiating, signing superstar players and coaches to new deals.

Other than the many extensions, I’ll share my thoughts on an injury that makes me sad and a cool new initiative down in the desert.

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Blake’s Takes: Kaprizov Locked Down in St. Paul

The Kirill Kaprizov standoff has ended. The Russian-winger will suit up with the Wild this season after signing a massive extension. That will be my first take of the week. I’ll also report on new jersey patches, the league’s outlook on full arenas, and a few other interesting tidbits.

Happy Monday!

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Blake’s Takes: Coyotes in Search of a New Home

Welcome back to my column. One day late but better late than never. This week, I’ll lead with the Arizona Coyotes on the verge of homelessness after this season. I’ll also share my thoughts on one NHL coaches’ quest for new work as well as a few player milestones.

Happy Tuesday!

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Blake’s Takes: Auston Matthews Named NHL 22 Cover Athlete

It’s been a slower few weeks around the NHL and hockey community. It gives me some time to catch up on a few of the major stories that dominated headlines over the last week or two. This week, I’ll address a few notable extensions, EA Sports’ NHL 22 cover star, and unfortunate death in the hockey community.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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Blake’s Takes: NHL Players Return to the Olympics

I took a two-week hiatus but I’m back. Hockey news did not stop while I was away. The most notable news was that the NHL will allow the players to return to the Olympics in 2022. That’s incredibly exciting. In this week’s column, I’ll also explore some offer sheet drama, one of my favorite uniforms, and an unfortunate retirement.

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Blake’s Takes: NHL Releases Vaccination Requirements

As the offseason continues to roll on, it gives the NHL time to get their affairs in order, too. Last week, the NHL released its vaccination requirements for all league and team personnel. I’ll start with my thoughts on those requirements this week. As promised, the remainder of my takes will examine some major offseason transactions over the last week or two.

Happy Monday!

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