The headlines were plentiful around the NHL last week. So plentiful, in fact, that I had to change the title of my column three times because major things kept happening. We had a number one goalie opt-out of the playoffs mid-series, the draft lottery winner was revealed, and we saw a game go into five overtimes. Keep reading to catch up on all the news around the NHL.
The most important thing I can share are my thoughts on the radical racial injustices occurring in this country. These injustices are abhorrent and I needed to speak out. My comments will tie into hockey, of course. But, hockey is only a vehicle to illustrate how we need to improve. I hope this makes some of you outraged and encourages you to speak out. I also hope it makes some of you uncomfortable and more willing to listen to your fellow humans that just happen to look different than you. This is a time for all of us to get involved and improve as people. We need to stop the horrific injustice towards black people and other minorities in the US and Canada.
I’m glad I pushed my column back a day because a lot happened yesterday. Most notably, the AHL canceled the remainder of their season. I’ll give my take on it and give a few special shoutouts to AHL players. Also, a few reports published yesterday raised some eyebrows in the NHL community.
Last week was a busy one for the NHL. It was the first week in more than a month where I had backup takes (more on those next week). This week, I’ll touch on the interesting dynamic between AHL and NHL teams. Also, the Blackhawks made a huge move in their front office which warrants a look. Plenty more, too. Stay safe everyone!
Happy Monday and welcome back to my takes. The NHL was buzzing this weekend with big stories and exciting plays. I’ll obviously write about Hurricanes instant superstar, David Ayres, and Ovechkin finally reaching another milestone. You’ll want to read all five takes for a few other fun stories I highlighted this week.
On Monday, the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Boston Bruins 6-5 in a game that came down to literally the last shot. Travis Konecky, shooting second-to-last, scored in the fifth round of the shootout. Then it was Brad Marchand’s turn for his shot. Only, he forgot to take the puck with him.
Marchand overskated the puck, and the Flyers won the game. This was after the Bruins blew a 5-2 lead, making Marchand’s mistake even more epic. He is the first player since the shootout was instituted in 2005 to overskate the puck on a shootout attempt.
“I was just trying to get going and just missed it,” Marchand told NHL.com. “I know the rule, you touch it on a penalty shot, it’s your shot. Unfortunate. It’s a tough way to lose on a play like that.”
But on Tuesday, Marchand — instead of showing a little bit of humility, or even taking a joke like he is sometimes willing to do — decided to tweet a photo of himself hoisting the Stanley Cup in 2011.
— Brad Marchand (@Bmarch63) January 14, 2020
Of course, the peanut gallery that is Hockey Twitter had to get involved and razz the Rat.
The takes are hot this week. We’re in the midst of the World Juniors and there have been plenty of storylines from the tournament thus far. The All-Star Game rosters were just released and I have a lot to say about that. I’ll also take a look at another gem of a press conference by the one and only John Tortorella.
For this week’s takes, I dive into the entire Bill Peters saga and why his comments illuminate a growing issue in the NHL. I also comment on a few notable extensions up in Boston and look into a team moving up in the standings.
How many synonyms can I use for the word extension? You will have to keep reading to find out because this edition of Blake’s Takes is all about extensions. Mitch Marner finally signed an extension. Many of the other big-name RFAs followed suit, making last week one of the most memorable weeks of the summer in the hockey world.
During the past season, several rookies like Elias Pettersson, Rasmus Dahiln, Andrei Svechnkiov and Brady Tkachuk were extremely popular with collectors based on their performance. Add them to the list of players who had breakout performances last season, but rookie cards from prior years like Jordan Binnington, Nikita Kucherov, Dylan Larkin, and Mikko Rantanen. The better a player performs, the higher the demand for — and the cost of — his rookie card becomes.
But collectors can still find several bargains out there, though these players’ rookie cards may not be bargains much longer. Here is a list of young NHLers that can still be considered bargains based on how they have developed with their teams and how they have been received by collectors up to this point.