NHL Round Up: A Jersey Jersey

(PHOTO: NHL)

Another fortnight, another set of interesting events in the show. 

This time we saw everything from front office changes to Luis Suarez-style attacks on fellow players. Georgia McCann takes a look at what’s gone on.

NEW JERSEY RELEASE THEIR ‘JERSEY’ JERSEY

After never having a third jersey, Devils fans were delighted to hear that an alternate was to be released.

Designed with the assistance of Devils legend Martin Brodeur, the all black number looks remarkably similar to the 2019 Blackhawks Winter Classic jersey. 

With a total of 21 white stripes, representing each of the state’s counties and 5 placed over the shoulders to signify the franchise’s retired numbers, it is quite busy already. Perhaps that is why the front logo is simply ‘Jersey’ in baseball-style lettering.

Overall, the end product has been somewhat polarising among fans and in parts, ridiculed as the Jersey ‘Jersey’ jersey. However, Nashville ensured it wasn’t the worst jersey released this fortnight after they dropped their blue Stadium Series jersey with SMASHVILLE stamped on the front.

MARCHAND V PANARIN

We were treated to some bizarre scenes during the Thanksgiving Showdown game between the Bruins and the Rangers, when Artemi Panarin threw his glove across his bench to the Bruins one, hitting intended target Brad Marchand.

Panarin has accused Marchand of ‘Russian-centric’ comments, claiming the Canadian told him ‘no one likes you there’ and made reference to Vladimir Putin, who Panarin has been vocally critical of.

Clearly Marchand’s comments touched a nerve, but without any evidence as to what was actually said, no action was taken against the Bruins winger. Panarin however received a $5k fine for his actions.

LEMIEUX V TKACHUK

There was another strange coming together of players, this time during the Kings vs Senators game. Brendan Lemieux and Brady Tkachuk began fighting, which is fairly normal for the two players in question, but the scrap saw Lemieux actually biting the Senators captain.

Quite a disgusting act, especially during a pandemic and understandably, Tkachuk was not impressed, making his feelings very clear. Per Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch:

“This is the one-time I’m going to answer this,” said Tkachuk. “It was the most gutless thing somebody could ever do. This guy, you can ask anyone of his teammates, nobody ever wants to play with him, this guy is a bad guy and a bad teammate, he focuses on himself all the time.

“The guy’s just a joke. He shouldn’t be in the league. This guy’s gutless. No other team wants him, he’s going to keep begging to be in the NHL but no other team is going to want him, he’s an absolute joke. I can’t even wrap my head around it. People don’t even do this. He’s just a bad guy.”

Tkachuk was just shocked by Lemieux going that route.

“It’s outrageous. Kids don’t even do that anymore. Babies do that. I don’t even know what he was thinking, he’s just a complete brick head. He’s got nothing up there. Bad guy, bad player but what a joke he is,” said Tkachuk.

During the game the pair both received two minutes for roughing, but after the referee saw the bite marks on Tkachuk’s hand, the Kings forward received a five minute major and game misconduct.

Subsequently he has been suspended five games by the NHL. Fun fact – this makes Brendan and Claude Lemieux the first father and son duo to be suspended in the NHL for biting.

CHANGES FOR CANADIENS

The Canadiens have given their front office a reset and fired general manager Marc Bergevin, assistant general manager Trevor Timmins and senior VP of public affairs and communications Paul Wilson.

The big talking point is of course Bergevin, who only a few months ago saw Montreal reach the Stanley Cup Finals. 

However, the Habs have been seriously underperforming recently and with the Quebec native in the last year of his contract, it seems the Canadiens wished to start sooner rather than later with rebuilding a new front office.

A new general manager has yet to be hired, but Jeff Gorton has been brought in as executive VP of hockey operations. He will also temporarily act in Bergevin’s former role until a replacement is found.

Bruce Boudreau (PHOTO: NHL)

NEW MANAGEMENT TEAM FOR THE ‘NUCKS

Following a string of disastrous results, the Canucks have purged their front office and coaching staff. After making their feeling very clear, fans will be delighted that general manager Jim Benning and assistant general manager John Weisbrod are out, with Chris Grear taking over on an interim basis.

Additionally, massive coaching changes have been made, with Travis Green and Nolan Baumgartner have both been relieved of their duties. The ‘Nucks have already hired a replacement in respected coach Bruce Boudreau.

The changes have already proven to be well received, with the sound of boos and chants of ‘Fire Benning’ being replaced with applause and even a standing ovation.

DeBRUSK HOPING TO BE OUT OF BOSTON

Boston Bruins’ Jake DeBrusk has requested a trade. Following the arrival of Taylor Hall, DeBrusk has seen himself pushed down to the third line and at times, coach Bruce Cassidy has scratched the winger due to poor play. 

Elliotte Friedman has confirmed the Bruins are looking to facilitate his request but nothing is in the works just yet.

MIKKO MAKES THE RAFTERS

The Minnesota Wild have confirmed Mikko Koivu’s #9 will be retired on 13th March. The Finn will be the first Wild player to receive the honour and as their longest permanent serving captain, it is much deserved.

Jack Hughes (PHOTO: NHL)

SIGNINGS, WAIVER CLAIMS, DEPARTURES & TRADES

  • Jack Hughes has re-signed with the Devils. The former first overall pick was due to become an RFA at the end of the season, but both he and the team were able to avoid end of season negotiations by agreeing to a monster 8 year deal worth $8m AAV. Per CapFriendly the last four years of the deal includes a 10 team no trade list.
  • Devils 2020 first rounder Shakir Mukhamadullin has signed his entry level deal. He will be loaned back to the KHL for the rest of the season
  • Ryan Lomberg has resigned with the Panthers on a two year deal worth $800k AAV
  • After returning from suspension, Evander Kane was placed on waivers and has reported to the San Jose Barracuda. The Sharks are actively looking to trade him, but are handcuffed by Kane’s no-trade list.
  • Matt Murray has reported to the Belleville Senators after clearing waivers. Although supposedly in good spirits despite his demotion, Murray is reportedly unhappy with Ottawa’s handling of the issue and per Elliotte Friedman, he feels like the team’s scapegoat.
  • Nathan Bastian (Kraken), Adam Gaudette (Blackhawks), Christian Wolanin (Buffalo) and Kale Clague (Kings) were all placed on waivers. All were claimed by the Devils, Senators, Kings and Canadiens respectively.
  • The Leafs have place Kirill Semyonov on unconditional waivers for the purpose of a buy out
  • Kole Sherwood has been traded by Ottawa to the Predators for future considerations
  • Malcom Subban has been traded by Chicago to the Sabres for future considerations

KEY INJURIES

Once again here is a quick summary of all those injuries involving key players:

  • Rangers star goalie Igor Shesterkin is on injured reserve. Whilst the injury is described as a minor lower body problem, this does help New York call up Adam Huska to replace him
  • Islanders defenceman Brock Nelson is out for up to a month with a lower body injury
  • Detroit have lost both Troy Stecher and Mitchell Stevens for significant time, with both unlikely to return until after the Olympic break
  • Sens defenceman Josh Brown will miss up to six weeks with an upper body injury
  • Philly will be missing Nate Thompson for an indefinite amount of time with a dislocated shoulder
  • Good news for Vegas fans. New star centre Jack Eichel is recovering well from his surgery and has been cleared for everything but contact. He is expected to join the team within a few weeks
  • Following Eichel’s surgery, Chicago forward Tyler Johnson has also undergone the same procedure. He is expected to miss three months
Toronto Maple Leafs’ Austin Matthews (PHOTO: NHL)

AND FINALLY…

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews is known for many things. Number 1 overall draft pick. That four goal debut. Calder Trophy winner. Four time all star. His ability to terrorise opposition goaltenders. His interesting fashion sense. His moustache.

Well the moustache is no more. For Movember, Matthews promised to shave his ‘tache if fans donated $134k. Plenty of donations came in, with $143,547.00 raised and true to his word, the American is moustache free.

Speaking on his fundraising and subsequent shave, Matthews said “it feels a little different. I think it’s going to take some time for me to get used to. Everybody kind of gave it a little bit of a double take. It definitely feels weird. I didn’t feel like myself when I saw it off, but I might just take a little bit of time to get used to this feeling again.”

He did reflect however that “it means a lot, the support and everything throughout the month. Being able to make a difference and an impact, raise awareness for an amazing cause, it means a lot. And if that means having to shave the moustache, then I’m all for it.”

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*