The NHL kicked off it's first week of action on January 13th, and it wasn't without it's fair share of dramatic wins, controversial hits, fights, and intense rivalries. Everything you expected from this 2020-21 season and more!
Boston Bruins to retire Willie O'Ree's No. 22, the NHL's first Black player
The Boston Bruins announced that they will be retiring number 22, worn by the first Black NHL player, Willie O'Ree.
O'Ree debut for Boston all the way back in 1957, and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2018. O'Ree will become the third Black player to have his number retired, and the 12th Bruin. The ceremony will be held on February 18th, prior to the start of the Boston Bruins vs. New Jersey Devils.
When asked about having his number retired, O'Ree responded with the following:
"I was at a loss of words there for a few seconds. I'm overwhelmed and thrilled about having my Bruins jersey hung up in the rafters."
Dallas Stars' season opener postponed due to Covid-19 protocols
I feel awful for Dallas Stars' fans! Perhaps no other fan-base in the league was as excited and as hopeful for the start of the NHL season as Stars' fans were, after their loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Final last year.
Bad news struck for Dallas, however, when on January 8th it was announced that the Stars' season opener would be pushed back to January 22nd, after six Stars' players and two staff members tested positive for Covid-19. It was then announced on Tuesday the 12th that 17 players from the Dallas Stars' roster had tested positive for the virus.
As of right now, Dallas is still on track to play their first game of the season against the Nashville Predators on Friday, January 22nd.
Tim Stützle scores his first NHL goal, Ottawa Senators honor late Jeopardy host, Alex Trebek
The third overall pick in the 2020 NHL draft, Tim Stützle scored his first career NHL goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Saturday night's 2-3 loss. The highly anticipated prospect busted onto the scene when he scored a highlight-reel worthy goal off of a Thomas Chabot pass, sneaking the puck just under the arm of Toronto goaltender, Jack Campbell.
In the cruel final act of the infamous year of 2020, a beloved pop culture icon was taken too soon from us. Ottawa native and iconic Jeopardy host, Alex Trebek, passed away back in November. Trebek was a longtime Senators fan, being spotted by many network cameras throughout the years sitting front and center in his Ottawa Senators jersey. The franchise paid tribute to Trebek and gave one final thank you for his faithful fandom over the years.
Ottawa also paid tribute to former Senators general manager, John Muckler, who passed away just a few weeks ago on January 4th, 2021.
Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jared McCann fined for dirty hit
The NHL has fined Penguins forward Jared McCann, after he elbowed Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Travis Sanheim in the face during a Friday night game.
McCann was fined $10,000, which is the maximum fine allowed under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. One thing is for sure, we have not seen the end of disciplinary actions this season; not even close. We all knew that this was going to be a chippy year, as rivals such as the Penguins and Flyers will face each other a total of eight times throughout the season.
Defenseman Adam McQuaid calls it quits after 10 seasons in the NHL
10-year veteran defenseman, Adam McQuaid, announced on Saturday that he has decided to hang up the skates and call it a career. McQuaid played for three teams during his 10-year campaign, including the Columbus Blue Jackets, New York Rangers, and Boston Bruins. McQuaid played 512 regular season games over the course of his career, where he racked up 73 points on 16 goals and 57 assists.
While McQuaid didn't have the most noteworthy career, he was a member of the 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins. Good luck in retirement, Adam!
Ilya Sorokin makes his long awaited NHL debut for the New York Islanders, suffering a 5-0 loss to the cross town rival New York Rangers
The New York Islanders finally have what they believe to be their future franchise goaltender in Ilya Sorokin. Sorokin was drafted 78th overall in the 2014 NHL draft by the Islanders, and spent a majority of his career up until this point tearing it up in the KHL.
Sorokin didn't get off to the hottest start in his NHL debut, as he was lit up for 5 goals against the New York Rangers. Welcome to the rivalry, kid! Sorokin posted an abysmal .844 save percentage, and stopped 27 of the 32 shots he faced.
Perhaps the poor performance was not all Sorokin's fault though; Semyon Varlamov was slated to make his second straight start against the Rangers, before he took a Cal Clutterbuck puck to the jaw during warmups. Sorokin was thrown in goal on short notice, and even Islanders head coach Barry Trotz admits to "hanging him out to dry" in his debut.
Keith Yandle is the NHL's Iron-man, posting one goal in his 867th consecutive game
Just days after it was reported that Florida Panthers management was unhappy with Keith Yandle's performance, it was widely believed that Yandle would be benched indefinitely, ending his Iron-man streak at 866 games. In perhaps one of the most crucial games of his career, the defenseman took the ice on Sunday night against the Chicago Blackhawks, where he registered one goal on three shots in Florida's 5-2 win over Chicago.
The Massachusetts native celebrated his goal as if his career depended on it, because, well, it basically did. Let's hope it's enough to keep Yandle in the good graces of Panthers' management, so he can continue to take to the ice in the future. Yandle holds the longest active NHL games played streak, and the fourth longest in NHL history.
Yandle has enjoyed a 15-year career up until this point, playing for the Arizona Coyotes, New York Rangers, and Florida Panthers.
Patrik Laine leaves Winnipeg Jets' practice with apparent injury
In a scary moment for the Winnipeg Jets, star forward Patrik Laine left practice early on Sunday, leaving his status for Monday's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs as questionable. It is unclear as to what was bothering Laine during practice, but Jets' head coach Paul Maurice said that he will wait until Monday morning to check up on Laine to determine the winger's availability for Monday night's game.
The Winnipeg Jets currently hold a 1-0-0 record after defeating the Calgary Flames 4-3 on Thursday night, a game in which Laine scored two goals, including the overtime game-winner.
Washington Capitals - 3 GP, 2-0-1, 5 points
Philadelphia Flyers - 2 GP, 2-0-0, 4 points
New Jersey Devils - 2 GP, 1-0-1, 3 points
Boston Bruins - 2 GP, 1-0-1, 3 points
New York Rangers - 2 GP, 1-1-0, 2 points
New York Islanders - 2 GP, 1-1-0, 2 points
Pittsburgh Penguins - 3 GP, 1-2-0, 2 points
Buffalo Sabres - 2 GP, 0-2-0, 0 points
Tampa Bay Lightning - 2 GP, 2-0-0, 4 points
Nashville Predators - 2 GP, 2-0-0, 4 points
Florida Panthers - 1 GP, 1-0-0, 2 points
Carolina Hurricanes - 2 GP, 1-1-0, 2 points
Detroit Red Wings - 2 GP, 1-1-0, 2 points
Dallas Stars - 0 GP, 0-0-0, 0 points
Columbus Blue Jackets - 2 GP, 0-2-0, 0 points
Chicago Blackhawks - 3 GP, 0-3-0, - points
Vegas Golden Knights - 2 GP, 2-0-0, 4 points
Minnesota Wild - 2 GP, 2-0-0, 4 points
Arizona Coyotes - 2 GP, 1-0-1, 3 points
Colorado Avalanche - 2 GP, 1-1-0, 2 points
St. Louis Blues - 2 GP, 1-1-0, 2 points
San Jose Sharks - 2 GP, 1-1-0, 2 points
Los Angeles Kings - 2 GP, 0-0-2, 2 points
Anaheim Ducks - 2 GP, 0-1-1, 1 point
Toronto Maple Leafs - 3 GP, 2-1-0, 4 points
Montreal Canadiens - 2 GP, 1-0-1, 3 points
Calgary Flames - 2 GP, 1-0-1, 3 points
Winnipeg Jets - 1 GP, 1-0-0, 2 points
Ottawa Senators - 2 GP, 1-1-0, 2 points
Edmonton Oilers - 3 GP, 1-2-0, 2 points
Vancouver Canucks - 3 GP, 1-2-0, 2 points
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Have a great week, hockey fans!