September 15, 2018

Pucks On The 'Net

Time to throw a few pucks on the 'net about the week that was in hockey:

- Emotional. Classy, Tasteful. Inspiring. These are just a few of the words I can muster up to describe the scene on national television this week as TSN broadcast the Humboldt Broncos return to the ice and their tribute to the victims, survivors and responders of their horrific bus crash last April. Some people believe all of hockey worldwide and all of Canada mourned for Humboldt, which is true. But I come from small town Canada and while that allows me to better understand perhaps better than some how the community of Humboldt continues to reel and heal from all of this, it is completely unfathomable to me what all has happened. Hockey needs to be a big part of the healing process, because it is places like Humboldt where the true heart of hockey is found.

- Erik Karlsson is traded to San Jose for a whole bunch of not much. Colorado celebrates the most as they own Ottawa's first round pick, which is likely to be a high lottery pick. That's where none of this makes sense. Apparently owner Eugene Melnyk has mandated the rebuild, perhaps out of financial necessity, going back several months. Okay, so trade off all your best players for futures - that's one thing. But why trade your first rounder away if the management knows the mandate ahead? Even with that done, Ottawa still had a choice of giving Colorado either their 2018 or 2019 first rounder to Colorado. They kept their 4th overall pick in 2018 to nab Brady Tkachuk - a nice piece of the puzzle going forward for sure. But knowing both Matt Hoffman and Erik Karlsson would be traded, and then getting nothing much in return, ensures the fan base will be infuriated with you. The fans will eventually buy into the rebuild, but it's a lot harder without the hope of that top draft pick next summer. Instead of hoping for Jack Hughes, every loss is a reminder that Colorado may end up with him, and Ottawa with nothing to start that rebuild. It's just a clown house in Ottawa these days.

- San Jose has to be re-energized with the arrival of Karlsson and also the return of a healthy Joe Thornton. With Karlsson and Brent Burns on the blue line, the Sharks should have a Norris trophy winner on the ice for most of the 60 minutes each and every game. They're both offensive wild cards who play the game unlike pretty much anyone else in the league. San Jose will either redefine hockey hockey is played with this two-some, or they will learn struggle because there is only one puck on the ice. Burns and especially Thornton and Karlsson all want to be the guy with the puck, especially on the power play. They have until playoff time to get all the wrinkles out.

- Henrik Zetterberg was forced to retired due his back injuries. He will join countrymen Daniel and Henrik Sedin as Hall of Fame locks in 2021 when their three year waiting period is over. I say locks because it seems no other serious candidates are retiring this year. I'm assuming Pavel Datsyuk and Jaromir Jagr are going to play in Europe this year, otherwise they become the immediate locks, with the Sedins likely having to wait a year.

- Tyler Seguin signed a whopping 8 year, $78 million contract extension with the Dallas Stars. Maybe I have not watched Tyler Seguin enough. I know he has all the skill in the world and has a good resume, but he's a guy I must be guilty of not appreciating enough. Because I'm not sure I'd give him that kind of money or build my team around him.

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