May 5 – O’Ree, Oshie & Comparing Seasons

Tuesday’s Toe Drags

NO CAPITAL PUNISHMENT: Capitals forward Tom Wilson received a $5,000 fine for his much-maligned role in a melee against the Rangers on Monday, and the punishment, or lack thereof, was not received well.

TAMPA HEY: Tampa Bay Lightning fans were overjoyed to see both Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov skate together at practice on Tuesday, though there is still no definite timetable for their return.

McHUNDRED UPDATES: McDavid notched two helpers against the Canucks to bring him within seven points of hitting the century mark.

Willie O’Ree Congressional Gold Medal

A rather unique subject has been trending on and off Twitter for some time now, as hockey fans continue to endorse former Boston Bruin Willie O’Ree for the Congressional Gold Medal — the highest honor awarded by the U.S. Congress to any individual. The names sparkle: George Washington, Rosa Parks, Mother Teresa, and Jesse Owens are all former recipients, and now the push is on to include O’Ree among this highly distinguished list of honorees, in recognition of his “extraordinary contributions and commitment to hockey, inclusion, and recreational opportunity.”

Willie O’Ree, Boston Bruins (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)

O’Ree became the first Black player in NHL history on January 18, 1958, when he laced up for the Bruins against the Montreal Canadiens. His professional hockey career was spent mostly in the WHL, where, according to his official ambassador page, he won two scoring titles. Often referred to as the “Jackie Robinson of hockey,” he endured years of cheap shots and threats, yet he remains an active force in the league, and is the NHL’s Diversity Ambassador for the Hockey is for Everyone initiative, a title he’s held since 1998.

Various Leagues and teams have called on congress, which received the re-introduced Willie O’Ree Congressional Gold Medal Act in February, to honor the Hockey Hall of Famer. Feeling moved? Reach out to your local congressional representatives (Senate here and House here) to show your support! You can also support Willie on Twitter or other social media platforms by using #WillieForTheGold on your posts.

Dreaming of a Full 82

You’re probably pretty tired of hearing how the 2020-21 NHL season is one like no other… but it’s true. The reimagined division format and exclusive intradivisional play is obviously the most notable distinction, but now as we get to the final days of the regular season, the shortened 56-game length is starting to become significant.

First and foremost is Connor McDavid’s bid to turn the Scotia North Division into his own personal playground and notch 100 points in a season roughly two-thirds the length of a normal campaign. How crazy would that achievement be? Consider that in 2018-19, the league’s most recent full 82-game slate, only six players hit triple digits with 26 more games to work with. If this was an 82-game campaign, McDavid would be on track for 136 points. Numbers not seen since Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr combined for 310 points during the 1995-96 season.

McDavid’s off-season training buddy ain’t bad, either. Auston Matthews is on the precipice of 40 goals (and a projected 82-game total of 66) despite playing in just 48 games. The only thing better for NHL marketing executives would be for the two young superstars to meet in the playoffs, which could happen in the second round.

In a less buzzed about dominance during the 2020-21 season, you have the small market Carolina Hurricanes as the unlikely Discover Central Division leader. Their 77 points projects to 121 over a full season, which would be the second-highest point total since the Capitals posted 121 points during the 2009-10 season.

U-18 Men’s World Championship – Semifinals

 Canada vs  Sweden |  Finland vs  Russia

Learn more about the IIHF U-18 Men’s World Championship here

TJ Oshie Announces Father’s Passing

The Washington Capitals’ TJ Oshie announced that his father, Tim Oshie, had passed away on Tuesday afternoon. Tim was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2012 and TJ did not play in the now-controversial game against the New York Rangers on Monday night to be by his father’s side. Fans will not forget the emotional moment TJ had when discussing his dad during the Capitals’ Cup celebration in 2018.

Oshie took to Twitter on Tuesday and said, “It’s with a heavy heart today that my family mourns the passing of my Dad ‘Coach Oshie.’ Coach lived life to the fullest and was unanimously loved by everyone who met him. Thanks to all the family and friends for their support. Heaven received a legend today. #RIPCoachOsh

On behalf of everyone here at The Hockey Writers we send out condolences to TJ, Lauren, and the rest of the Oshie family.