On Tap For Today — Vancouver at Buffalo; 7:00 pm EDT; SN360, MSG-B | San Jose at Montreal; 7:00 pm EDT; TSN2, RDS, NBCSCA | Florida at Tampa Bay; 7:00 pm EDT; TVAS, BSSUN, BSFL | Seattle at New Jersey; 7:00 pm EDT; MSG+, ROOT-NW | Dallas at Pittsburgh; 7:00 pm EDT; ATTSN-PT, BSSW | Colorado at Washington; 7:00 pm EDT; ESPN+, HULU | Columbus at Detroit; 7:30 pm EDT; BSDET, BSOH | NY Islanders at Chicago; 7:00 pm CDT; ESPN | Los Angeles at Nashville; 7:00 pm CDT; BSSO, BSW | Winnipeg at Minnesota; 7:00 pm CDT; BSN, BSWI, TSN3 | Anaheim at Edmonton; 7:00 pm MDT; SN1, BSSC, BSSD
Last Night’s News 📰
MOVING UPSTAIRS: Former star NHL sniper Ilya Kovalchuk has agreed to become the general manager of the Russian Olympic Committee men’s hockey team ahead of the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing. Kovalchuk will work with an executive group that includes former players Sergei Fedorov, Alexei Zhamnov, Sergei Gonchar, and Evgeni Nabokov. The 2018 Olympic MVP will aim to help Team ROC to back-to-back Olympic gold medals, this time with NHL participation.
SERVING TIME: On Monday, the NHL announced that San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane has been suspended for 21 games in violation of COVID protocols. In the same statement, the league also announced that the domestic violence investigation against him could not be substantiated and that there will be no further comment. It wouldn’t be a typical week if we didn’t see Kane’s name in the news.
KUCHER-ON THE IR: Lightning head coach Jon Cooper told the media on Monday that the injury forward Nikita Kucherov sustained in the third period of Saturday’s game against the Capitals is “definitely not a day-to-day thing.” Kucherov has one goal and three assists in three games this season after missing all of the 2020-21 regular season on the IR while recovering from hip surgery.
NATURAL HABITAT: A couple of Penguins returned to the ice on Monday as Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby were spotted skating in tracksuits prior to Pittsburgh’s practice. Malkin and Crosby both underwent surgeries in the offseason and are yet to make their season debuts.
In honor of his 70th birthday today, how well do you know Dale Tallon?
- Tallon made his NHL debut during the 1970-71 season for which team?
- Chicago Black Hawks
- Vancouver Canucks
- Pittsburgh Penguins
- Buffalo Sabres
- After announcing his retirement from the NHL, Tallon joined which franchise as an analyst for radio and television broadcasts?
- New York Rangers
- Pittsburgh Penguins
- Buffalo Sabres
- Chicago Black Hawks
- Prior to becoming the Florida Panthers’ general manager, Tallon was named the Blackhawks’ _________ GM in team history.
Answers can be found at the bottom of the email.
Lightning Strikes Twice
One thing we can all agree on is that Nikita Kucherov’s latest injury, an undisclosed issue incurred when he collided awkwardly with Garnet Hathaway of the Washington Capitals on Saturday night, is a bummer. The 2019 Hart Trophy winner had already missed the entire 2020-21 regular season after hip surgery and is now back on the sidelines just three games into 2021-22.
However, depending on who you are, you probably have a different point of focus on what stands as pretty big news. Here are some of the varying perspectives on an injury issue that, at the very least, will be the cause of discussion for the next few weeks.
Tampa Bay Fans
Already a little on edge thanks to the loss of their entire third line from last season and a 6-2 beatdown delivered by Pittsburgh in their home opener, Bolts fans now have even more to worry about as their team’s title defense gets increasingly daunting.
There’s certainly no schadenfreude in play here. Still, it’s hard for hockey fans outside the Tampa area not to hearken back to last season, when Kucherov missed the whole campaign only to “miraculously” return to health in time for the playoffs (when the salary cap no longer applied) and score 32 points in 23 games to lead the Lightning to a second straight Stanley Cup.
Along with Alex Ovechkin and teammate Andrei Vasilevskiy, Kucherov was one of the first three selected to represent Team ROC at the 2022 Olympics. No, it isn’t just Tampa fans waiting with bated breath for health updates on the 28-year-old superstar.
Lightning Depth Players
If the offseason losses of Yanni Gourde, Tyler Johnson, and Blake Coleman created opportunities in Tampa’s lineup, Kucherov’s injury just blew the doors wide open for players looking to move up the depth chart. Corey Perry is probably a top-six forward again, while Ross Colton and others should see a big bump in ice time.
From “Be A Player” to “GM Mode”
With the news of Ilya Kovalchuk becoming the general manager of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) for the 2022 Beijing Olympics, it’s time to play a fun game. What if you could choose a player that would suddenly become the general manager of an NHL team? What qualities make one worthy of holding that type of position?
Detroit Red Wings legend Steve Yzerman showed a lot of leadership traits in his playing days that made him poised to be an excellent general manager. From being the captain to his comments in post-game interviews, it was clear that he was insightful and had excellent hockey knowledge. In fact, there are only nine current NHL GMs who did not play professional hockey at some point during their career. While there are many options of current (and past) players that could be suitable for the job, these are the three that best come to mind.
Throughout his career with the Chicago Blackhawks, “Captain Serious” exerted many of the same traits that Yzerman did by being an intense player and setting a high standard for himself and his team. Toews won his first Stanley Cup at 22 years old and an Olympic gold medal during that same season in 2010. There have been plenty of good rosters built around him throughout the past decade, so perhaps he has learned something from Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman on the management side of things.
Still in the prime of his career, Scheifele has shown to be very thorough in his hockey analysis. He loves to watch games on his days off and get caught up with the rest of the league. All of that extra scouting is undoubtedly helping him with his player evaluation skills, so a future in management looks plausible for the 27-year-old.
Although he has been retired for a few seasons now, Iginla is no slouch in this conversation. The Boston-area man and former Calgary Flames star was a great player and leader for multiple franchises, making him a good fit for a position in a front office. It doesn’t necessarily mean that he is intended for that role, but we think it could work out well if he wanted to give it a chance.
- Today’s newsletter was edited by Kyle Knopp, with contributions by Ben Fisher, Kristy Flannery, and Jordan Jacklin.
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