August 16 — Ping Pong & Vacation Living

WE CAN’T WAIT FOR: IIHF Women’s World Championship — August 20-31

Days until start of 2021-22 NHL Season: 57 days

Friday’s Forecheck

SMASHING SUCCESS: Dominic Moore’s Smashfest was a rousing success, raising between $125,000 and $150,000 after a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic. The table tennis challenge raises money for research into rare cancers, as well as concussions.

NOT SO FAST: The NHLPA is strongly advising its players to not play in Olympic-qualifying events, as neither the league nor any international federations will cover the cost of COVID-19 insurance.

NO CAMPING: Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews will miss the start of training camp after undergoing successful wrist surgery to deal with a lingering injury. Get will soon, Auston!

REMEMBERING DUCKY: The Jets have announced a number of ways they will be honoring the late Dale Hawerchuk, including a statue, as well as renaming a two-block stretch of road near the arena “Dale Hawerchuk Way.”

Saturday’s Snipes

JASON HIS DREAMS: The Canucks avoided arbitration with forward Jason Dickinson, agreeing to a three-year, $7.95 million contract with the 26-year-old. Dickinson, new to Vancouver, has 63 points in 221 career games, all with the Dallas Stars.

Sunday’s Cellys

CAREER ERNE-NGS: The Red Wings avoided an arbitration hearing with Adam Erne, inking the forward to a two-year, $4.2 million deal. The 26-year-old had a career-high 11 goals last season and matched his best-ever output with 20 points.

Spotted 👀

Let’s see where some of our favorite NHL players have been this offseason and live vicariously through them for just a few moments.

National Lampoon’s Zucker Vacation

Jason Zucker and his family had two of the best weeks of vacation you can imagine. They began their journey in Sin City and then took the kids to Disney before ending their trek at Yosemite. Is it too late for them to adopt me?

Into the…Airstream?

The Price family can now hit the road in style. Angela Price debuted the family’s 30-foot Airstream — aka The Silver Fox — on social media this past weekend. Carey had originally purchased his wife a mini toy Airstream as a promise to get one in the future, before coming home with the real deal. Gentlemen, take note. 

Cole Runnings

Blake and Jordan Coleman took a trip to Calgary to explore their new home for the next six years. Not only is the scenery jaw-dropping, but the Flames also provided two adorable jerseys for Blake’s young daughters. The Coleman family is forever giving us the most wholesome content on the Internet. 

Behind Enemy Lines

Alex Killorn may have won — or lost — Twitter, depending on which team you root for. During his day with the Cup, he went home to Beaconsfield, which happens to be a 24-minute drive from the Bell Centre in Montreal. Killorn posted a photo of himself hoisting the Stanley Cup outside of the Bell Centre on his social media.

Cup or Crash: Predicting Your Favorite Team’s Season

Although there are certainly questions left to answer and loose ends to tie up, most of the roster-building is done for the NHL’s 32 front offices in preparation for the 2021-22 season, which is somehow just a month away. To get you set, we’ll be taking a quick look at where each team stands and what the chances are that this might be their season. Rather than commit to predicting how good each team will be, we figured we might as well look at both possible paths: good and bad.

Please follow along and look back as we traipse through the NHL four teams at a time — all done alphabetically — and examine why these teams just might succeed, but also why they could be poised to flop.

Florida Panthers

Why Your Team Will Succeed
By finishing the regular season with the league’s third-highest win total, the Panthers deserved better than a first-round date with the Tampa Bay Lightning. But the Cats still pushed their in-state rivals harder than anyone, save for the New York Islanders.

Why Your Team Will Flop
Sergei Bobrovsky is still signed for $10 million for each of the next five (!!!) seasons. With Spencer Knight waiting in the wings, things could get awkward in the Florida crease real quick.

Los Angeles Kings

Why Your Team Will Succeed
The decorated vets (Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty, Jonathan Quick) remain, the high-ceiling prospects (Quinton Byfield and Alex Turcotte) are on their way in, and some young talent (Cal Petersen, Alex Iafallo, and newcomer Phillip Danault) may be ready to win now.

Why Your Team Will Flop
Or, you know, the old guys don’t have much left, the prospects aren’t ready yet, and those in the middle simply lack the talent to carry the Kings in the meantime.

Minnesota Wild

Why Your Team Will Succeed
A new era is upon us in Minnesota! Goodbye Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. Hello Kirill Kaprizov, Joel Eriksson Ek, and a return to relevance!

Why Your Team Will Flop
With the reigning Calder winner in tow, the Wild can now look toward a long, fruitful future with Kapriz…wait, there are problems already??? Yeesh.

Montreal Canadiens

Why Your Team Will Succeed
Reached the Stanley Cup Final? Check. Jedi mind tricked their way into keeping Carey Price and Jake Allen from Seattle? Check. Added veteran depth in Mike Hoffman, David Savard, and Cedric Paquette? Check.

Why Your Team Will Flop
Chances are, having the 18th-best regular-season record in 2021-22 won’t get you to the postseason. If that’s not already a buzzkill for Habs fans, the fact remains that Shea Weber is out, Price is returning from surgery, and Danault is gone.