April 28 – Bettman, Florida Man & the Border

Tuesday’s Toe Drags

THAT’S DYNAMITE: The NHL and Turner Sports officially announced a seven-year rights agreement on Tuesday, which will include three Stanley Cup Final broadcasts on TNT, as well as exclusive coverage of the always-explosive Winter Classic.

SUNSHINE SKATE: Both Tampa Bay and Florida punched their respective playoff tickets Tuesday night, leaving one spot up for grabs in the Central Division. Florida represent!

U.S.-Canada Border and the NHL Playoffs

The NHL playoffs are chaotic and unpredictable by nature, but the continued closure of the U.S.-Canadian border creates a whole other level of uncertainty that is unprecedented but oh so appropriate in a season mired in pandemic madness.

The all-Canadian North division won’t have to grapple with the border closure until the Conference Finals, when the lone surviving team will – theoretically, anyway – move on to face the winner of one of the three U.S.-based divisions. But if the league can’t come to an agreement with the U.S. and Canadian governments, then what?

Gary Bettman, NHL Commissioner

Gary Bettman can’t pretend Canada doesn’t exist, even if some Canadian fans may believe he’d like to. It’s difficult to see a fair, reasonable way to proceed with a closed border, although watching the Toronto Maple Leafs follow the Raptors and Blue Jays out of town and end a 54-year Cup drought entirely removed from Canada would be kind of hilarious.

Whacky Wednesday

The NHL is more than 100 years old and while most years have been fairly normal, every once in a while something truly unique happens. Here are a few of the strangest occurrences in NHL history.

The One Dollar Man

Kris Draper was traded from Winnipeg to Detroit for $1.00 in 1993. He went on to win four Stanley Cups and a Frank J. Selke Trophy with the Red Wings. Talk about getting your money’s worth.

Misspellings on Lord Stanley?

That’s right, everyone makes mistakes. There are at least 12 spelling errors on the greatest trophy in all of sports. My personal favorite is the “Bqstqn Bruins.” So close yet so far.

Deep Regret

Does alcohol ever lead to a good decision? In this instance it did not. In 1905, a player on the Ottawa Silver Seven kicked the Stanley Cup into the Rideau Canal. Fortunately, for all involved, the Cup was recovered the next day.

Patrick Roy’s Spin-O-Rama at Center Ice

Leave it St. Patrick to skate the puck up ice and deke past Wayne Gretzky. As casually as you’d like, he skated to center ice before going into a dazzling spin-o-rama. He was, of course, called for a penalty as goalies can’t carry the puck over the center ice line.

Click here for more unusual occurrences throughout the NHL

U-18 Men’s World Championship – Preliminary Round

 Finland 4 – 3  Russia |   Switzerland 1 – 7  Belarus

 Germany 3 – 5  United States |  Sweden 1 – 12  Canada

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