September 21 — Comfort in Threes & Another Dose of Wacky

Last Night’s News 📰

TAKE THAT, McDAVID!: After signing a whopping eight-year, $100.8 million extension with the Colorado Avalanche, Nathan MacKinnon now boasts the league’s highest annual salary once his new contract kicks in. It also caps off a pretty solid summer for the career-long Av, who was basking in the glow of Colorado’s Stanley Cup victory.

BAD NEWS BLUES: The St. Louis Blues announced that 32-year-old Marco Scandella had surgery on his right hip on Tuesday and will miss most of the 2022-23 campaign. Last season, Scandella earned 14 points (three goals, 11 assists) in 70 games and will be re-evaluated in six months. Get well soon, Marco! 

GABRIEL ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT: On Sept. 19, Kurtis Gabriel announced his retirement on Twitter. During his eight-year career, the 29-year-old forward spent most of his time in the American Hockey League (AHL) and was with the Rockford Icehogs (Chicago Blackhawks’ affiliate) last season, where he had four goals, two assists, and six points in 52 games. He played in 51 NHL games, tallying two goals and three assists for five points, and was a plus-2 split between the Minnesota Wild, New Jersey Devils, San Jose Sharks, and Blackhawks in his career. 

COLORADO SIGNS GALCHENYUK TO PTO: Yesterday, the Colorado Avalanche announced they signed 28-year-old forward Alex Galchenyuk to a Professional Tryout (PTO). A former first-round pick, Galchenyuk has been on five different NHL teams in the past six years and is hoping to find a home in the Mile High City. 

COYOTES EXTEND HAYTON: On Tuesday, the Arizona Coyotes announced they re-signed 22-year-old forward Barrett Hayton to a two-year, $3.55 million deal. Hayton, the fifth-overall pick in 2018, has 13 goals, 18 assists, and 31 points in 94 career games in Arizona. 

RETIREMENT TUESDAY: P.K. Subban, Zdeno Chára, and Keith Yandle all retired from the NHL on Tuesday, causing much ado across the hockey landscape. A combined 3,623 NHL games and 1,766 points called it quits just days before training camps kickoff. 

Who Said It

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1) “I never looked at myself or ever felt I was ‘just a hockey player.’ I always looked at myself as a person who happened to play hockey.  Having that perspective allowed me to enjoy every shift like it was my last, celebrate every goal with emotion, and play every game as if someone paid to watch me play who had never seen me play before.”

A. Keith Yandle
B. Zdeno Chára
C. P.K. Subban

2) “‘He’s too small. He won’t make that team.’ I would also hear things like, ‘he’s not big enough, and the contact will hurt him’—it’s been about proving a lot of people wrong.”

A. Jonathan Marchessault
B. Yanni Gourde
C. Jared Spurgeon

3) “It was just completely unexpected, and it was just an amazing feeling obviously to have that support from the fans. I can’t really describe it. I was getting chills. It was a spectacular moment, and I’ll cherish that for the rest of my life. You know, very classy. Amazing.”

A. Keith Yandle
B. Zdeno Chára
C. P.K. Subban

Answers can be found at the bottom of the email.

Wacky Facts: 2021-22 Season (Pt. 2)

Last week, we introduced some intriguing hockey statistics from the record-breaking 2021-22 NHL season. With plenty of “wacky” stats from the past year, we’d like to present part two to this segment. Enjoy!

The Old Timer

When the Edmonton Oilers were in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, former defenseman Duncan Keith scored a goal against the Calgary Flames in the second round. What’s interesting is that the future Hall of Famer became the oldest player in Edmonton’s history to score a playoff goal at 38 years and 308 days old. Not bad for an “old” guy!

The Language Master

With the news of Boston Bruins legend Zdeno Chára announcing his retirement, we thought adding something intriguing about him would be appropriate. Chára is a polyglot, meaning he speaks several languages. In an interview with Sports Illustrated, he stated he has a “solid command” of five languages and “passable knowledge” of four, equalling nine languages! He is fluent in his native Slovak, Russian, German, Czech, and English. In addition, he also speaks Swedish and Polish. 

The Goal Denier

Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy has been one of the top goaltenders in the NHL for the past three years. One of the stats about him from the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs is that he posted his sixth career series-clinching shutout, which is the most in NHL history. As the postseason goes on, he gets that much stronger. 

The Goal Frenzy

On April 29, teams across the NHL scored 104 goals, the most-ever in a single day in league history. There were 15 games played that day, with contests averaging 6.9 goals and the most coming when the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Florida Panthers 10-2. With goal scorers getting even better, this seems like a breakable record again in 2022-23! 


In NHL circles, it’s a time for greetings and re-acquaintances right now—training camps are open and preseason play kicks off this Saturday, meaning a new season will soon be upon us. Tuesday, however, was more about goodbyes—well, that and making Nathan MacKinnon a very wealthy man.

Not one but three veteran blueliners, all of whom have made unique, significant contributions to the league, retired on Tuesday. Although it wasn’t all that surprising—P.K. SubbanZdeno Chára, and Keith Yandle had been unable to find NHL homes as free agents this summer—it was still staggering to see a trio of standout defensemen all bid farewell on the same day.

P.K. Subban

P.K. Subban, New Jersey Devils (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Although an explosive offensive force on the back end for much of his 13-year career, Subban was never the most defensively sound player. Still, his dynamic play, coupled with a similarly mesmerizing big personality and incredible generosity, helped the long-time Montreal Canadien grow into one of the league’s most popular players. Even with considerable on-ice talent, Subban—a Norris Trophy winner and Olympic gold medalist—was known for his larger-than-life presence that should make a post-playing career easy to come by.

Zdeno Chára

Zdeno Chára, Boston Bruins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

One of the most fearsome, formidable players in league history, Chára got every inch out of his towering 6-foot-9 frame. The defensive foundation of some stout Boston Bruins teams, Chára is signing a one-day contract to retire in Boston and cap off a 24-year career that should end with a Hall of Fame invite. After all, he’s won a Stanley Cup, earned a Norris Trophy, and played in more games than any other d-man in history.

Keith Yandle

Keith Yandle, Arizona Coyotes (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Yandle is the NHL’s “Iron Man”—for another couple of weeks, anyway. Still, even when Phil Kessel surpasses the 16-year veteran, it shouldn’t take away from the remarkable achievement of his 989 consecutive games. Having played for four organizations over 1,109 games, Yandle made a career out of being relied upon to log significant minutes on a nightly basis while staying healthy.

Heading into the 2022-23 season, the Morning Skate will introduce The Hockey Writers team contributors as they share some quick thoughts on what has been happening with their respective clubs this summer.

Today we feature Minnesota Wild contributors Mariah Holland and Tyson McKay, along with Joey Ganzi, who covers the Florida Panthers, to preview their teams. 

Minnesota Wild

Florida Panthers

How Would You Rate the Team’s Offseason?



A Prospect Who Could Make His NHL Debut This Season:

An Offseason Move That Will Pay Off This Season:

Most Underrated Player on the Roster:

Which Player Departure Was the Biggest Loss?:

Who Steps up in the Absence of Kevin Fiala?:

Will Florida Win the Presidents’ Trophy Again?:

MIN: Matt Boldy

FLA: Unlikely

Who Said It Answers

  1. P.K. Subban
  2. Jonathan Marchessault
  3. Zdeno Chára