September 7 — Official History & Repeating Rarities

Last Night’s News 📰

OFF TO THE ALPS: The next chapter of Brett Connolly’s hockey career will come in Switzerland, as the 30-year-old forward has signed with HC Lugano after being bought out by the Chicago Blackhawks earlier this summer. A veteran of over 500 NHL games, Connolly notched 101 goals over 11 seasons, including a 22-goal campaign with the Washington Capitals in 2018-19.

SHOWING OFF: Juraj Slafkovský and Shane Wright were two of 27 players to gather in Washington D.C. at the NHLPA Rookie Showcase on Tuesday, spending their day posing for and signing Upper Deck trading cards, recording their goal celebrations, and taking part in interviews.

WORLD JUNIOR SCHEDULE RELEASE: Yesterday, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) released the 2023 men’s World Junior Championship schedule, set to kick off on Dec. 26, 2022. Canada will open the tournament against Czechia while the Americans face Latvia.

Who Said It

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1) “When you start out in the NHL, you realize the importance of giving back, wanting to be part of that and wanting to give back, to make an impact. Giving up a small portion of your time can make a huge difference.”

A. Ryan Getzlaf
B. P.K. Subban
C. Patrice Bergeron

2) “I’ve seen a lot of videos of my dad, and he seemed to be a big body out there too. He was physical and that’s something I try to bring to my game. He had some good offensive seasons as well, which is something I’d like to ad to my game.”

A. Jack McBain
B. Miles Wood
C. Jimmy Vesey

3) “You always reach a point in the offseason when you start to get that adrenaline going and want to get back out there and compete.”

A. Brent Burns
B. Max Domi
C. Brayden Schenn

Answers can be found at the bottom of the email.

Let’s Try This Again

At its core, sports can tend to be a repetitive cycle. A new season begins, one team ultimately wins, then everyone tries to improve their stock in the offseason. And still, we watch—not only for our fandom and love of sports but also for the special moments of athletic greatness that only come along so often. NHL fans were lucky to witness a few of those last season.

So now, as we get set for a new season, it’s time to find out if lightning can strike twice and these feats happen again. Will history repeat itself in 2022-23?

Auston Matthews – 60 Goals

Last season, for the first time in a decade, the NHL had a 60-goal scorer. Auston Matthews completed his second consecutive “Rocket” Richard Trophy by potting 60 goals for the first time since Steven Stamkos turned the trick in 2011-12. Matthews will only be 25 once the season starts and has continued to improve each year, so there’s no reason to think he can’t get back to or even surpass the mark.

Connor McDavid & Leon Draisaitl – 233 Combined Points

When your historic comparables boil down to Wayne Gretzky/anyone and Mario Lemieux/Jaromír Jágr, you know you’re doing something special. Not since Super Mario and Jágr were lighting up scoresheets in Pittsburgh (a whopping 310 points in 1996-97) have two teammates produced like the Edmonton Oilers duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Barring injury, they’ll be right back doing their thing this year.

Igor Shesterkin – .935 Save Percentage

The Vezina Trophy Igor Shesterkin collected last season commemorates the greatness of an impressive campaign for the New York Rangers. But did you know that his .935 save percentage is the seventh-highest single-season mark of all time by any goaltender with at least 25 starts? Incredibly, Martin Brodeur never topped .927, and Patrick Roy never managed higher than .925. With that in mind, it’s tough to suggest he can easily repeat, but stranger things have happened.

Timeline: Female Officials in the OHL

On multiple occasions this past year, the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) made history by employing women officials. Before last September, a woman had never been part of the officiating crew for the OHL, which is one of Canada’s three major junior hockey leagues and began to play in 1980. Since then, three women have taken the ice to work games. Here is a look at the timeline.

Sep. 30, 2021 – Kirsten Welsh becomes the first woman to officiate an OHL game when she serves as a linesperson for a preseason game between the Mississauga Steelheads and the Guelph Storm. Welsh followed that up by working a preseason game between the Oshawa Generals and the Windsor Spitfires the next night. From 2015-19, the Ontario native played defense for Robert Morris University, totaling 91 points (34 goals, 57 assists) in 128 games for the Pennsylvania-based NCAA Division I team and serving as a captain her senior year. She also became one of four women to officiate at the NHL level when she worked a Buffalo Sabres prospect tournament from September 7-10, 2019.

Nov. 12, 2021 – Welsh becomes the first woman to officiate an OHL regular season game when she works the lines between the Kitchener Rangers and Owen Sound Attack. Later that same month, Welsh became one of the first female officials in the AHL. She was one of the first 10 female officials hired by the league, and the 25-year-old currently works in both the OHL and AHL.

Sep. 2, 2022 – Lacey Senuk becomes the first woman to work as a referee for an OHL game, serving that role for a preseason contest between the Storm and the Steelheads. Senuk, 37, has also worked at numerous international women’s events, including the 2022 Beijing Olympics. Before becoming an official in 2011, the Alberta native spent 10 years in the medical field.

Sep. 3, 2022 – Multiple women worked the same OHL game for the first time when referee Hillary Brennan and linesperson Marlowe Schott both served on the officiating crew for a preseason game between the Storm and Steelheads. The two women were busy in a game that featured 10 goals and 22 minutes of penalties. Brennan, a 23-year-old Ontario native, previously played defense for the London Devilettes of the Provincial Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) and has worked as an official in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League (NOJHL) and a referee in men’s U18 AAA games. Schott, a 25-year-old Ontario native, has officiated in the PWHL, men’s Juvenile, and men’s Junior C leagues.

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 our Vancouver Canucks team of Matthew ZatorSartaaj Bhullar, and Adam Kierszenblat, along with the New Jersey Devils crew featuring Alex ChauvancyNick StanzialeErik Johnsen, and Kristy Flannery, to preview their teams. 

Vancouver Canucks

New Jersey Devils

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:

Will Your Team Make the Playoffs This Season?:

VAN: Yes


Which Player Departure Was the Biggest Loss?:

Will Jack Hughes Reach 100 Points?:

VAN: Brad Hunt


Who Said It Answers

  1. Patrice Bergeron
  2. Jack McBain
  3. Brayden Schenn