September 8 — KHL, Olympics & Jacques Lemaire Trivia

Days until start of 2021-22 NHL Season: 34 days

Monday’s Moon Shots

PUCK-ÉMON: A hockey-themed anime is set to be released on Oct. 26th across nine Japanese TV stations. PuraOre! – PRIDE OF ORANGE follows four young girls who hope to “Connect the puck with the bond of heart!”

BRITAIN STEPS IN: Due to COVID-19 restrictions, indoor contact sports are not currently allowed in South Korea. Therefore, Britain has agreed to host next month’s International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) women’s Group F pre-qualification round for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

Tuesday’s Toe Drags

WHAT’S IN A NAME: The National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) has rebranded as the Premier Hockey Federation (PHF), becoming the first professional women’s sports league in North America to omit the gender from its title.

NO STAAL’ING: Little Henry joined his father Jordan for a first skate in Raleigh on Tuesday. Jordan, the third-eldest Staal brother, played in his 1,000th NHL game in April of this past season.

A DECADE OF SADNESS: It has been 10 years since the tragic plane crash that claimed the lives of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team. The organization, as well as the local and hockey communities, all paid their respects on this horrific day.

Trivia Tuesday

Jacques Lemaire, Montreal Canadiens, March 25, 1979 (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images)

Do you know Jacques Lemaire?

  1. How many consecutive seasons did Lemaire score at least 20 goals?
    • 10
    • 12
    • 11
    • 13

  2. Lemaire became the first person to coach 1,000 NHL games after playing in at least 800 during his career. Which team was he coaching when he coached his 1,000th game?
    • Montreal Canadiens
    • New Jersey Devils
    • Minnesota Wild
    • New York Islanders

  3. How many Stanley Cups did Lemaire win with the Montreal Canadiens?
    • 10
    • 7
    • 9
    • 8

Answers can be found at the bottom of the email.

Olympic Optimism

Finally, the best-on-best showcase that hockey fans have been dreaming about. For the first time since 2014 in Sochi, NHL players are returning to Olympic ice in 2022. This will be the first best-on-best international tournament since Toronto hosted the World Cup of Hockey in 2016.

Of course, participating in the Olympics isn’t without risks. The chance of being injured or contracting COVID-19 is a very real concern, but the players want nothing more than to represent their respective countries on the international stage. An argument can be made for the appeal of prospects showing off their talent, but letting the NHL’s top stars demonstrate hockey’s highest level of play is simply good for the game. Kids around the world will be inspired to pick up a stick.

Hockey fans certainly remember the thrill of watching NHL players battling it out for the gold in years past. Moments like Sidney Crosby’s “Golden Goal” in 2010 and TJ Oshie’s multi-goal performance to defeat Russia after eight shootout rounds in 2014 are why the NHL’s return to the Olympics is so exciting.

So, who will take gold in Beijing? It is hard to bet against the team that could be rostering the likes of Connor McDavid, Nathan MacKinnon, Sidney Crosby, and Brayden Point. But, like my dad always says, that is why they play the game.

Former NHLers in the KHL

With the news of Jake Virtanen signing in the KHL, and the uncertainty surrounding Kirill Kaprizov, we wanted to look at other North American players who took their talents to Mother Russia.

Ben Scrivens

Poor guy never found a permanent home in the NHL. The Alberta native began his career with the Maple Leafs in 2011 and the rest of his time in the NHL can be summed up with one word: trade. From Toronto, the goaltender was sent to Los Angeles, Edmonton, and finally Montreal. Scrivens decided to jump off the NHL carousel and signed a one-year deal to play for HC Dinamo Minsk before he officially retired following the 2018 season.

Ryan Spooner

Hailing from Ottawa, Spooner played 325 games in the NHL before heading overseas. Known for his six seasons in Boson, the forward put up 142 points for the Bruins. Like Scrivens, he bounced around the league before landing in the KHL, signing with HC Dinamo Minsk on October 21, 2019. Spooner is presently still in the KHL on a one-year contract with HC Avtomobilist.

Matt Frattin

Do all of these stories begin with a team from the Atlantic Division? Also like Scrivens, Frattin began his career in Toronto and was sent to Los Angeles (as part of the same deal). Small world, isn’t it? From the Kings, the Edmonton native was traded to the Blue Jackets. The forward suited up in four games for Columbus before he was sent back to Toronto. In 2017, he opted to sign with Barys Hockey Club, a team based in Kazakhstan. My only question—was he able to find Borat?

Steven Kampfer

Another player who began his career in the Northeast? Yup. Kampfer played two seasons with the Bruins before being moved to Minnesota at the trade deadline. The Ann Arbor, Michigan, native suited up with the Panthers and Rangers and had a second stint with the Bruins before leaving the NHL. The 32-year-old defenseman signed a one-year contract on July 5, 2021, to play with Ak Bars Kazan.

Trivia Answers

  1. 12 Seasons
  2. Minnesota Wild
  3. 8 Cups

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