August 8th marked the date when the Toronto Maple Leafs would lose their placement in playoff contention to the Columbus Blue Jacks. This qualifier series didn’t favour the Toronto Maple Leafs after a prolonged postponement from competing, which came to all NHL teams amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. An influx of criticism has come toward Sheldon Keefe, Toronto’s Head Coach. Those inside the NHL Coaching Community feel this criticism is unwarranted amongst analytic critics. It prompted John Tortorella, the Head Coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets, to come towards Keefe’s defence.

John Tortorella held a press conference less than 24-Hours after entering the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He evoked that the discussions being held regarding Sheldon Keefe’s capabilities in coaching are foolish. Negative criticism towards Keefe comes after the Toronto Maple Leafs couldn’t score a single goal in the 5th game of their SCP Qualifier Series. It marks one of the most prominent losses for the Maple Leaf’s since entering new leadership with Sheldon Keefe.

Tortorella’s Official Statement

The Blue Jackets Head Coach evoked that Sheldon Keefe & his coaching staff have done a formidable job with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He’d note Sheldon’s terrific job in strategizing the Maple Leaf’s into an impressive team in the National Hockey League. John Tortorella than mentioned that everyone speaking poorly against Sheldon Keefe isn’t aware of what’s genuinely involved about hockey and that analytic critics shouldn’t talk about the NHL when their knowledge is limited. These are some of the strongest sentiments made by Tortorella in recent years.

The fierceness of John’s statements continued, with the Head Coach mentioning his anger & concern towards fellow members in the NHL Coaching Community. John Tortorella finished his remarks by clarifying he’ll support Sheldon Keefe from now on, and all Head Coaches targeted wrongly by unknowledgeable critics. It should be explained that the Blue Jackets Head Coach made these statements directly to the analysts that review his weekly performances. It shows that John Tortorella genuinely finds these remarks towards Sheldon Keefe unneeded, considering it a possible attack against all future coaches. The increase in lack of knowledge with professional hockey will prompt a continued influx of criticism against coaches that are performing diligently in the NHL.

The Edmonton Oilers have lost all hope of winning the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which follows after the Chicago Blackhawks destroyed their dreams on August 7th. Their goals of obtaining the Stanley Cup had barely begun, with the Edmonton Oilers losing in the 4th Game of their Qualifying Series against the Blackhawks. Feelings of shame have become evident amongst Oiler Players, who competed in their Hub City of Edmonton before being forced out of the Playoffs.

Darnell Nurse, a defenceman with the Edmonton Oilers, emphasized that none of them is happy with themselves for not having the skillsets required to win this series. Darnell understands that the loss is significantly disappointing for fans of the Edmonton Oilers, who hadn’t seen their home-based hockey team acquire a Stanley Cup since 1990.

During the global pandemic period, the Edmonton Oilers turning over a three-decade downfall would’ve been desired by fans. These professional hockey players with the Edmonton Oilers will now watch competing teams play on their home turf for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The NHL Corporate Division confirmed that Edmonton would host the Playoffs following COVID-19’s implications onto America.

The Fans React

Supporters behind the Edmonton Oilers expressed their shock & sadness towards their home team losing an opportunity to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Most would remark that after one of their best seasons in three decades, the postponed season prompted by COVID-19 brought a disappointing end to the Oilers 2020 Season.

Fans have also reacted to the inevitable restaurants & bars that’ll be forced to shut their doors after the Edmonton Oilers lost a position in the Stanley Cups. Edmonton civilians won’t likely attend their local bar or restaurant to watch the game, which paves massive implications onto these dining locations prevalent financial burdens. Kelly’s Pub in Edmonton have pre-emptively announced that they’re likely to close from the Oilers losing against the Blackhawks. An estimated two thousand jobs in Downtown Edmonton have now disappeared in a blink of an eye.

Financial Analysts in Edmonton & Alberta have clarified that the $60 Million in economic growth that the Oilers could’ve brought to their city is now lost. It’s now up to Vancouver & Toronto to obtain a position in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, with both teams having also not been victorious in decades. Hopeful change is still in the air.

The 2nd Game for the Stanley Cup Qualifiers has prompted the suspension of Drake Caggiula from the Chicago Blackhawks. Caggiula was competing against the Edmonton Oilers when checking into Tyler Ennis, making a direct contract with his skull & dropping the forward. The NHL Department of Player Safety found this checking overly aggressive, enforcing a two-game suspension onto Drake Caggiula. Most NHL analysts believe that Drake Caggiula’s check on Tyler Ennis allowed the Chicago Blackhawks to obtain victory at Six to Four.

Occurring at the Edmonton Rogers Place Arena, this incident unfolded at 7:42 in the evening throughout the 2nd Period. Drake Caggiula took his anger out on Tyler Ennis after the Oilers Forward forced the puck “Out-of-Play” and delayed the game. Caggiula would check his right shoulder into Tyler Ennis’s head, subsequently not receiving a penalty. The lack of enforcement prompted the NHL Department of Player Safety to penalize Drake Caggiula, guarantying on some level that his lesson is learnt.

The Chicago Blackhawks Head Coach, Jeremy Colliton, spoke to TSN Reporters after the game concluded. He’d note to Drake Caggiula didn’t intentionally strike the head of his forward, Tyler Ennis. The Head Coach didn’t want to enforce punishment through league organizations, as inadequate checking is inevitable throughout professional hockey. Jeremy Colliton did suspect that an organization would take action regarding his statements.

This marks the 1st suspension in Drake Caggiula’s career. The actions he took guaranteed a 2nd victory for the Chicago Blackhawks, allowing them one-step closer into the Stanley Cup Tournament. Unconventional strategies are typically evoked by players when this competing for the Stanley Cup, risking game suspensions for the overall team victory. The difference here is that Drake Caggiula has never implemented this strategy throughout his four-year career in the National Hockey League.

The Trade

NHL Analysts were shocked that Drake Caggiula aggressively attacked the Edmonton Oilers, the 1st team that employed his skillsets in the National Hockey League. He’d debut on October 12th, 2016 for the Edmonton Oilers & compete under the first line-up until the 2018 Season. That’s when he’d be traded towards the Chicago Blackhawks following a hand injury. Analysts speculate that Caggiula feels resentment towards his former employers for the unexpected trade.

As the NHL prepares to restart its season at the beginning of August by jumping straight into the NHL 2020 playoffs, it has announced it will use two hub cities for all playoffs games. The two hub cities announced both are in Canada and include Toronto and Canada.

The league released a video outlining its plans for the safety and health of all involved in the upcoming games. They also address information relating to the broadcasting of the games, the amenities for players and that fans will not be in attendance.

All personnel with the NHL will be separated from the public as agreed to with the federal government. The league furthermore will use the services of Edmonton based DynaLIFE Medical Labs and Toronto based Life Labs to carry out daily tests of all those involved.

To accommodate the feeding of players, a concierge service will be offers for delivery of food. This is in addition to fourteen restaurants that will provide food related services in a controlled environment. Speaking on this, senior executive V.P. of entertainment and events and chief content officer for the NHL, Steve Mayer, said; “We’re creating, for instance, pop-up restaurants that will feature local chefs. The food will be diverse: everything from steak to vegan, from tacos to Tim Hortons, giving our players quite a variety. And our restaurants are open from the beginning in the morning all the way to late night.”

To help with outdoor recreation, the home of the Toronto Football Club, BMO Field will act as a facility for outdoor recreation, while the singing of National anthems on opening day will be carried out by Michael Buble. Commenting, Mayer stated: “We’re really going to make opening night at night to remember.” 

NHL taking precautions to ensure team and player safety

The NHL is taking all possible precautions to assist team players, coaches, assistive personal and arena staff. This was a mandated requirement in order to get permission for the league to carry out its planned playoff schedule. After submitting its plan, it was revealed the league would carry out daily testing on all personal involved including owners, hospitality workers, training staff, medical staff and those working within transportation.

In addition, the league revealed that players are required to remain in the host cities and only leave if granted special permission from the league. If given permission, upon their return, they will be forced to undergo four days of quarantine. The league is also enforcing its mask policy, one that requires personal to wear a mask at all times unless on the ice. 

The National Hockey League has worked diligently to hide their COVID-19 infections. Inside sources have indicated that NHL Executives are informing players not to go public. Few professionals have admitted to contracting the virus, with it speculated that NHL is sustaining a 1.3% infection average. That’d be consistent with other sports leagues in the United States that have resumed operations.

The 3rd Phase of NHLs Coronavirus Plan began in late June, with Austin Mathews being the exclusive NHLer to announce his confirmed infection before Caleb Jones. Playing for the Edmonton Oilers, Caleb Jones confirmed his positive test for coronavirus to NHL Online Reporters. He remarked that when arriving in Edmonton on July 5th, it’s possible that COVID-19 was contracted during flight or in the airport. This speculation from Caleb follows after receiving a positive test of COVID-19 after arriving at the hotel.

Caleb Jones indicated that his condition was asymptomatic, supporting zero symptoms of the coronavirus. This meant maintaining fourteen-day isolation, which had ended on July 19th. He won’t attend training until the 20th and suspects that it’ll take a few sessions before former skillsets are reobtained. Prolonged training is required after professional hockey players haven’t been allowed to maintain team exercises for nearly six months.

Rumours to Reality

Speculation regarding Caleb Jones having the novel coronavirus began after the Edmonton Oilers changed his player status to “Unfit for Practice”. Players designated under UFP Status in the National Hockey League are suspected of having coronavirus. Few have made public confirmations out of fear against NHL Executives. Caleb Jones doesn’t maintain this fear and would instead inform the public himself than watch rumours grow to unbelievable levels.

The Head Coach for the Edmonton Oilers, Dave Tippet, spoke on Caleb Jones public confirmation. Dave emphasized that Executives & Supporters should both respect his player for having the courage to announce his positive case, which shouldn’t even be concerning for Caleb’s health. Coach Tippet speculates that there have been numerous asymptomatic cases of coronavirus in the NHL, with most unaware because of minimal testing. It’ll be interesting to see how the NHL Corporate Division reacts to the Edmonton Oilers, possibly fining them for breaking protocols.

Standard attributes associated with our daily ecosystem were removed with the COVID-19 pandemic & it’ll be years before those standards are resumed to conventional means. This creates an incredible level of uncertainty for millions worldwide, with that no longer applying for players in the National Hockey League. The NHLPA & NHL Corporate Division have made a collective agreement that will sustain six years. Their agreement ensures that NHL Ecosystems won’t be destroyed for either party, which became a substantial concern since March 2020.

Democracy is evident throughout this agreement, with both parties removing conditions from their demands on good faith terms. NHL Owners have struggled with specific attributes & the NHLPA have also found stipulations unfavourable. Owners will receive slightly better conditions, with these individuals spending millions yearly to maintain contracts & standard operations. Owners wouldn’t have wanted to backdown from certain conditions that are now negated but were given no other option, with the NHLPA willing to strike for years to come. It would’ve been more costly for owners to sustain their egos.

Salary Cap

Owners are obtaining heightened conditions that lower their associated costs throughout the 2021-26 NHL Seasons. One attribute iterates salary caps won’t exceed a valuation of $81.5 million, meaning each outfit is permitted this figure to sustain former players & acquire new ones. This is lower than the standard salary caps seen in recent years, which means NHL players will receive lower payments on their contracts. Knowing this in advance can be beneficial for escrow purposes & enable players to account for trades over the coming years.

NHL Fans can sleep happily knowing that their favourite sport is resuming under exclusive agreements. Not having to worry about potential fallouts from billionaires battling each other for 2258 days. There’s also the comfort of knowing that the NHLs position in the 2022 & 2026 Winter Olympics is guaranteed under this agreement.

For players, the benefit comes with knowing there won’t be alterations to salary caps. Markets won’t diminish if teams want to permit trades, or if freelance agents want to make new contracts with unknown organisations. Benefits are provided to all communities in the NHL, which is something nobody would’ve thought possible weeks ago when negotiations were nearly dismantled.

The National Hockey League Players Association confirmed that they’re finalizing an agreement with the NHL Corporate Division. Contract details weren’t permitted to reporters until an inside source leaked critical data. It’s now known that this updated NHLPA Contract will be named “The Collective Bargaining Agreement” and sustain itself throughout six years. Sources indicated that all components of their contract were required to move forward with the “NHL Return to Play Series”. All 24 Teams would’ve refused competing if the corporate division denied.

This Memorandum of Understanding won’t become viable until the “NHL Board of Governors” permits the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The fallout of this contract could also apply if one of the twenty-four NHL teams determines their membership shouldn’t be supported. There are chances that specific organizations seeing benefits to extending negotiations will purposely decline membership with the Collective Bargaining Agreement. This would force professional hockey to cancel their 2020 Season, allowing lower-status outfits to revise their strategies for 2021.

Fallout on this level is purely speculation, with inside sources remaking that all parties will enter this agreement. Competing ensures that team-wide finances are resumed, which is ultimately more important for owners than strategic advantages. Supporters are expecting NHL to return their televised matches by August 1st. Below, readers will locate known conditions in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

NHL Training Camps are resuming between July 13th to 26th, with all teams expected to arrive in Edmonton & Toronto by the 27th. Official matches return on August 1st, with schedules permitting the Stanley Cup Playoffs to begin by October 2020. Sustainable plans could mean the completion of the NHLs 2020 season.

The Return to Play Opt-Out Clause enables all personnel employed with the National Hockey League to not compete in this years remaining matches. Penalties to Employment Contracts won’t be affected by opting out for the remainder of 2020. The NHL is exclusive when providing this option, with all other sports leagues penalizing players that Opt-Out.

The NHL Playoff Pool is doubling its valuation, reaching a standard of $32 Million. Players from the five highest-rated outfits at the “Return to Play Tournament” obtain an additional $20,000.00 for their 2020 season. This reward extends to $240,000.00 for players with the Stanley Cup-winning team.

The Canadian Hockey league was shocked & disturbed to learn that abuse of power was evident in multiple scenarios. One thousand four hundred young men were forced into harassment, bullying, physical abuse, mental abuse, and adult hazing. After internal investigations into claims made by former players in the CHL, it’s been released that hazing allegations were proven genuine in all three national leagues. The CHL comprises the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, and Western Hockey League. PR Representatives with the CHL guaranteed that they’re committed to providing these men with safer & trustworthy environments.

Representatives with the Canadian Hockey League provided formal sentiments on this matter. It was remarked that the allegations & proof that came to light had disturbed CHL Executives. Trying to save some of their previous public image, the CHL stated that the modern era of their services isn’t similar to historic allegations made by former players. It doesn’t make these allegations any less accurate & undeserving of punishment. Multiple men were mentally abused & faced prolonged ridicule for residual effects.

When questioned on their thoughts behind the allegations, CHL Representatives noted that their advancements to improve player experience has unfolded over two decades. Comments bolstered that they’ve worked with the Canadian Red Cross, Canadian Mental Health Association, and the RIS Group. Together these three organizations have worked towards increased education to CHL players, using specialized lessons targeted towards teenager to young adult audiences.

These educational lessons maintain that intolerant behaviour from coaching staff won’t be permitted in the Canadian Hockey League. This zero-tolerance stance has seen multiple coaches & players lose their opportunity at obtaining positions in the National Hockey League.

Safer Environments

The Canadian Hockey League confirmed that they’d do everything possible to ensure that allegations against Hazing are recreated in the current climate. Former CHL Players remarked their concern for younger competitors after the death of George Floyd & COVID-19, which has caused significant damage onto the mental capabilities on those that cannot stand being locked indoors. The current climate in North America targets intolerance, prompting the concern.

A class-action lawsuit has been filed by two former Canadian Hockey League players. The lawsuit comes days after a player who used to play in the league with the Kitchener Rangers claimed he was forced as a rookie to do cocaine in the locker room. The lawsuit further claims that the two players, aged 15-17 at the time, were “routinely victims to hazing, bullying, physical and verbal harassment, physical assault, sexual harassment, and sexual assault.”

The lawsuit, which was filed on Thursday in Toronto by Garrett Taylor and Daniel Carcillo, is against the Canadian Hockey League, the Quebec League, the Ontario League and Western League. The allegations, which have not been proven in court, are disturbing and claim that players were forced to masturbate while being watched by coaches and teammates.

The suit includes allegations that players were forced to sexually assault their teammates along with being forced to digest fellow teammate’s feces, semen, urine and saliva. The suit furthermore claims that players had their genitals exposed to toxic liquids and irritants, that they were assaulted anally with various objects, and forced to drink excessive amounts of alcohol and drugs.

Daniel Carcillo Played for Decade in NHL

Daniel Carcillo played in the OHL for four seasons with the Mississauga IceDogs and Sarnia Sting before embarking on a decade long career in the NHL. However, since retiring from the NHL, Carcillo has spoken out and advocated for players mental health and rights. Garrett Taylor played two seasons with the Prince Albert Raiders and Lethbridge Hurricanes in the Western League before playing on the NHL for ten games.

In the statement of claim, Daniel Carcillo makes the allegation that he was subjected to “, “almost constant and repetitive abuse,” during the time he spent playing with the Sarnia Sting in 2002-2003. He alleges that team management knew of the abuse and did nothing to protect him or the other dozen rookies playing that year. The claim states that resultant on the abuse that Carcillo has been permanently traumatized has severe mental health issues that were present prior to the abuse and that those issues continue to the current day.

It should be noted that none of the allegations has been proven in court. In addition, neither of the leagues filed statements of defence.

The Black Lives Matter Movement has stricken nations worldwide, with athletes supporting change for systemic racism in professional sports. Nobody in the National Hockey League made public remarks regarding the death of George Floyd for days. It wasn’t until Brian Boyle from Boston voiced his public support for the movement, other NHL athletes began following his lead. It’s because Boyle has experience thirteen NHL seasons, which is nearly a record.

Brian Boyle debated on how this situation is best conversed with the public. Making sure it wouldn’t come of ignorantly towards the African American Community, the Florida Panthers Forward contacted J.T. Brown for advice. The two previous played with each other & garnered a notable friendship. Questions were asked by Boyle before sentiments were posted online. It’d take minutes for J.T. Brown to standby the remarks issued by Brian Boyle, avoiding any possible backlash. Both men now protest police brutality in the United States of America, Canada, and worldwide. It’d become evident that the two men were drastically affected by the death of George Floyd.

Reporters questioned Brian Boyle on his support, with the Panthers Forward noting that his public remarks wouldn’t have been issued without the approval of J.T. Brown. The NHL Veteran mentioned that he’s never experienced pain similar to the African American Community, which means that Brian can standby this movement but not claim he’s part of it.

The Protests

Four individuals in the Minneapolis Police Department were charged with the murdering of George Floyd. His death prompted riots throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and dozens of other nations. Sporting events that primarily compete with Caucasian players have received criticism for not employing more African Americans. The National hockey League was able to avoid this level of criticism, with the league having already grown out of systemic racism. Dozens of African Americans compete in the NHL today.

Brian Boyle finished his sentiments with reporters through Zoom by indicating everyone has to become involved with this movement. That under this permission, it won’t be their exclusive fight. Many believe that African Americans should be the only people allowed to protest for their safety.