The National Hockey League started their signing period for 2020 in October. Multiple players have switched organizations & received larger contracts for their considerable skillsets. Two recent acquisitions were announced, with the Boston Bruins confirming they’ve contracted Matt Grzelcyk. October 18th saw the final signing agreement between Matt Grzelcyk & the Boston Bruins. It’ll sustain four-years at the maximum valuation $14.75 Million.

Matt Grzelcyk was resigned with the Boston Bruins after Torey Krug departed the organization this year. Grzelcyk was the best option for replacement, sustaining 21-Points throughout 68 matches in the 2019-20 NHL Season. It’s a notable improvement was prior seasons with the Bruins, where Matt Grzelcyk would acquire 33-Points of 197 games. It should be noted that this defenceman has also sustained 10-Points during post-season appearances. Drastic improvement seen over the last season made Bruins coaching staff consider Matt Grzelcyk as a viable replacement for Torey Krug.

Cody Ceci Joins the Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins announced their latest defencemen on October 18th, showing their Boston rivals that their defensive line has also grown. Cody Ceci was advised to sign a one-year contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins, earning the defencemen $1.25 Million. Ceci is leaving the Toronto Maple Leafs after one season to play with the Pittsburgh Penguins. His 2019-20 NHL Season with the Toronto Maple Leafs was horrendous, with several assists and one goal being acquired.

Cody Ceci spent the majority of his career with the Ottawa Senators. He’d compete with the Senators from 2012 to 2018 before departing with the organization. Ceci acquired 93 Assists & 33 Goals during 496 games with the Ottawa Senators. These low statistics have made it challenging for Cody Ceci to locate a formidable organization. However, competing with the Pittsburgh Penguins gives this defenceman ample opportunity to overcome recent challenges.

An official statement on Cody Ceci’s acquisition was made by Pittsburgh Penguins General Manager, Jim Rutherford. Sentiments evoked that Cody Ceci is a two-way defenceman, with capabilities to dominate in the speed & attacking categories. Rutherford noted that the playoff experience Cody brings would be valued at the Pittsburgh Penguins camp.

Braden Holtby has signed a two-year contract with the Vancouver Canucks, leaving the Washington Capitals after playing with the top-level team for numerous reasons. Holtby became a free agent during the NHL 2020 Draft, with multiple groups looking to contract the Stanley Cup-winning player. Acquiring Braden Holtby can be beneficial or horrendous for the Vancouver Canucks. His associated cost for the acquisition was extensive, leaving the Canucks minimal funds for NHL Cap Finances. Vancouver still has multiple divisions of their lineup that must be accounted for & changed before the 2020-21 NHL Season begins.

Braden Holtby has become infamous throughout the National Hockey League. His goaltending capabilities are extensive & formidable, making him one of the top-ten NHL goalies. Leaving the Washington Capitals wasn’t an easy choice for Braden Holtby, with the team & himself mutually deciding that it’s best to part ways. Joining the Vancouver Canucks is beneficial for the team on multiple levels, with their requirements for a goaltender, including someone that can train Thatcher Demko. The wealth of knowledge & experience maintained by Braden Holtby will surely assist Thatcher in his development.

Braden Holtby has a fantastic reputation throughout the Washington & NHL community. He’s engaged with dozens of charitable causes, which will extend towards the Vancouver region. Braden was born in Western Canada & holds loyalty to teams like the Canucks. His ultimate home-team would be the Edmonton Oilers, but their goaltending positions have long been filled.

Challenges for Head Coach Chris Tanev & General Manager Jim Benning

The Vancouver Canucks General Manager, Jim Benning, issued an official statement regarding the acquisition of Braden Holtby. It’s expressed by General Manager Benning that Braden Holtby will add established experience to the Vancouver Canucks, while providing leadership & demonstration capabilities that’ll inspire our players. GM Benning believes that Braden Holtby will become an influential & essential member in their team’s history.

The Vancouver Canucks now have challenges with revamping their lineup. Head Coach Chris Tanev must locate another top-ten defenceman and another blueliner. Considering that $8 Million is the remaining funds available in their NHL Cap Finances, acquiring notable players for these positions will be challenging. It cannot be expected for the goaltender to act as defencemen as well.

A new goaltender is arriving at the Pittsburgh Penguins, with it being announced that the National Hockey League Team has acquired Tristan Jerry until 2024 for $10.5 Million. This enables an annual salary of $3.5 Million for the goaltender, who became an All-Star Goalie in 2020. Aged 25, his accomplishments have become noteworthy throughout the NHL & on October 9th was slated to become a free agent. Before entering the free-agent status, Tristan Jarry has acquired a new contract with his prolonged employers. It comes after the Pittsburgh Penguins learned that their current goaltender, Matt Murray, would likely leave the team following this season.

Tristan Jarry maintained a career-best year throughout 2020 with the Pittsburgh Penguins. His rankings are listed at 20-12-1, with the National Hockey Leagues best average throughout this season. He maintained a point-percentage of .921 for saving, with a goals-against-average of 2.43. His 2020 season comprised of 33 games & three shutouts. His prominence with the Pittsburgh Penguins came to light during the most recent season, where Matt Murray regularly refused to compete after being informed, he’ll be a “Restricted Free Agent” or traded to another team.

The newest lead goaltender for the Pittsburgh Penguins spoke about his new contract. Tristan Jarry expressed that throughout the last season, he’s pushed himself during practice & the official games. His goal was to become more competitive than Matt Murray, and the majority the Pittsburgh Penguins. This way, he could evoke motivation & push his fellow athletes to perform at their best. It’s these core reasons why Tristan Jarry believes he was selected over another NHL goaltender during offseason trades.

Pittsburgh Penguins Have Fallout with Matt Murray

Losing Matt Murray is detrimental on a minor level for the Pittsburgh Penguins. His skillsets enabled the Penguins to stand victorious over the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2016 % 2017. Murray spent five consecutive seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins and was expected to leave a free agent. Learning that he’ll enter a restricted status or be traded had created tension between Murray & the Penguins coaching staff. It’s left both parties in an awkward position of appearing pleasant in their goodbyes but wishing the other a daunting future.

A prominent defenceman in the National Hockey League has announced his official retirement for the end of 2020. It was revealed by Dustin Byfuglien that after fifteen years in the NHL. His career sustained several teams, with the most prominent being Winnipeg’s Jets. Prolonged disputes between Dustin Byfuglien & the Winnipeg Jets forced a ten-year tenure with the team to end. Aged 35, this defenceman has reached the age where most professional begin considering retirement. If Dustin Byfuglien had been designed by the Winnipeg Jets, it would’ve been for a single season. His retirement would have come before the 2022-23 NHL season.

Disputes between Dustin Byfuglien & the Winnipeg Jets began when the defenceman suggested that his desire to compete was eliminated. Byfuglien told the coaching staff that he didn’t have motivation for the training camp in September 2019, it prompted an immediate dispute regarding his contract. The Winnipeg Jets General Manager didn’t sugarcoat the issues surrounding Dustin Byfuglien, with Kevin Cheveldayoff stating that the defenceman is likely to return for the 2021 NHL Season. It should be noted that Dustin didn’t report to training camp after informing coaching staff he’d lost motivation to compete. This prompted his immediate suspension from the team.

October 2019 saw Dustin Byfuglien’s agent contact Kevin Cheveldayoff, informing the General Manager that his client would compete for the Winnipeg Jets after emergency surgery to his ankle was conducted. Kevin Cheveldayoff agreed to the surgery, which occurred later that month. It enabled Dustin Byfuglien to compete for the Winnipeg Jets during the 2020 NHL Season, which was beneficial for the defenceman, as COVID-19 drastically limited what games were viable.

The Resolution

The two parties have resolved their disputes, with the Winnipeg Jets & Dustin Byfuglien agreeing to a terminated contract. Kevin Cheveldayoff clarified that before the defenceman had left the Winnipeg Jets, the Minnesota Wild’s had spoken with WJs General Manager & requested if they could buy off Dustin Byfuglien contract. It’d led to speculation that Dustin could before defencemen for his hometown, which would be a perfect way to end his career before retiring. The Minnesota Wild’s selected another defenceman, meaning that Dustin Byfuglien is being forced into retirement.

It was announced today that famed NHL player Bob Nevin has passed away. Nevin, who played in the NHL for 18 seasons won two Stanley Cup Championships while playing with the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Nevin was instrumental in helping the Maple Leafs in their 1962 and 1963 championship seasons and will be missed by the organization, who is expected to honour Nevin during a future ceremony.

Nevin, who was 82 at the time of his death played 1,128 games in the NHL and scored 307 goals over the ourse of his professional career. Nevin also amassed 419 assists and during his playoff games, scored 16 goals and earned 18 assists.

Nevin a native of Northern Ontario

Growing up in South Porcupine, Ontario, Nevin excelled while playing junior hockey for the Toronto Marlboros. At 19, he was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs and played his first professional hockey game that December against the NY Rangers.

During his first season with Toronto, Nevin made four appearances and after his second year, began playing full-time with the team. In his opening season as a full-time member, Nevin scored 21 goals and earned 58 points and came second in voting behind Dave Keon as the top rookie for the Calder Trophy.

Dave Keon and Nevin, played on opposite teams in major-junior hockey before becoming teammates with the Leafs. Nevin was with the Toronto Marlboros and Keon with St. Michael’s, commenting on the loss of his friend, Keon said, “Nevin was a 200-foot player. When Frank Mahovlich scored 48 goals (in 1960-61), Nevy was the right winger on his line. He was very creative as a winger who made great plays to Frank and he was very responsible in his own end.”

Remembering Nevin, who is survived by his wife Linda and family, Keon recalled Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals in 1962 against Chicago. The Maple Leafs were one win shy of winning the Stanley Cup, one they eventually succeeding in winning. 

Recalling their time playing together during the finals, Keon said, “We were leading 2-1 when Tim Horton took a penalty with a minute or so to go and Punch Imlach sent out Nevin and me and Bobby Baun and Carl Brewer on defense, with Don Simmons in goal. That’s the way the game ended. And I think that now only two of those five are still alive.”

For two years it’s been anticipated that Austin Lemieux would enter the National Hockey League. Being the son of Mario Lemieux created ample opportunity for the young athlete. However, he won’t follow the footsteps of his father, an All-Star NHL legend. Mario Lemieux also owners the Pittsburgh Penguins & means that Austin Lemieux didn’t have the talent needed to land a position on his father’s team.

Austin Lemieux announced his professional retirement from hockey after Arizona State University released their 2020-21 roster. The Arizona Sun Devils haven’t employed the efforts of Austin Lemieux; inside sources evoked that Austin Lemieux is leaving professional hockey to engage with another sport, with that likely being golf. This announcement is a minorly upsetting for fans of Mario Lemieux & possibly heartbreaking for the All-Star NHL Team Owner.

Sports analysts anticipated that the National Hockey League would allow for Austin Lemieux to compete on a 2nd or 3rd lineup, with his knowledge of professional hockey being extensive. This education for hockey enabled Austin Lemieux to obtain a scholarship with Arizona State University in 2017. He’d compete for 2017, 2018, and 2019 seasons. Shockingly, the Pittsburgh Penguins & other NHL teams didn’t draft Austin Lemieux. His talents aren’t bad, gaining 13 Points in 31 Games during the 2018-19 season. He’d follow up the 2019-20 college-state season with 14 Points in 35 Games.

ASU Coaches evoked that Austin’s presence was a notable piece behind their victory over the last two seasons. What’s even more shocking is that the Pittsburgh Penguins allowed Austin Lemieux into their development camp, appearing at several training sessions. He’d be considered a standout participating & was almost guaranteed a position. Inside sources said the decision to retire is Austin Lemieux’s decision alone, that other professional sports excite the young man over hockey.

Austin’s Future in Sports

Austin Lemieux hasn’t abandoned aspirations to become a professional athlete. When confirming that he’d indeed be retiring from professional hockey, the son of Mario Lemieux would announce his pursuing goals of making a career in the Professional Golf Association. It should be mentioned that Lemieux has maintained notable success as an amateur golfer.

The Hockey Diversity Alliance has maintained a powerful voice in the NHLs fight against racism throughout the United States of America. The HDA has assisted the National Hockey League in their decisions to postpone matches during the playoffs, requesting their opinions & potential policies to guarantee systemic racism is ended.

Influencing the decisions of NHL corporate isn’t something to be taken lightly, which the Hockey Diversity Alliance understands. The HDA responded to the NHLs request to provide legal assistance, two phone calls were held with representatives from the Toronto & Edmonton Bubble. The HDA and these reps discussed which steps are needed next to stop systemic racism, which the Alliance provided 48 hours to complete their discussions.

Revival behind the NHLs commitment towards African American lives came after Wisconsin Law Enforcement murdered Jacob Black, a protestor standing for the Black Lives Matter Movement. The NHL responded by postponing the Stanley Cup Playoffs for two days. Shortly afterwards, the Hockey Diversity Alliance promised that their implementing grassroots programs for African American players & guarantying that Black Executives will grow throughout the corporate division.

Another influential subject that was discussed between the Hockey Diversity Alliance & Bubble Representatives included an onslaught of malicious emails that’d be sent to the organization, which extends toward tweets on Twitter. How these two parties will stop the attack of racist remarks will be challenging, as disposing hateful supports isn’t possible.

An official press release was issued on August 29th from the HDA, stating three requests for the NHL Corporate Division to follow. Those requests are listed below:

  • Increase the amount of African American Executives in the National Hockey League to 3.5% by the 2024-25 season.
  • Use NHL funding to implement Anti-Racism & Unconscious bias educational programs, making it mandatory for all employed personnel under the NHL to start learning. This must begin before the 2020-21 season.
  • Provide the Hockey Diversity Alliance with hockey development programs that introduce Anti-Racism & Unconscious bias educational programs to minor hockey leagues throughout North America.
  • Support social initiatives that target the abolishment of racism towards African American, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Asian, and Indigenous Communities.

The 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs has seen an NBC Sports Analysts lose his position as a broadcaster. This follows after Mike Milbury issued sexist remarks on August 20th during a Washington Capitals & New York Islanders game. His sentiments applied towards woman, prompting an immediate onslaught of backlash via social media platforms like Twitter & Instagram. After 72 hours of minimal responses from Mike Milbury, he announced that he’d be stepping down from NBC Sports. This Sports Analyst was forced into leaving the role, allowing his former employer to avoid more significant backlash.

The sexist remarks stated by Mike Milbury were issued when discussing competitive advances of the Bio-Secure NHL Bubble with Brian Boucher. It was evident that Boucher was uncomfortable with the statements made by Milbury. The conversation began when Brain Boucher evoked that the Bio-Secure NHL Bubble created a terrific environment for teams, allowing for their cohesive skillsets to flourish without thousands of fans screaming from every director. Mike Milbury’s response wasn’t professional, with the former NBC Sports Analyst stating any woman wouldn’t disrupt the concentration of these men.

Mike Milbury was referencing that woman are nothing more than distractions to professional hockey players, prompting the National Hockey League to condemn the sentiments made by NBCs broadcaster.

Former Controversy with Milbury

The National Hockey League has faced multiple issues with Mike Milbury in 2020. His approach towards broadcasting with NBC Sports has changed since the NHL resumed their seasonal games. Two former instances of unprofessional behaviour from Milbury came during a live broadcast with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and another with the Boston Bruins. Mike Milbury determined that Defenseman Jake Muzzin from the Maple Leafs was faking his injury to prolong the clock, which would later be proven untrue. Muzzin suffered a notable injury.

Mike Milbury’s 2nd instance of unprofessional behaviour in 2020 was targeted towards Tuukka Rask, the Goaltender for the Boston Bruins. Milbury believes that Rask was selfish to leave the Bruins & the NHL Stanley Cups to ensure his families safety. The making of comments about a woman being nothing more than objects was the final nail in Milbury’s coffin.

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.