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 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 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.
The COVID-19 Pandemic has drastically altered how hockey teams throughout North America can compete against one another. This became evident with the National Hockey League having to select three hub cities in Canada and avoid contention in the United States because of its prominent coronavirus outbreak. Edmonton, Toronto, and Vancouver have hosted the entire National Hockey league for weeks now & will continue to do so until the Stanley Cup Playoffs are over.
Few hockey leagues have maintained the infrastructure needed to continue during 2020, as their financial aid isn’t nearly to the NHLs valuation. This became evident for the “NCAA Division One Men’s & Women’s Hockey League”. It was announced on September 12th that eleven preplanned conferences under NCAA Hockey had been postponed, with their new dates not having been announced. College athletes working towards the NHL won’t have an opportunity to show their skillsets in October 2020 with this recent announcement.
The Hockey Commissioner’s Association issued an official statement. It’s been promised that commitment towards providing student-athletes with a memorable season hasn’t faltered and that organizers from all eleven conferences are regularly delegating to determine how the competition can resume. The HCA emphasized that the health & safety of student-athletes is their top priority, which aids in campus communities not having outbreaks throughout the United States. Statements from the HCA ended by noting higher educational institutions in America won’t follow the High School & Elementary format and will continue to remain shut down where permitted.
Competition Start Date
The Hockey Commissioner’s Association couldn’t provide an official date when the NCAA Division One Conferences will resume. That’s because each of the eleven states hosting these events is permitted to select their start date. It means that countries like North Dakota & Minnesota are likely to resume conferences immediately. However, states like New York & Denver will likely postpone having their athletes compete for the most prolonged duration possible. It’ll create numerous scheduling errors, which prompted NCAA’s formal warning to college student-athletes.
It should be mentioned that whenever NCAA Division One Hockey returns, it won’t maintain the former strength of competition it’s known for. That’s because the Ivy League Conference has been outright cancelled for the 2020 Season, leaving one of the NCAA’s most notable venues out of their schedule.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Supporters behind the National Hockey League were disappointed but not surprised to learn that Ales Hemsky, a veteran Forward with the NHL, is retiring after 2020. Ales made this announcement directly through the NHL Alumni Association, revealing that he should spend time with the children moving forward. Doctors had informed Hemsky that his body couldn’t naturally sustain another season, which was challenging for the Forward to accept and come to terms with. He noted that when you’ve done the same thing for so long, you don’t want to give it up under any conditions.
Ales Hemsky stands at 36 years of age, holding fifteen seasons in the National Hockey League. Throughout this career, more than 652 Games were played with the Edmonton Oilers, with hundreds of other appearances with the Ottawa Senators. This extends towards the Montreal Canadians and Dallas Stars, with Ales Hemsky being one of the few forwards to sustain a lengthy career with four teams. His final season will have been 2019-20 with the Montreal Canadians.
Hemsky was an influential Forward & Capitan in the National Hockey League. He acquired 570+ points throughout his career, with the overwhelming majority coming from assistance. 174 Goals were accomplished with an additional 398 assists. It should be noted his career extends beyond the regular NHL season. His skillsets obtained Ales a position in the Stanley Cup Players with the Edmonton Oilers.
They’d inevitably lose to the Carolina Hurricanes, with this 13th-Round Pick in the 2001 NHL Draft working towards new accomplishments. Those would include acquiring an Olympic Medal for his home nation of the Czech Republic. Hemsky would accomplish this goal twice, once in 2006 and the other in 2014. He’d also inquire a Gold Medal with the 2016 World Hockey Cup Series.
Hemsky revealed to reporters that it took twelve months for him to accept retirement. He noted that additional damage had been done to both his shoulders, creating cartilage damage that cannot be reversed. Ales finished his announced retirement by thanking all those involved with improving his career in the National Hockey League.
Canada saw one of its most horrendous crimes this week, with a mass shooting occurring in Nova Scotia. This brutal act of violence caused by twenty-two civilians to lose their lives, including a Royal Canadian Mounted Police Officer. This was Heidi Stevenson, who’d spent 23 years working with the RCMP. She was near retirement before losing her life. These violent actions prompted the “Nova Scotia Remembers” campaign, which saw notable individuals from the province express their condolences. This included Sydney Crosby, one of the most influential athletes in the NHL.
Most aren’t aware that Sydney Crosby was born and raised throughout Nova Scotia, making this horrendous crime emotionally challenge for the Pittsburgh Penguins Captain. Crosby mentioned that his heart and soul goes out to the people of Nova Scotia, with his remarks extending towards the friends and family affected by this horrific tragedy. The Penguins Forward noted that Heidi Stevenson is the hero of Cole Harbour, of Nova Scotia, and Canada.
Remarks from Sydney Crosby continued, with the NHL Legend thanking all first responders that held their ground throughout this nightmare. These individuals would’ve stuck together in close quarters, meaning that social distancing was avoided. RCMP Constables faced two enemies during the shootout, with the 1st being bullets and the 2nd being COVID-19. Crosby finished his remarks by mentioning how Nova Scotia always stays strong, that they’ll do it again and again.
April 17th & 18th marked the dates when this horrific murderer took towards Cole Harbour, killing 22 civilians from the Nova Scotia region. These deaths prompted the Prime Minister of Canada to get involved, with Justin Trudeau merely mentioning how throughout this challenging time, we must talk with someone we trust. He noted that family and friends should be told their loved because tomorrow isn’t ever promised.
It should be mentioned that Trudeau didn’t provide condolences to the family members or friends of this tragedy, which is unconventional of a Prime Minister to do. The Canadian Leader has infamously been weak throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic, often running away to his home when questioned profusely by reporters.
The International Ice Hockey Federation announced that the 2020 World Championships would be cancelled. Organizers made this decision after the increasing outbreak of Covid-19 throughout European Nations, primarily Switzerland. Considering that sixteen nations would’ve competed in Switzerland for this championship, organizers were forced to cancel the May 8th to 24th hockey competition.
The President of IIHF expressed that this has been challenging for decision with everyone involved, but that the protection of globally hockey communities is more important than a championship. Rene Fazel mentioned that it’s the responsibility of government bodies, major corporations, sporting outfits and the respective individual to ensure that Covid-19 doesn’t spread internationally anymore than it already has.
It should be mentioned that this is the 1st time in three decades that the IIHF Championship has been cancelled. The last time would’ve been 1988, which followed after two additional cancellations in 1980 and 84. Rene Fazel noted that something special would be implemented next season to honour the fallen individuals from Covid-19. The President was forced to make these announcements after multiple other hockey venues were terminated throughout Switzerland, which included the 2020 IIHF World Women’s Championship for March 7th. This venue would’ve been held in Nova Scotia for March 7th. An additional site for U18 Players was cancelled in Michigan.
Travelling internationally have become virtually impossible under the conditions of Covid-19. The International Ice Hockey Federation noted that transferring all registered players to Switzerland would be a logistical challenge for organizers. This means that the most significant hockey competition for Canadians and Europeans have been cancelled for a single year. It’s unknown what the financial impact will be with the lost sponsorship contracts, returned tickets and merchandise sales.
The federation confirmed in their announcement that protective measures had been implemented for their employed workers. These individuals are located at home in self-isolation and committing to their jobs in safer conditions. Employees will continue to be paid for their respective workloads through a robust insurance program maintained by IIHF. Organizers expressed that the safety of their staff, supporters and the overall community is more important than providing this tournament to millions.