If you’ve been ignoring sports, you’re not alone, and it’s not hard, as there’s almost nothing happening with the Russians even getting the memo (rather literally, as the government had to force this) to close down at least temporarily.
The NHL has been doing a few things. After they announced “Pause Binge” on Friday, some of our sharper commenters found the classic games feature.
If you missed this whole thing, catch up here:
I watched some of the game where Gretzky scored his 50th to break Richard’s record. It’s so, so worth it. The Flyers have Paul Holmgren on the ice, not in the executive suite, and they also have those long pants. Man, I’d forgotten how silly those look. Also an Oilers vs Flyers game is watching the past meet the future with the past coming out looking like fools.
Warning: Lots of Don Cherry commentary.
Dave Keon turned 80 yesterday:
The NHL is going to try to produce their final draft ranking on time:
NHL Central Scouting planning to produce final rankngs of top players eligible for 2020 Draft. "Barring any on-the-fly modification, the plan is to conduct (meetings) via video conferencing ... be able to produce our 2020 final ranking by mid-April." -- https://t.co/xsTrJ1I4Mj— Mike Morreale (@mikemorrealeNHL) March 22, 2020
Of course we don’t know when the draft will happen or what order teams will pick in. Any information about that is speculation, and I don’t know about you, but speculating about the future has lost its allure for me.
I just yelled at that Oilers-Flyers game that that play there on Glenn Anderson was totally interference. It totally was.
Many teams are doing business, signing NCAA free agents:
Busy day in the NHL with 7 players signed to new contracts for 2020-21, all of which we have confirmed in full detail.— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) March 21, 2020
Click on the link below to take you to our 'Signings' page to see them all.https://t.co/hB1IQ2Q7Na pic.twitter.com/z6iRlbhbCJ
KHL players aren’t eligible to be signed for next year yet, and the CHL players in Canada have not officially finished their seasons yet, so they can’t be signed yet either.
The situation in the rest of Europe is a little murky because the leagues are done, but the SHL, for example, has a moratorium on player signings. What that means for the inevitable NHL signings of SHL players for next year is, like many things right now, unclear. There’s still a rumour, though:
One undrafted forward has attracted some attention with a very good season. Last year in Rögle, this young player was not all that hot, with only 23 points in 50 games. This year on a better team, he’s blossomed and put up 36 points in 51 games.
The rumour is that Linus Sandin, our young player is in demand with NHL teams:
The success of HV71 this season has caused the 23-year-old to attract attention from across the Atlantic. According to sources, several NHL teams should be interested in signing a contract with the undrafted Sandin.
He himself confirms that there is interest, but is cagey about what the interest can lead to.
“I know there is interest, but I have a contract with HV one more year. That is where my focus is right now. I know, as I said, that there is interest from NHL clubs but more than that I don’t really know at the moment.”
Scouts from several different NHL clubs have been on site in Kinnarps Arena this season to look into the right winger. Linus Sandin has also met and talked to several of the scouts.
“They say we should keep in touch and such things. It does not happen to me directly, but the contact goes through my agent. He has better control of it than I have right now.
“The way the sports world looks right now with the coronavirus most things are pretty uncertain. I simply don’t know that much except that my main focus is on HV71.”
Is it a goal for you to sign an NHL contract, regardless of when it will be?
“Yes, of course, that is definitely a goal I have.”
Would you be ready to take the plunge to North America for next season?
“I don’t know, we’ll see. If it becomes relevant to sign a contract with an NHL club then you have to take it. But of course it is a dream to go over there any day.”
So far not a lot of detail has leaked about which teams are interested in the older brother of our Sandin, but one that has shown interest is Boston!!!!
And that’s got you up to date on what’s going on in the hockey world right now.
UPDATE! Some real signing news that affects a KHL-contracted player, so this shows how hazy that April 30 deadline is for KHL deals on some teams:
#Leafs prospect Eemeli Räsänen has signed a one-year deal with one-year option with #Liiga’s #HPK. This season Räsänen played 17 games in the KHL with Jokerit, 14 games in Mestis and 7 games on loan in Denmark. #TMTalk #MapleLeafs— FinnProspects (@FinnProspects) March 23, 2020
This is a very, very good move for him, and puts him on a team where he should be able to play and be challenged to improve.
Update: This is the NHL’s official Q&A, and covers just the facts.