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From the Branches: Dead zone

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Hockey is uncertain, but jersey redesigns are forever.

2020 NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Kyle Brown/NHLI via Getty Images

The combination of an offseason’s total lack of NHL news with November weather is very 2020—nothing is happening at exactly the time of year when I most want to stay inside and watch hockey. It’s difficult, at this point, to tell if the NHL is actually creeping closer to the 2021 season or if everyone is spinning in circles while repeating the same, increasingly improbable, start date like they can will it into existence with their minds. There seem to be so many questions—added to with an article in today’s links about the necessity of financial negotiation with the players, which is always smooth sailing, as we all know—that I’m leaning towards the latter.

On an only sort of related note (my own personal boredom) the Leafs Reverse Retro jerseys might turn out to be fun, but considering the general lack of positive aesthetic contributions made by the 1970s, my expectations are low. I will say that having only two colors and a general hard-on for the trappings of their own franchise history makes designing a genuinely different-looking retro jersey a challenge, and I sympathize there, but the Arizona Coyotes are apparently going to be out here wearing purple, and so my ability to gin up excitement for the return of the Ballard logo and perhaps a slightly grayer shade of white is somewhat limited.

I did, however, make these raspberry lemon bars this weekend, and they were very good and temporarily helped me pretend that sunlight still exists, which is an accomplishment in late autumn in New England. So there’s that.

Goalies to Target in 2021 Free Agency - Pension Plan Puppets
It seems likely to me that this will be Andersen’s last season with the Leafs, so let’s look at options the Leafs can target in free agency next summer.

NHL admits it will discuss ‘financial terms’ with the players before starting 2021 season | The Star
Deputy commissioner insists there’s no controversy but terns are ‘going to have to be discussed and agreed upon between the owners and the players.’

Leafs' prospect Villeneuve glad to take advantage of opportunity to play this season | Toronto Sun
The text message alerts on William Villeneuve’s phone wouldn’t let up.

What will the Leafs reverse retro jersey look like? – TheLeafsNation

Across the Atlantic, Mac Hollowell (or Mac Hollowell’s alter ego, Mac Holloway) had a very good time in his second game in Finland:

Hollowell had two goals and one assist in TUTO’s 5-4 loss to Vantaa.