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From the Branches: Rest, relaxation, then Edmonton

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Also, a way to support Black Girl Hockey Club’s scholarship program.

Toronto Maple Leafs v Edmonton Oilers
Super-duper looking forward to this happening again.
Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

Happy Friday, everyone! The Toronto Maple Leafs are on the second of two days off, a relatively rare thing in this compressed season. I hope they all are enjoying their rest and relaxation before—let me check my notes—oh, right. Starting on Saturday, they play four games in six days, a party that gets started by flying to Edmonton to face the Oilers. I, uh, hope they have fun with that.

[Ed. note: this is the only time in history the words “party” and “flying to Edmonton” have ever been used in the same sentence. We’re breaking new ground here, people.]

Also, I wanted to highlight two related pieces in today’s links: this article from The Ice Garden about Black Girl Hockey Club’s scholarship program, and this Player’s Tribune piece by Saroya Tinker, speaking about her own involvement with Black Girl Hockey Club, and how it’s connected to the racism she’s experienced as a Black woman in hockey. The scholarship program is doing an amazing thing, enabling Black girls’ hockey players to play the sport they love by providing support in everything from financial assistance to mentorship from older Black women in hockey. Tinker, a player for the NWHL’s Metropolitan Riveters, has organized a GoFundMe to benefit their fund; if you’ve got spare money right now, this is a great place to send some.

ICYMI

Evaluating Sheldon Keefe on the Maple Leafs - Pension Plan Puppets
It’s hard to know what a coach really adds to a team, but we’re going to try.

Stuff We Didn’t Write

Lundqvist back on ice, ‘months’ away from deciding future | The Star
WASHINGTON - Henrik Lundqvist said Thursday he’s months away from making a decision about his hockey-playing future after returning to the ice less...

Four separate leagues? Divisional styles develop around NHL | The Star
Barry Trotz tuned his television to the game between the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers to do a little scouting, flipping around to others...

Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Rasmus Sandin (foot fracture) to be re-evaluated in mid-March - TSN.ca

Valji: Calgary Flames' Oliver Kylington ‘honoured’ to don skates paying tribute to Willie O’Ree - TSN.ca

The Nashville Predators should not trade Filip Forsberg—here’s why - On the Forecheck
The Predators have only been reported as "listening to calls" on the Swedish star, but I feel even that is out of line.

Sabres’ Ristolainen eager to return after bout with COVID-19 | The Star
BUFFALO, N.Y. - Buffalo Sabres defenceman Rasmus Ristolainen is putting behind the frightening two-week bout he had with COVID-19 by focusing his...

The Emergence of Drake Batherson - Silver Seven
The pieces are being put together before our eyes.

Black Girl Hockey Club scholarships add to group’s legacy - The Ice Garden
BGHC is finding a way to change hockey culture from the ground up

Why the Black Girl Hockey Club Matters
From the time I started playing on organized teams at six or seven years old, I felt like I didn’t belong.

How good has Brian Elliott been? - Broad Street Hockey
The Moose has been loose this season.

Fans may be allowed back at TD Garden in late March - Stanley Cup of Chowder
Small group, but still.

The Johnny Gaudreau Conundrum: There Isn’t One - Matchsticks and Gasoline
It’s time to admit you really love Johnny Gaudreau and you’ve just been brainwashed by dumb propaganda.