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Monday FTB: Summer Doldrums

Some of you are on vacation, and you should definitely rub that in to everyone who isn’t.

Finland v Slovakia: Group A - 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship
Cap’n Roni cheating by using two sticks.
Photo by Andy Devlin/ Getty Images

The replay of the WJC is getting attention for not getting attention. While I find it a little too pat an answer to say that attendance is down just because everyone noticed that junior hockey has a sexual assault problem, it’s likely part of the reason the stands are also empty. But it is August. That has to be part of the story.

The New York Times has noticed this story:

And so begins the inevitable framing of this story as a uniquely Canadian one allowing everyone else to keep not noticing the problems.

There is so little interest in the WJC that I’ve hardly seen any breathless gushing over goals scored against Austria, and that just makes you wonder if there really was a good reason to replay this event.

The Czech team times the walk from their locker room to the ice, and then sped the video up:

And long after sensible people are in bed in the eastern time zone, Matt Knies played the Swedes and things happened.


Mid-August means not much is happening anywhere in the hockey world. I updated the UFA and RFA posts yesterday, and discovered not one UFA on that list had signed since Patrice Bergeron did a week ago. A few RFAs have avoided arbitration and signed deals, but only 13 of the players on the list of unsigned RFAs with at least 20 NHL games played last year have a deal.

It’s normal for RFAs to sit until it’s almost training camp, and then everyone feels pressure to make the deal they could have signed in June. But the number of unsigned UFAs of legitimate value is a surprise. The Swiss league has started preseason games already, and it’s the big money option for players who can’t get NHL jobs. The SHL and Liiga will be underway soon, and the KHL might be the only option for some willing to make Russia their last resort.

In other news recently:

Check the social media of all the NHL teams for who got married, who has a birthday and other deepest depths of offseason news.

USA Hockey announced their women’s team for Worlds which begin next week. More on that closer to the start date:

Today we get to number 23 in the Top 25, kicking off the first almost full week of the event. We’ll run four articles this week, under the assumption that by Friday, you’ll all be sneaking out of work at 8:05 am, so we will too.

If you’re getting into the Blue Jays for the rest of summer, don’t forget SBN’s Blue Jays site:

They have well-attended game threads, previews, recaps, news, etc. Just check out the site rules first, they aren’t quite as easy on the language as we are.

Happy Monday, everyone.