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What's happening in the NHL and why it matters for Oct. 6
Jason Robertson signs and there are too many NHL preseason games
Sorry for the delay in publishing this, late night news in the NHL forced some early re-writes after getting breakfast on the table for the kids.
Late Wednesday/into Thursday morning (12:03 pm ET I believe), the Stars signed Jason Robertson on a four-year, $7.75 million contract.
An unsigned restricted free agent, Robertson was one of the last big moves to drop before the NHL season started, and for all the hand-wringing in Dallas, the Stars nailed the bridge deal.
With the cap hit the Stars don’t have to do any difficult cap gymnastics to make Robertson fit, and they also have a natural progression to his next deal, which should bridge the player to a more lucrative contract when the salary cap balloons around that time.
Robertson, who has been training on his own, also gets a preseason game with the Stars later this week before jumping into the regular season with a new coach in Pete DeBoer.
If you want to read something fun related to Robertson, I wrote about the family earlier this week here.
Too many games
Only one more day until NHL games actually matter.
Sure they’ll be preseason games on Friday and Saturday, but they’ll also be a pair of games that actually count in the standings when the Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks square off in Czechia.
And that’s a welcome sign because the NHL preseason is too long.
In a bygone era preseason games mattered, players still showed up to training camp having to get into shape, and there were real battles for roster spots up and down the lineup.
In today’s NHL, however, players don’t need training camp to get into shape, it’s a requirement of the profession to be in tip-top shape in the offseason. Roster spots are also pre-determined by contracts, not preseason performance, for the majority of the roster.
Four preseason games would be plenty for what teams need to accomplish, teams playing six or seven is ridiculous.
Ok, rant over.
Hockey Quebec cuts ties with Hockey Canada
Hockey Canada has been getting skewered this week, and rightfully so, for how it’s handled alleged sexual assaults and money that was paid out in lawsuits.
Hockey Canada leadership, through a video conference on Tuesday, was downright appalling in how they defended the organization, even taking the stance that a change in leadership — or any punishment for those in power — could lead to the lights being shut off in rinks.
On Wednesday Hockey Quebec officially announced it was cutting ties with Hockey Canada and the provincial association no longer has "confidence in the ability of Hockey Canada to act effectively to change the culture of hockey with the structure in place."
This is an important development, and hopefully, a domino that actually pushes things in a positive direction for real change within Hockey Canada, which needs to be completely torn down and rebuilt.
TNT takes advantage of preseason
It was nice to see TNT actually airing a pair of preseason games on Wednesday night.
As one of the two national carriers in the United States, it’s a positive that TNT promoted the game in the preseason and I respect a network using the preseason to get things rolling before opening night.
Frankly, I hope ESPN takes note of this in the future and actually airs preseason games in 2023.
The game I’m likely watching tonight
The Kraft Hockeyville games returned this preseason after being put on hold because of COVID-19, so I’ll be tuning into the game between the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens in Twillingate, Newfoundland.
NHL games in a non-NHL rink for the preseason, for a smaller community, always have a nice feel and it’s a unique atmosphere.