Good Thursday to you all. Just dropped my 17-year-old, 6-foot-7 son at the airport for a trip back east to visit his grandparents. The kid will see his first Red Sox game ever next week, and he’s pretty excited about that. For him, showing excitement is moving his upper lip a little. Let’s do that hockey, though, starting with some NHL trade freeze talk:
- The freeze lifts at 11 a.m. mountain today. Saddle up, kids, it could be a busy day. Hey, it could be for the Avs too, though I think the main focus of the team remains trying to sign their unsigned guys. I have NOT been told of any talks breaking off between the team and Landeskog or Grubauer. I don’t think much has gone on between the Avs and Brandon Saad, but maybe that will change now that the Avs have more money to spend after losing more than $7 million of payroll in the last few days, with the departures of Joonas Donskoi and Ryan Graves.
- The Kraken seem pretty happy with their new roster (Seattle Times)
- I thought the Kraken getting Jamie Oleksiak from Dallas was a great signing. He’s big and plays with a mean streak.
- The Kraken’s first home and road sweaters look pretty cool (Seattle Times)
- Did the Pittsburgh Penguins screw up over the expansion process? Dan Kingerski thinks so (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
- Looks like Taylor Hall is staying put in Boston (Boston Hockey Now)
- Jack Eichel continues to be the conversation starter of the offseason as the Wild and Avalanche are mentioned as possibilities for the Sabres superstar. (Hockey News)
- Who would the Avs trade to the Sabres for a Jack Eichel? I would imagine it would have to start with a Bo Byram. Or, maybe Sam Girard.
- With the loss of Donskoi, I expect Sampo Ranta to get quite a chance as a middle six right winger at training camp.
- The Avalanche/NHL schedule will be out today.
- The Red Wings were the only team that didn’t leak the name of their player picked by Seattle (Detroit Hockey Now)
- Mark Giordano, former Norris Trophy winner, was claimed by the Kraken, but is he really headed to the New York Rangers now? (NY Post)
LIVE BLOG: Opening ceremony kicks off 2020 Olympics in Tokyo – Global News
The Olympic Games opening ceremony is typically a chance for competing countries and athletes to show off their pride and culture, but this year will be a little different.
Normally held in a stadium full of ecstatic fans, this year’s ceremony will have international athletes parade around a near-empty venue after it was announced fans would not be allowed to attend because of rising COVID-19 cases in Japan.
Athletes from around the world, including Canada, are taking part in the ceremony for the Summer Games, which will run until Aug. 8.
Canada has sent 370 athletes to the Olympics, the nation’s largest delegation since 1984.
Team Canada names flag-bearers for Tokyo Olympic Games
But only 30 to 40 athletes are marching into the Olympic Stadium, the Canadian Olympic Committee has previously said, saying athletes aren’t allowed into the Olympic Village until five days before they compete.
Many of them will be too close to the start of their competition to join flagbearers Miranda Ayim of the women’s basketball team and men’s rugby sevens co-captain Nathan Hirayama.
The ceremony’s theme is “United by Emotion,” as officials are aspiring to reaffirm the role of sport and the value of the Olympic Games, express gratitude and admiration for the efforts made over the past year, and also bring a sense of hope for the future, the Olympics website says.
Despite all the difficulties the International Olympic Committee has faced to stage the Games amid a global pandemic, president Thomas Bach previously said he believes the ceremonies will be a moment of “joy and relief.”
The event runs from 7 a.m. ET to 11 a.m. ET
You can follow along here.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Canadiens’ salary cap situation heading into the draft & free agency – Habs Eyes on the Prize
Some of the biggest stories of the off-season so far have revolved around the Montreal Canadiens. First, Shea Weber’s hockey future was thrown into doubt by reports of a serious injury, and the belief now is that his career is “probably” over, according to general manager Marc Bergevin.
The key bit of news when the Seattle Kraken expansion draft was approaching was that Carey Price was dealing with a less serious injury, but would nevertheless potentially miss the start of the new season. As a result he waived his no-movement clause and was available to be selected by the new team.
Seattle shied away from the $10.5-million cap hit, however, leaving Price unclaimed and free to re-enable his NMC to stay in Montreal.
That cap hit remains the largest on the team. Technically Weber’s is the second-highest on the books at almost $8 million, but he will likely be put on long-term injured reserve. For the intents and purposes of this graphic, removing his slice from the chart serves the same purpose; that cap space is free to be spent on other players.
There are six defencemen under contract for next season who played on the team in 2020-21, but Bergevin will want someone more of Weber’s calibre to take top-four minutes. Expect that to be one of his top priorities, and the first-round pick in tonight’s draft could be in play to acquire such a blue-liner.
He also needs to get a centreman to take big minutes against top players, because it’s sounding like Phillip Danault won’t be back with the team. Nick Suzuki has established himself as the top offensive option down the middle, but the team will be trying to add a number-two to back him up.
We also heard on Thursday that Jonathan Drouin is expected to play next year, so there are now eight forwards signed for next season, with five to six more to go. Restricted free agents Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Artturi Lehkonen can probably be re-signed relatively inexpesively, the former getting a birdge deal hoping to cash in a few seasons from now, and the latter a reliable bottom-six player. Corey Perry may also be offered a deal, but his interest in sticking around may depend on how Bergevin is able to restore the team’s contender status via his other moves.
There is a bit more than $21 million available to make this all happen. A small portion of the available space is eaten up by a bonus overage penalty the Canadiens were handed, but having your young players perform too well in the post-season is far from the worst problem an NHL team is facing. There are more young prospects who could step into lesser roles without needing big financial commitments, so there could be a major splash — or two — made in the coming days.
COVID-19: Middlesex-London Health Unit adds 10 cases Friday – Global News
Restarting a sustainable, export-oriented economy – Business in Vancouver
Book review: Border politics serve up racism, human exploitation – Vancouver Sun
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Europe kicks off vaccination programs | All media content | DW | 27.12.2020 – Deutsche Welle
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
Sports23 hours ago
Edmonton Oilers' GM Holland discusses Larsson, Smith, Hyman, buyouts, RFAs and the Draft – Edmonton Journal
Economy21 hours ago
Drama over the debt ceiling is the last thing America's economy needs – CNN
Media16 hours ago
Current's 2021 Public Media Salary Survey – Current
Tech23 hours ago
OnePlus Buds Pro are a cheaper but still high-end take on AirPods Pro – Mashable
Science18 hours ago
Why some scientists want to rebrand shark attacks as 'negative encounters' – CBC.ca
News18 hours ago
Global Affairs Canada 'engaging' with staff in Austria following reports of 'Havana syndrome' symptoms – CTV News
Politics18 hours ago
Jason Kenney's longing for Alberta's pre-COVID politics – iPolitics.ca
News24 hours ago
B.C. man accused of stealing $200K in 2019 CRA phone scam has fled Canada, court documents say – CBC.ca