Yesterday, the NHL Offseason officially began. And it was relatively quiet. Today is day two, and the first day for the first buy-out window in the league. What might it have in-store for us? Probably not much, if we’re being honest.
• If you’re like me, you were enamored by the Netflix special “Inside” by comedian Bo Burnham. It looked so different and I like Burnham’s style of comedy. It was highly recommended to me and so I watched it. It was funny and amusing at times, but it was also incredibly dark. I can appreciate thoughtful and risk-taking art, but I felt myself waiting for that moment when I would go, “Oh, this is brilliant.” It never came for me. Maybe I missed it, maybe I just didn’t “get it.” All possible. But I tell you this because there was one bit in there called “Welcome to the Internet.” That song gets stuck in my head almost weekly since seeing the special. Well Marisa Inegmi made an incredible NHL offseason version of the song and I must say, it’s perfect.
• Anything and everything, all of the time. A little bit of everything, all of the time….
• Sorry, got lost again. Anyway, yes, the offseason is upon us after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Final. With the conclusion of the series, we get the always depressing TV ratings for the final…
Stanley Cup Finals U.S. TV viewership:
Game 1: 1.57 million viewers (NBCSN)
Game 2: 1.65M (NBCSN)
Game 3: 2.38M (NBC)
Game 4: 2.92M (NBC)
Game 5: TBD
Streaming won't add much. Tracking as second-least watched SCF since 2007. Up over 2020 (2.15M). Way down from 2019 (5.47M).
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) July 9, 2021
• Here’s to hoping that the move from NBC to ESPN/Turner Sports improves these numbers for the league.
• While this year’s Cup Final was one of the least watched in the last 15 years, it provided moments after the game that millions of people have seen and talked about involving Nikita Kucherov’s post-game press conference. If you’ve missed it, you can find it in its glory here. One moment for Kucherov that we didn’t see was an unexpected FaceTime call between him and his hockey idol Igor Larionov, as told by Larionov’s son…
i was at dinner with my dad yesterday & he got an ft call from a random number. he picks it up & it’s nikita kucherov with the stanley cup. kuch shouts “ты мой кумир, спасибо” about 6 times. the translation of that is “you’re my idol, thank you”. coolest thing witnessed
— Igor Larionov II (@Igor_LarionovII) July 8, 2021
• It’s these small moments that show us just how transcendent that the great sport of hockey can be. While we get reminded often how much the NHL as a league falls short, the sport itself is the best in the world, if you ask me.
• But while there are great moments following the Stanley Cup Final, there are also hard moments for those that fall short of lifting the Stanley Cup. Not making things any better for those players is coming home to find out you’ve been robbed. That’s unfortunately what Brenden Gallagher came home to following Montreal’s Game Five loss…
— Justin Bourne (@jtbourne) July 8, 2021
• Gallagher seems surprisingly calm about it, though. Heres to hoping he is insured on any damage or lost property from his home. And here’s to hoping they find the people who robbed him. Jerks.
• The month of July is going to be a busy one for the league and the Blackhawks. For anything and everything, all of the ti- I mean, for all your offseason dates and important events, we’ve got you covered..
The 2021-2022 NHL Offseason: Dates, Deadlines, and When to Expect Things for the Blackhawkshttps://t.co/skbszWB37q
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) July 9, 2021
• While the offseason is going to be extremely difficult to navigate for the Blackhawks with the Expansion Draft, Entry Draft, and Free Agency all happening this month, they are also dealing with the lawsuits and allegations against them and former video coach Brad Aldrich.
• A new development today from WBEZ, reporting that while at the Miami University in Ohio, after Aldrich left the Blackhawks, there were two sexual assault cases brought against Aldrich in his five months while at the school.
Miami University in Ohio is now acknowledging a second claim of sexual assault involving former Blackhawks Coach Brad Aldrich during his stint there after leaving Illinois. https://t.co/5s8J0ug99o
— WBEZ (@WBEZ) July 9, 2021
• It’s just adding more fuel to the fire surrounding the franchise and continually adding more pressure to the team to take action. Every social media post from the team account is met with countless calls for Stan Bowman to be fired. Like, every reply. With the biggest events of the offseason coming up and Bowman going to be front and center, the team cannot state silent for long.
• And while this is all going on, if you are someone still saying that there has been no local coverage of the story, then you’re just burying your head in the sand at this point.
By now, if you’re still saying that “no one in Chicago is talking about it” regarding the #Blackhawks lawsuits/allegations involving Brad Aldrich, then you’re just not paying attention.
— Mario Tirabassi (@Mario_Tirabassi) July 9, 2021
• WBEZ, Sun-Times, Tribune, NBC Sports,670 The Score, ESPN 1000, US and so many more are talking about it. Just open your eyes.
• The NHL expansion draft is in less than two weeks and the league’s deadline for a team to submit their protected players list is on July 17th. According to Pierre Lebrun, those protection lists will be made public on the 18th, with the Expansion Draft taking place on the 21st.
Expansion draft note: plan is for the league to release all the teams’ protected lists sometime on Sunday, July 18. Teams must submit their list the previous day. Expansion draft goes Wednesday. July 21 at 8 pm ET
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 8, 2021
• The clock continues to countdown on the Blackhawks and their possible trade of defenseman Duncan Keith. They have incentive to move him, he already has asked to be traded somewhere closer to his family, and the Edmonton Oilers look like the destination for him. Now it comes down to what kind of deal makes sense.
• On one end of the spectrum, some Blackhawks fans want a first round pick or the equivalent from Edmonton for Keith. On the other end of the spectrum, Oilers fans think The Blackhawks should send over Keith AND a top prospect to sweeten the deal because Keith is “washed.” Honestly, the deal (if it comes together) will likely end up somewhere in the middle. Chicago will likely retain salary and get a mid-tier prospect own draft pick in return, while the Oilers get a useful second-pair defenseman.
• Anything else or more would tilt the scales in favor of either team and with Stan Bowman’s track record in trades (if he is the one in position to make the deal), is not stellar.
• Wish I had better news to end today with. But that will do it for today. Have a good Friday!