With some of the hockey world en route to Nashville for All-Star festivities, and the rest en route to a tropical destination for some fun in the sun, news is at a bit of a trickle. But soon enough, some GM or other will be full of top shelf Tennessee bourbon and spill a bunch of prime hockey gossip, we can only hope.
#BellLetsTalk was a great success, raising almost $6.3 million and hopefully beginning conversations to alleviate suffering and end the stigma still attached to mental health issues.
Jeff Paterson notes Chris Tanev's almost penalty-free season, talking him up for the Lady Byng trophy.
Carol Schram says the Canucks are losing ground in the playoff hunt, and are facing a much tougher hill to climb to make it this year.
Ryan Beich, prospects guru at Vancity Buzz and Canucks Army, wonders if the Canucks will sign Thatcher Demko this summer, in part to avoid Demko opting to become a senior UFA, like Justin Schultz, Kevin Hayes. He also notes a report that the Canucks will sign Anton Rodin to a one-way contract soon. Beich also suggests a number of trade destinations and possible returns for Radim Vrbata.
News1130 Sports tweeted part of an interview this morning with Travis Green, coach of the Utica Comets.
In 12th place in the East, Utica Comets coach Travis Green not happy with his team's play. #Canucks— NEWS 1130 Sports (@NEWS1130Sports) January 28, 2016
Travis Green : "I think we have to challenge Shinkaruk and Gaunce to be better in certain areas of the game, Grenier as well. #Canucks— NEWS 1130 Sports (@NEWS1130Sports) January 28, 2016
Green : "We need more from everyone, those young guys, it's a challenge for them but they have to step up their game." #Canucks— NEWS 1130 Sports (@NEWS1130Sports) January 28, 2016
Green likes rookie defenseman Jordan Subban who has 21 points in 34 games. Green says Subban is growing up and maturing. #Canucks— NEWS 1130 Sports (@NEWS1130Sports) January 28, 2016
Everyone's favorite all star, John Scott, wrote about his experience of the last few months in a terrific story for the Players' Tribune. He claims the NHL tried to use his kids against him while pressuring him to decline his all star spot. Incidentally, if you wanted a John Scott All-Star Game t-shirt, you're out of luck. They're already sold out.
Jonathan Toews and Alex Ovechkin have pulled out of the All-Star Game with "injuries". They'll each be suspended one game. They'll be replaced by Evgeny Kuznetsov and James Neal. All NHL All-Stars will get a swag bag that includes a personalized Gibson guitar and Jack Daniel's Select Tennessee Whiskey.
Elliotte Friedman suggests changes coming for next year's All-Star game procedures:
Will be interesting what happens with future All-Star Games. (I expect LA next year.) Different voting, longer suspensions for missing, etc.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) January 28, 2016
Down Goes Brown presents his own plan for saving the All-Star Game.
Craig Custance of ESPN profiles Dylan Larkin, a player he says has the perfect skill set for the modern game. Pierre Lebrun profiles Connor McDavid, who is set to return just after the All-Star break.
If you're in Vancouver, go to the CHL NHL top prospects game tonight at the Pacific Coliseum, or watch it on Sportsnet.
Field of Schemes notes Anthony LeBlanc's latest statement, reiterating his hope to announce something about a new arena soon, is pretty much meaningless. And now that the Rams are leaving St. Louis for LA, the owner of the Blues wants some of the money St. Louis was offering the Rams to stay.
On TSN 1290 in Winnipeg, Darren Dreger suggested the NHL trade market is now paralyzed, waiting for the Winnipeg Jets to decide which player they should sign and which they should trade -- Andrew Ladd or Dustin Byfuglien -- or whether they can sign both. Matt Larkin of the Hockey News suggests five teams that should pursue Andrew Ladd.
Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times illustrates how the Lightning will try to sell Steven Stamkos on the favorable tax environment in Florida vs Ontario. The entire article is a great look at how star players get paid based on where they live.
Brad Wenzel was on Conan last night. He's pretty good.