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Sources: NHL Teams To Play In Own Buildings, More

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Mind you, this is not official yet. Nothing with the NHL’s 2020-21 regular season is official yet. But Vegas Hockey Now can report this with good faith:

Even though the likelihood of fans being in the stands is next to zero, NHL teams will play their regular-season home games in their own buildings. The concept of any “hub cities”, like there were in the playoffs, is not on the drawing board anymore, NHL sources tell me. Sources also tell Vegas Hockey Now that the travel will only be to games within a team’s division, however.

In the Golden Knights’ case, that means a schedule – expected to be 56 games – that will see games against only seven opponents: the Ducks, Coyotes, Stars, Kings, Sharks, Blues, Avalanche. The VGK are expected to be in this one-year-only, realigned Pacific Division. Again, the schedule is not set just yet with regard to every opponent. Could there be a special one-off type of game played, say, outdoors, between teams from other divisions or conferences? Sources say that’s still possible.

Because of the new vaccines against the coronavirus, the league feels confident it can execute a regular season in which teams travel from city to city, though the precautions are still expected to be lengthy and formidable. The NHL remains adamant, however, that it will not seek to jump the queue in obtaining vaccinations ahead of others, such as hospital workers, the elderly and first responders.

It is highly unlikely that fans will be in the stands, at least at the start of the regular season, which still has a Jan. 13 target date. Could there  be some fans, though, given that the NFL, MLS and MLB all have allowed a limited number in the building? That question is still essentially on a day-to-day basis. No one really knows what the landscape might look, say, two months from now with regard to the virus.

The league knows it will take another financial hit this season, but feels very optimistic that things will be back to normal for the 2021-22 season.

Report from Adrian Dater, ColoradoHockeyNow

NHL

Golden Knights Training Camp Day 2 In The Books

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Yesterday was a very exciting day as the Vegas Golden Knights took to the ice for the first time in training camp. Day Two wasn’t nearly as exciting, but necessary as things moved forward. Here are a few key takeaways from today’s action.

D Pairs

As of now, Nick Holden remains on what I’ll pencil in as the 7/8 pair with Dylan Coghlan. As I said yesterday don’t read too far into things because the Golden Knights are going to need eight solid D to make this season work. For the time being, it looks like Zach Whitecloud and Nicolas Hague are going to get a chance to show what they can do as a unit. Alex Pietrangelo remained with Brayden McNabb and Shea Theodore with Alec Martinez.

Forwards

Today was more of a jumble of lines as some guys get a look playing up. Among them was Tomas Jurco who took the place of Max Pacioretty with Chandler Stephenson and Mark Stone. Jurco is a guy I love for the VGK because this season because he’s a vet who can slide into the lineup on a moment’s notice and play a variety of roles. Definitely a taxi squad guy who makes you feel better about your depth.

Also, Stephenson is still centering this line. I know many of you wonder if Cody Glass is going to get his shot at the 2C but not yet. Stephenson did look good today, generating a scoring chance off a stretch pass up the middle and showing some speed. He’s skating with confidence early in camp, and I would not be surprised to see him exactly where he is now come opening night.

Finally, it was nice to see Jonathan Marchessault score for the second straight day. If he warms those goal-scoring hands up early, it could be a tremendous campaign for him.

Keep your browser pointed here for more camp coverage!

 

 

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Tom’s Daily: Handicapping the West Division; Stepan to Sens

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Tom’s Daily: Looking at the West Division; Vegas Golden Knights prospect Brandon Kruseand his unusual senior season; Stepan sent to the Sens; VGK fans have a new streaming option this season.

VGK

The West Division should be a fun, competitive division this year. At least in the top half. Here’s NHL.com’s look at how things might shake out. (NHL.com)

There’s a new streaming option for VGK fans this season. (Las Vegas Review-Journal) At least it’s better than what Avs fans are dealing with! (ColoradoHockeyNow)

Brandon Kruse is working his way through an unusual senior season at Bowling Green. The Golden Knights prospect is projeting better than a point-per-game so far on the ice. (NHL.com)

NHL

Derek Stepan was shipped to the Ottawa Senators from the Arizona Coyotes, giving the Sens more center depth and eating up a chunk of that free cap space they had. (Sportsnet)

Ilya Kovalchuk won’t be playing in the NHL this year. Or next year. (NHL.com)

Michael Del Zotto signs a pro tryout contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Expect a lot of fringe NHL guys who don’t have deals to be competing for jobs this year. (Sportsnet)

Slater Koekkoek signs a one-year deal with the Edmonton Oilers (TSN),  Carl Soderberg signs for one year with the Chicago Blackhawks (Sportsnet).

Five questions facing the Florida Panthers heading into training camp. This team could be really good. It could also not. (FloridaHockeyNow)

Hockeyverse

According to Larry Brooks from the New York Post, the Pittsburgh Penguins are the only major league sports team to receive a paycheck protection loan totaling $4.82M. (New York Post)

Longtime NHL player and executive Dave Poulin is writing for the Toronto Star. Here’s his debut piece. (Toronto Star)

 

 

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Tom’s Daily: New VGK Schedule; Pacioretty, Lehner Busts?; NHL Breaking News

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Max Pacioretty trade rumors Vegas Golden Knights training camp

Tom’s Daily: Breaking NHL news! Plus the Vegas Golden Knights have a schedule and we break it down for you; Bolts find cap relief but it’s not good; more

Vegas Golden Knights

Just in case you missed it, the NHL schedule dropped yesterday and we broke it down for you here. (VHN)

Here’s the team/league release on the schedule as well. (NHL.com)

NHL

Breaking News: It looks like the NHL has permission to move forward in Canadian cities. That’s a major sigh of relief. (Sportsnet)

Whew! Gritty has been cleared to return to NHL games this season. (The Hill)

Nikita Kucherov is going to miss the regular season due to hip surgery. While the Lightning certainly don’t want to be without one of the best players in today’s game, it certainly helps their situation with his $9.5M cap hit moved to LTIR. (Tampa Bay Times)

Ryan Miller is back with the Anaheim Ducks on a one-year deal and I love it. I hope Miller, one of the nicest guys in the game, gets to his milestone of 400 wins. It won’t happen this season unless something goes crazy sideways, but he needs 13 more to do it. (ESPN)

Hockeyverse

The Arizona State University men’s hockey team decided to start the season with a monster 36-day road trip. My personal longest road trip was 18 days and that was a nightmare. I can’t imagine double that. As it turns out, the team wanted it this way. (ESPN)

Are you all fans of fantasy hockey content? I can post more of that type of stuff if you are, let me know in the comments. For now, I’m putting this in here because of Max Pacioretty’s featured status as a fantasy “bust” for this season. Oh, and add Robin Lehner too. Not sure I agree, but here you go. (CBS)

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