The NHL preseason schedule got underway Saturday with Toronto and St. Louis coming out on top. But the big game is today in Spokane, Wash. The Seattle Kraken plays its first-ever game against other competition as the Kraken face Pacific Division rival Vancouver.
Ironically, the last time an NHL expansion team played its first-ever game against another team, the Canucks were the opponent. In 2017, the Vegas Golden Knights went to British Columbia and Tyler Wong, a VGK prospect, notched a hat trick in the Knights’ 9-4 win.
Is there a Tyler Wong looming on the Kraken roster? Odds are pretty good there is. Will that someone score a hatty vs. the Canucks today? We’ll see.
There’s another Vegas-Vancouver connection to report this morning and it’s a bit of a weird one. Singer Michael Bublé performed at T-Mobile Arena Friday, the place the Golden Knights call home. In between numbers, Bublé tried to crack a joke about the Golden Knights, the Stanley Cup and Marc-Andre Fleury.
It didn’t go over well. The audience booed and Bublé, a Vancouver native and huge Canucks fan, said, “I hate the Golden Knights” to which the crowd began chanting “Go Knights Go!” He got back to crooning and the crowd got back to applauding.
Around the National Hockey Now Network …
VancouverHockeyNow: What the heck, let’s stay with the Canucks this morning. This one won’t sit well with their fan base as Rob Simpson reports that Quinn Hughes was spotted in Ann Arbor at the Rutgers-Michigan football game Saturday instead of Abbotsford, where the Canucks were wrapping up training camp.
PhillyHockeyNow: Ryan Gilbert had good news to report from Flyers training camp. Oskar Lindblom remains cancer-free and he hopes to give the Flyers a great performance over the entire season.
BostonHockeyNow: Linus Ullmark figures to get some time in the Bruins net while the team awaits Tuukka Rask’s return following hip surgery.But the former Buffalo Sabres goalie is not thinking about Rask. He told our Joe Haggerty his focus is on the present.
SanJoseHockeyNow: Remember Ulf Dahlén? The former NHLer’s son Jonathan is trying to make the San Jose Sharks’ roster after a failed attempt to play in Vancouver. Sheng Peng details Jonathan Dahlén’s hockey journey.
WashingtonHockeyNow: Michal Kempny has had a coupe of rough seasons the past two years and the Capitals defenseman told colleague Sammi Silber that he’s ready to put that behind him and have a great season.
ColoradoHockeyNow: Valeri Nichushkin has been skating on left wing on the second line with Nazem Kadri and Andre Burakovsky. But Adrian Dater said the pressure is on Nichushkin to show he can be more than just a 21-27-point guy in this league.
PittsburghHockeyNow: With Evgeni Malkin expected to miss the first two months of the season, that creates an opening for a roster spot. Our Dan Kingerski says that Radim Zohornais is getting a long look at centering the Penguins’ second line.
NYIHockeyNow: The Islanders had high hopes for Michael Dal Colle, who they took with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. However, he has not lived up to the hype, part of it through no fault of his own. But with the Isles posted to make a serious run at the Stanley Cup, does Dal Colle even fit in their plans?