For Marc-Andre Fleury and Ryan Reaves, leaving the Vegas Golden Knights was tough. But the results of their debuts with their new teams was tougher.
Fleury’s first game with the Chicago Blackhawks Wednesday was a rough one. He was on the short end of a 4-2 score as the Colorado Avalanche peppered him with 36 shots.
Reaves’ debut with the New York Rangers was a quiet one. He had five hits in 14 minutes TOI but the veteran tough guy, who was acquired by New York was not a factor in the Rangers’ 5-1 loss to the Washington Capitals. It also spoiled the coaching debut of former Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant.
The much-anticipated bout between Reaves and the Capitals’ Tom Wilson never materialized. Wilson beat up on the Rangers’ Artemi Panarin after first roughing up Pavel Buchnevich last May ultimately leading to the Rangers making changes in the front office and on their roster.
As for the current Golden Knights, they’ve recalled Jake Leschyshyn and Jonas Rondbjerg from their Henderson AHL affiliate to replace Pavel Dorofeyev and Jack Dugan. Both Leschyshyn and Rondbjerg played for the Golden Knights in the preseason and are expected to make their NHL debuts tonight against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center. More to come on this following the team’s morning skate in L.A.
Around the NHL:
The return to ESPN proved to be a popular move. Tuesday’s doubleheader which saw the Penguins defeat the Lightning and the Golden Knights hold off the Kraken was the highest rated opening night doubleheader. Viewership was up 54% over the 2019 opening doubleheader and viewership of the Pens-Bolts game peaked at over 1 million viewers.
ESPN.com: Emily Kaplan reports that the Toronto Maple Leafs are the highest valued team in the league at $2 billion according to Sportico’s data. The Rangers are next at $1.87 billion followed by the Canadiens at $1.5 billion. The Golden Knights are 12th in Sportico’s NHL team valuations at $890 million.
Around the National Hockey Now Network:
Welcome to our newest family members MontrealHockeyNow, TorontoHockeyNow and CalgaryHockeyNow, which came on board Wednesday. They join VancouverHockeyNow, giving the NHN four cities in Canada.
MontrealHockeyNow: Jonathan Drouin is back on the ice for the Canadiens after taking last year off for personal reasons. He scored the haas’ lone goal in the 2-1 season-opening loss to the Maple Leafs which he said was nice. But he’d prefer to have won the game according to Mitch Gallo.
TorontoHockeyNow: Scott Campbell says Jack Campbell’s play in the Toronto net was the difference in the Leafs’ opening night win.
WashingtonHockeyNow: Alex Ovechkin went from being questionable to unstoppable for the Capitals, scoring twice in the 5-1 opening night win over the Rangers. Sammi Silber has the details of Ovi’s big night which saw him pass Marcel Dionne on the all-time goals list.
ColoradoHockeyNow: Terry Frei reports on the Avalanche’s impressive opening night performance at Ball Arena as the Avs ruined Marc-Andre Fleury’s Blackhawks debut.
NYIHockeyNow: The Islanders locked up defenseman Ryan Pulock with an eight-year deal worth just under $50 million.
BostonHockeyNow: Jimmy Murphy said the Bruins are keeping an open-door policy with David Krejci and Tuukka Rask, both who are not on the B’s opening night roster.
FloridaHockeyNow: The Panthers’ Patric Hornqvist gets to face his former team tonight when the Panthers meet the Penguins. He told George Richards he’s looking forward to the reunion.
PittsburghHockeyNow: The Penguins like their goaltender Tristan Jarry and Brian Burke, the Pens’ president of hockey operations, made that clear. They’re not looking to trade for a goalie at the moment.
CalgaryHockeyNow: The Flames don’t drop the puck their season until Saturday and Steve Macfarlane says coach darryl Sutter is still sorting things out with his defense corps.
SanJoseHockeyNow: Nikolai Knyzhov is dealing with health issues and according to Sheng Peng, the San Jose Sharks defenseman will be out for a while.