With the 2022 NHL All-Star Break now in the rear-view mirror, the Vegas Golden Knights are set to make up their two games against Alberta teams in the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames. Before the All-Star break, the Golden Knights had all of Jack Eichel (neck), Alec Martinez (face), Zach Whitecloud (back), Nicolas Hague (day-to-day), Chandler Stephenson (COVID), and Dylan Coghlan (COVID) unavailable.
This list of six players may be reduced down to zero for the Golden Knights as Stephenson and Coghlan will exit protocols, and Hague and Whitecloud should be cleared for contact after their day-to-day injuries. Before the break, Martinez removed his no-contact jersey in practices. Eichel to this point has not, but according to head coach Peter DeBoer could join the team soon.
Elsewhere in the hockey world, two NHL prospects scored some slick goals, the NHL trade market is heating up, and the league may have yet another COVID problem despite new rules being in effect.
Henderson: Golden Knights prospect Paul Cotter scored a hat-trick for the Henderson Silver Knights on the weekend and Brendan Brisson is set to make his Olympic debut. Also, Golden Knights prospect Lukas Cormier scored a slick goal in the QMJHL.
— rob (@IvanIvanlvan) February 6, 2022
Clip of the Day: Speaking of prospects scoring slick goals, the consensus first overall pick at the 2023 NHL Draft, Connor Bedard scored perhaps the goal of the year in the WHL for the Regina Pats.
😱 Goal of the year from Connor Bedard 😱
— Regina Pats (@WHLPats) February 6, 2022
NHL News, Trade Rumors, and National Hockey Now
A friendly reminder as we now exit the NHL’s 2022 All-Star break, the league’s COVID-19 policies will become more lenient. Teams will no longer test players daily and now will only test them if they have symptoms. Hopefully, this will reduce the number of players in COVID-19 protocols. But the league is not off to a great start as two players have been placed in COVID-19 protocols in Evgeni Malkin, and an attendee of the NHL-All Star Game Jack Hughes.
Beijing: Despite no NHL Olympic participation, should NHL fans still watch the 2022 Winter Olympic Games? For Team Russia, which includes former Golden Knights Vadim Shipachyov, they expect nothing less than a Gold Medal.
Chicago: Amidst their chaos, the Chicago Blackhawks have fired their longtime athletic trainer of their AHL team the Rockford Ice Hogs following a sexual harassment case.
San Jose: The mental battle of playing on the edge of both the AHL and NHL for San Jose Sharks player Nick Merkley. Could the Sharks still make the playoffs this season, and could they play in Europe next season?
Long Island: Miles from a playoff spot, what has changed for the New York Islanders this season?
Montreal: If they can, should the Montreal Canadiens go after Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun?
Washington: The Capitals have teamed up with the PWHPA and will host the 2022 Dream Gap Tour.
Philly: Flyers forward (and former Golden Knight!) Derick Brassard is set to return to the Philadelphia Flyers.