The sweltering heat supposedly comes to an end tonight in the Northeast and with the cool-down that everyone is so eagerly awaiting, the National Hockey League decided to help everyone think cold thoughts yesterday with the announcement that players will participate in the 2014 Sochi Olympics and releasing the upcoming schedule for all teams.
You know its summer in the league when such an announcement brings about much fanfare and discussion. With free agency remaining at a stand still, what else is there to look forward to anyway? From February 9th through the 26th, the professional schedule will be put on hold for players to go represent their nations in the international tournament with memories still fresh over Canada’s victory over the United States from 2010.
Both squads and powerhouses such as Finland, Russia and Sweden are all expected to be very well represented and I, for one, do not mind at all taking a break from the NHL grind and enjoying every last second. It truly is a spectacle with the best giving us their best each and every single game.
I am going to purposely not comment on the official naming of the divisions as personally, it really does not matter to me. Is Metropolitan division an awful, horrible name? Absolutely….. But I planned on calling it the ‘Islanders division’ anyway so the effect on me is null. Besides, this is my column right?
Aside from the Blues signing Chris Stewart to a two year/8.3 million dollar contract, avoiding arbitration, and rumors that Jaromir Jagrvisited New Jersey to check out the Devils, nothing else to report in the league yesterday. Some good players remain unsigned, both restricted and un-restricted, and sources tell Eyes that the major holdup is teams they want to sign with attempting to free up additional cap space.
In Case You Missed It
- Staff Writer Ashley March survived the storms and recaps the Isles schedule right here. (EOI)
- Dominik writes about a cool story involving friends Frans Nielsen and Peter Regin (LHH)
- Travis Betts on how Ville Pokka is preparing for this season (NY Islanders)
- Matt Solomon states the obvious on who should be the next Isles captain (Rant Sports)
- The fakers guide to advanced stats (Grantland)
Two Minutes For Tweeting
— Eric Hornick (@ehornick) July 20, 2013
- Hornick is stats…..he is Islanders…..The only authority on these types of wonderful breakdowns.
- Willhoft getting an early start on jabbing Rangers fans…and I LOVE IT! – I cannot tell you how many times, as recently as last week, I have screamed ‘It was a clean hit!’ haha
the #isles have a realistic chance of the 2nd spot in the Met Division. a chance, but i expect them to finish 3rd or a wild card spot
— Islanders Crew (@IslesCrew) July 20, 2013
- We would not be as bold as Toronto and start planning a parade but its good to be realistic about the team heading into this season. No dilutions of grandeur but with an improved lineup, they should challenge for a top 3 spot in the division.
— Courtney S (@Cschmier) July 19, 2013
- I agree 100% Courtney. But at the end of the day, all that really matters is that all teams play 82 games, 41 at home and that puts everyone on a level enough playing surface for me. Plus it is less days I have to dislike my wife and son for being Rangers fans. Hee Hee
This upcoming season will be a good one, #Isles will prove last year wasn’t a fluke
— Tom Ballantyne (@tbone31592) July 19, 2013
- Tom, one of the leaders of the Blue and Orange army, tells it like it is all the time. The optimism is soaring from most and that is exactly the way we should feel heading into October.
— Thomas DeLuca (@ThomasDeLuca24) July 19, 2013
- All I have to reply to this is a line from the classic sports movie ‘Field of Dreams’ spoken by the great James Earl Jones….”The memories are so thick, you have to wipe them away from your face’ (edited slightly to improve symmetry)