Obviously, the big story in hockey this week is the disaster in the desert – that is, the absolute cluster inside the Arizona Coyotes organization. But this hasn’t been a quiet week for hockey in general, with more COVID concerns, some baby news, and even some fun! Let’s take a look, eh?
The boys in blue lost two in a row this week for the first time this season, which objectively in the grand scheme of things is probably not a big deal, but in the moment definitely sucks.
However, the good news is that cat-loving cheerleader slash goalie Jack Campbell is skating, which is a positive sign for a somewhat imminent return!
Jack Campbell was out on the ice with goalie coach Steve Briere this morning before #Leafs optional skate. He’s been out with a leg injury since Jan. 24.
Here he is cleaning up all his pucks. pic.twitter.com/OXWxGwynHo
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) February 15, 2021
Joe Thornton is back in the lineup, too, scoring a goal in his first game back.
But the biggest news to hit Leafland this week was the trade –
We've acquired Alex Galchenyuk from Carolina in exchange for Egor Korshkov and David Warsofsky. #LeafsForever
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) February 15, 2021
That’s right, Alex Galchenyuk is a Leaf! Galchenyuk has struggled to find a permanent home in the league, and there are rumours about his extra-curricular activities playing a role. The Leafs development team thinks they can work with him. We’ll see what happens!
And just today, the Leafs made their first move to get him in the lineup:
#Leafs recalled newly acquired Alex Galchenyuk to their Taxi Squad from the AHL yesterday.
However, because Galchenyuk's cap hit is less than the $1.075M buried threshold, he will not count against Toronto's cap unless he's recalled to the Active Roster.https://t.co/BPt2vFET34 https://t.co/uMoxDVAYlw
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) February 17, 2021
Might not be long before we see him in a Leafs jersey during a game!
The amazing Katie Strang published an absolutely astonishing expose detailing the chaos behind closed doors in the Arizona Coyotes organization. Over the past few months they’ve been featured in this column multiple times, and Katie ties it all together brilliantly:
Dysfunction in the desert: Finger-pointing, fear and financial woes roil the Coyotes organization https://t.co/DHl8F9zTuQ
— Katie Strang (@KatieJStrang) February 16, 2021
Give it a read, because the level of detail and research that went into this is incomparable.
Of course, the organization responded with vague references to potential legal action:
The @ArizonaCoyotes release a statement on @KatieJStrang's piece today, claiming that The Athletic has "for several months, has condoned a harassment campaign against Mr. Alex Meruelo, the Arizona Coyotes, the Meruelo Group and dozens of current employees and former employees." pic.twitter.com/Lw934U4TOo
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) February 16, 2021
And so the saga continues…
The NHL welcomed a new baby this week, as Roman Josi and his wife brought their little boy into the world:
Congratulations to the Josi family on the birth of Luca James Josi! 💛 pic.twitter.com/5RqTdvOd0x
— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) February 13, 2021
And Gritty is going to be an uncle again! Claude Giroux and his wife are expecting baby number two:
happy valentine’s day 🤗 pic.twitter.com/i4VAb7jGxG
— Ryanne Giroux (@ryannegiroux) February 14, 2021
COVID concerns continue to plague the league, with games postponed and players sidelined daily. Sometimes, even during games:
To recap: the NHL became aware during a game that one of its players had tested positive for COVID-19 and removed him, but allowed the game to continue. None of his teammates were placed on the Covid list, which includes "required quarantine as a high-risk close contact"
— Justin Emerson (@J15Emerson) February 10, 2021
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) February 10, 2021
Ryan Kesler and Kevin Bieksa had some fun during hockey night in Canada:
Usually it’s by his bed side 🤪 https://t.co/IUH24oixrO
— Ryan Kesler (@Ryan_Kesler) February 14, 2021
This is the kind of content we’re here for!
And Leaf Zach Bogosian wished his dad a happy birthday, while we looked on respectfully:
Holy shit, Bogo's dad……. 👀 pic.twitter.com/9ah3CUTiYL
— Pamela Voorhees (but actually Jen) (@PamelaVoorhee10) February 10, 2021
And finally – we have launched a TLN podcast! Join us every other week as managing editor Jon Steitzer and I talk Toronto hockey, and are joined by members of the TLN crew and other special guests! You can find us on soundcloud, Spotify, and Apple.
See you next week!