Wednesday NHL Roundup! Taylor Hall was traded from the New Jersey Devils to the Arizona Coyotes for three prospects, a conditional first rounder and a third round pick. The Devils also retain 50% of Hall’s salary. I’m a bit skeptical about how this will turn out for both teams. First of all, and this is more a general comment than on the trade – What The Fuck New Jersey? You were supposed to be a contender, and appeared to make every effort to get this team into contention. The Goalies have been putting up historically bad numbers. I mean, there’s no excuse there. Cory Schneider has completely forgotten how to play nets and somehow taught young up and comer Mackenzie Blackwood the same thing. Prized offseason acquisition PK Subban has done everything in his power to prove his legions of detractors right. AS a big PK fan and someone who prized him as a sleeper in drafts I could not be more disappointed. The development of their 2 first overall pick centres Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier has completely stalled. They are have the league’s 30th ranked powerplay and 23rd ranked penalty kill. With the current firestorm of coaches getting fired under #metoo like circumstances it’s clear John Hynes was fired for 100% Hockey Reasons. If I were a Devils fan or management I’d have been looking for some sort of method to fire him even harder.
I’m not sold on the Arizona Coyotes. Maybe I just hate them for political reasons and my bias is showing. As a fan of the most successful team financially we lead the league in upsetting stats like transfer payments. The Coyotes being a steward of the league meant that money I paid for Leaf related reasons tended to end up directly in the pockets of the Coyotes organization. It’s less painful in the salary cap era – but I hate the salary cap too, as it takes away any advantages the Leafs might have for propping up the whole league’s economy. Then there’s other points like why are teams in the Sun Belt, why does Gary Bettman hate Canada, why did the league prop up the Coyotes when they weren’t financially viable, whose idea were those hideous Picasso jerseys – it goes on and on. I just kinda low-key hate the Coyotes. So maybe I’m biased when I say I think they’re this year’s Flash in the Pan team. The Blue Jackets were like that on and off before this offseason when most of their talent up and left. Florida and their cartoonishly lethal powerplay was the case a few years back. Ottawa was a few minutes away from a Stanley Cup appearance and turned into a dumpster fire seemingly overnight. I think Arizona will be the next case. They’ll make a solid playoff appearance, maybe the second round – then they’ll get murdered and miss the playoffs next year. The Yotes are currently sit first in the Pacific and tied with Pittsburgh and Carolina for 6th in the NHL, but ask Tampa Bay, Toronto and Calgary about how much last year’s success is worth.
The New York Islanders are having a ceremony to retire the numbers of John Tonelli and Butch Goring. I gotta tell ya, the timing of this is incredibly suspect. Tonelli wore #27, which is the number of current Islanders Captain Anders Lee. Isn’t that a bit insulting to Lee? Goring on the other hand, wore #91. I really think that raising JT and #91 into the rafters is a shot at John Tavares. There’s quite a few Islander fans online that agree. Goring wore #91 and was part of the dynasty teams. However, he was never the Captain and his totals (332 GP, 87 G, 108 A, 195 pts) pale in comparison to Tavares (669 GP, 272 G, 349 A, 621 pts). Tavares is 5th in All Time scoring on the Isle behind only the catalysts of the Islanders 80s Dynasty – Bryan Trottier, Mike Bossy, Denis Potvin and Clark Gillies – all of whose numbers are already retired. He’s ahead of Tonelli as well.
Unrelated – Mike Bossy never quite gets his due in Hockey history.