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Last Week in Hockey: November 15

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Is 2020 the quietest offseason ever?

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at Toronto Maple Leafs Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Sunday all, hope everyone has had a great weekend. We are currently getting locked down further in Alberta, so I know I didn’t get up to too much. So this is called Last Week in Hockey, but this edition is much more of a last “month” in hockey. Thanks for staying patient – I was able to enjoy some cabin time and disconnect from the internet and work for a while.

So, what happened in hockey over the last month?

Disgraced college hockey player dropped by Coyotes

The Arizona Coyotes, who have a million draft and recruitment-related issues right now, made their first pick of the 2020 draft in the fourth round. Who did they select? Mitchell Miller, a young man with a serious conviction under his belt already. What did he do? Miller was convicted of bullying and tormenting a young, disabled Black teen.

There are a variety of issues with the Coyotes drafting this player based on his case. First of all, the judge who convicted him basically said he showed no remorse for his actions. He’s obviously released an apologetic statement, which is basically his lawyer’s writing. This kid wrote 31 apology letters to each NHL team ahead of the draft, explaining his actions and restitution, assumedly, but has yet to apologize to the young man he tormented.

The Coyotes should not have drafted him in the first place, due to this conviction and the lack of remorse shown by Miller. He needs to work on himself, and learn that there are consequences for his actions. The ONLY reason they cut him was because of public backlash, not because of their “investigation”. A bad look for the organization and NHL.

An all-Canadian division may be starting the 2020-21 season

As COVID-19 continues to spread in the United States and Canada, it’s looking less and less likely that teams will be welcome to come across the Canadian border, based on its strict quarantine rules.

With that in mind, it looks as though the seven Canadian teams will form their own division north of the border. Here’s what some players had to say about that re-alignment.

My best guess at those division standings would be...

  1. Toronto – They only got better this offseason and have been a top 10 team the past few years. Thornton and Brodie were underrated signings in my opinion.
  2. Edmonton – While the Oscar Klefbom loss is a big one for the Oilers defence group, and this is assuming Ethan Bear gets signed, but I think our boys will be a top team in this division. Barrie, Turris, Kahun, Pujuljarvi and Ennis for a full season will create a very competitive team in the NHL. I still think they might need another penalty kill specialist.
  3. MontrealCarey Price, a new solid backup, a good D-core (when healthy) and the new additions of Josh Anderson and Tyler Toffoli will have the Habs competing with the two teams above it.
  4. Calgary – Got better in net (honestly happy the Oilers avoided that Markstrom contract), but became weaker in their defence group. Net result between better goaltending and weaker defence will be... the same.
  5. Vancouver – A team once poised to take over the Pacific division has taken a step back. They lost Markstrom, Tanev and Toffoli, without really replacing them (besides Holtby, who has had poor results).
  6. Winnipeg – Blah. What’s there to be excited about here? Probably the same results as last year. Laine will get flipped sooner rather than later.
  7. Ottawa – Added a lot of pieces and top-end young talent this year. I don’t think they will make playoffs, but I don’t think they will be a lottery favourite either.

What do you think?

Emily Cave still not able to properly put Colby to rest

As if we needed another reason to take COVID-19 seriously, but it was recently revealed that Emily Cave has been unable to put her late husband, Oiler Colby Cave, to rest yet. People, please take it seriously if we ever want to return to some semblance of a normal life.

MacTavish loving life in the Swiss Alps

Former Oiler (player, coach, general manager, VP, etc) Craig MacTavish has been coaching Lausanne, Switzerland for the past little while, and his new life seems incredibly peaceful. I know there are many who dislike MacTavish, and I agree to an extent. He wasn’t a good GM, but I always enjoyed him as our head coach. His team is currently in first (though they are all in quarantine at the moment, due to two positive COVID tests recently).

Current state of the Edmonton Oilers

  • Loved the Dominik Kahun signing. Wherever he plays in the Top 9 of the Oilers, he will be a welcome addition to the line up. Excited to see what he can do.
  • With not much else out there to talk about, there’s been some speculation about the results for the Oilers in the coming season. It will be a weird year, but I’m cautiously optimistic.
  • We need to get Ethan Bear signed. Apparently from the last anyone’s heard though, there’s nothing on that front at the moment. I’m thinking it will be a short-term, cheap pact in the range of 1 x $1.25M, though Holland still needs to do some cap work to make that happen.
  • The Oilers will be unveiling their new retro jerseys soon. Based on some of the mockups, I think these could be a new favourite amongst Oiler fans.

As always, please comment or let me know if there’s new topics you wanted to see covered. Have a great week!