Thursday Chat: Could Any Leafs Players Go To The Olympics?
With the NHL announcing that it will not allow players to compete in the Olympics because the Omicron variant is already messing up hockey leagues and tournaments around the world, every country is now striving to assemble its best possible squads.
But some countries will have an easier time than others.
The rule, per one Darren Dreger tweetIt appears that players with an NHL contract are not allowed to participate. That means nobody like Cole Perfetti or Peyton Krebs who are in the AHL but in NHL deals. So that’s not just limited to players currently on an NHL roster, it can also include those in the AHL who have an NHL deal.
If that’s true, it doesn’t just mean the obvious choices like Auston Matthews aren’t going to the Olympics. With the Maple Leafs it can also be guys like Kristians Rubins who are in the AHL, but also have NHL contracts.
For North Americans, the best of a mix of NCAA players – who haven’t signed a professional contract yet – and old veterans who play in Europe remains. It can also include the AHL as long as the player has an AHL contract.
What is not clear is whether a prospect playing in Europe who has signed his ELC could participate. Pontus Holmberg, for example, is one of Sweden’s top professional players in the SHL. He would be a worthy player for Team Sweden … but he has signed an ELC.
But it means that guys like Topi NiemelÃ¤, who is one of the top professional defenders in Finland’s Liiga this year, could play completely free for Finland – he hasn’t signed an ELC yet. It also means that Matthew Knies, who is in the NCAA and one of the best newcomers, may have an outside perspective to play for Team USA. And wouldn’t that be fun! The WJC is denied due to COVID, just so that COVID gives them the opportunity to take part in the Olympic Games as young people.
However, Russia will absolutely win.
William Nylander takes the lead on points as Maple Leafs defeated Oilers 4-2 | by Hardev and Omara
UPDATE: More Toronto games postponed due to Covid and rescheduling reasons | from Katya
Morgan Rielly’s 200-foot Excellence, Trade Forward Goals, and Who Are The Leafs’ 12 Best Strikers When They Are Healthy? | from MLHS
DIFFERENT HOCKEY LINKS
Edmonton’s risky off-season schedule on the web is in crisis | from Sportsnet
Speaking of Edmonton’s goalkeeper … one of them wasn’t that happy to be thrown under the bus by his coach.
Mikko Koskinen on critics of Tippett, Medien: âIt’s not nice to be thrown under the bus. I have to get better, but at the same time we’ve scored 7 goals in my last 6 defeats. I can’t score goals. ” #LetsGoOilers #NHL https://t.co/GGxX8EKJnI
– Tommi SeppÃ¤lÃ¤ (@TommiSeppala) January 5, 2022
The Penguins and Blackhawks swung a trade yesterday.
The Habs hired a new vice president for communications.
There are rumors that the Canucks are buying their substitute goalkeeper. I know of another western conference team that could use it!
That is interesting. We discussed the show a bit, so I did a little poke around. I think the Canucks would consider trading Halak mainly because Demko will likely play a lot and the return should be decent for Jaro. The Bonus $ is likely part of the equation, but not the main reason. https://t.co/MnBJPPaJcE
– Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) January 5, 2022
Speaking of Canucks, they’ll be without one of their top stars due to COVID.
The Vancouver Canucks announced today that striker Elias Pettersson has been added to the NHL’s COVID-19 log.
– Canucks PR (@CanucksPR) January 6, 2022