Playoff Picture Finally Set

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The 2016-17 NHL regular season has officially ended, which means we are finally in playoffs. After an interesting regular season, there are some new faces in the playoff picture this year, and some new match ups. The first round will go as follows.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Nashville Predators

Minnesota Wild vs. St. Louis Blues

Anaheim Ducks vs. Calgary Flames

Edmonton Oilers vs. San Jose Sharks

Montreal Canadiens vs. New York Rangers

Ottawa Senators vs. Boston Bruins

Washington Capitals vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

The teams in bold are obviously the teams that I think will move onto the next round. Of course the Pittsburgh Penguins are a team that no matter what, I have to root for, but teams like the Capitals and Blackhawks should breeze through the first round.

The long shot for me will be the Edmonton-San Jose series and the Montreal-New York…

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Kyle Okposo Hospitalized

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It has been a scary week for the NHL family and fandom. After the frightening incident that took place during the Flyers and Devils where Flyers goalie Michael Neuvirth collapsed on the ice, the league is dealing with another frightening health emergency. It has been announced that Buffalo Sabres forward Kyle Okposo has been hospitalized for an undiagnosed illness.

Although not much information has been shared with the public, we do know that Okposo is in a neurological ICU for said illness. Coach Dan Bylsma was quoted saying that Kyle is “very sick and ill.” Of course information is being withheld with respect for his family, but the lack of information and facts is a bit alarming as a fan. With how the NHL works, a players injury will usually be announced to fans, especially if it is serious or long term. The fact that we really don’t know anything…

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NHL Officially Not Competing in Olympics

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After weeks and months of speculation and debates, Gary Bettman has officially announced that the NHL will not be taking part in the 2018 Winter Olympics. The controversial announcement comes after plenty of debate regarding the safety of NHL players as well as the money aspect of having to take off from two weeks of NHL games.

The NHL owners may be happy but the players are less than thrilled. Players like Alex Ovechkin and Gabriel Landeskog have expressed their plans to go and compete in the Olympics regardless of the owner’s stands.

Other players have talked to media outlets about their thoughts on how this decision effects the sport and their countries.

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News From Around the League

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Besides notifications of what teams are going to the Playoffs, it has been a rather slow NHL news week. With there not being a specific big story that I could write a whole blog post about, I decided to do things a bit differently and just talk about some of the headlines in hockey this week.

NHL Going to China

As I spoke about last week, the NHL is attempting to grow the game by traveling around the world to play their games. Already announced was the two games next season to be played by the Colorado Avalanche and Ottawa Senators in Stockholm, Sweden. The latest announcement from the league is that they are heading to China. The games, which will be preseason games, will be played between the Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks in Beijing and Shanghai on September 21 and 23. This latest announcement is made in…

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Patrik Elias Set To Retire

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After twenty seasons in the NHL, New Jersey Devil Patrik Elias has announced his plans to retire. After nearly an entire season spent on the sidelines due to a knee injury, Elias will take to warm-ups for the last time in his career at the Devil’s final home game of the season on April 8 against rival, the New York Islanders.

Spending his entire career with the Devils’ organization, Elias has been intertwined in their history forever. Winning two Stanley Cups with the team, as well as being the all time point, goal and assist leader in the teams history makes it so even if he is not playing, he will always be part of the team. To make sure he knows this and all the fans due as well, the Devils have already announced plans to retire his number, 26, with a ceremony some time next season.

As a…

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US Women’s National Team Will Compete in Championship

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After days and days of negotiations and boycotts, the Women’s National team has finally reached an agreement with USA Hockey. It was announced that the Women would be boycotting the upcoming championships, which are taking place on home soil, due to pay issues.

After banding together with the current team as well as women who are in the USA hockey system, the ladies decided they wanted to take a stand and demand they be paid livable wages as well as more funding into developmental programs, something that has been seriously lacking. After negotiations that weren’t up to the women’s standards, the stalemate continued until finally USA hockey caved and gave the women what they wanted.

Not only did the women receive higher pay wages, they were also given a spot on the board of the organization. With having a seat on the board, the women will have a say in…

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NHL Unlikley To Compete in Olympics

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As talked about in an earlier post, the NHL executives are leaning towards not allowing NHL players to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics. With injuries being a point of concern in regards to NHL players competing in outside competition, it is no secret that owners want to protect their assets.

In more recent talks the issue of insurance regarding players has come into play. With players traveling and competing in the games, NHL teams and commissioners are forced to take out insurance on their players in case of injury or any other issues. With how many NHL players compete in the games, the cost of insurance adds up. As these concerns have arose, it seems like the NHL isn’t willing to sport the money, especially when they will have to put the season on hold for two weeks, which in turn means no money coming in.

Although I can…

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