In a post for ESPN.com published this morning, Craig Custance provides a wealth of information on a wide array of topics. The entire piece is well worth the read but here are several of the highlights.
- Custance relays an update on possible expansion into Quebec City, per comments from NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly. Daly said that while he would like to see the NHL return to Quebec, “hopefully at some point in my career,” there are currently no serious discussions of adding a 32nd team to the league. Daly: “We’ll recap the expansion process, but I don’t expect there will be any announcements on new expansion.” Further diminishing the chances of a Quebec entry any time in the near future, Daly also stated that despite the drawn out process, the Arizona Coyotes will “find a long-term arena in the Phoenix area,” thus eliminating any talk of possibly relocating the club. All together, the NHL is satisfied with 31 franchises and the existing geographical balance of those teams. While Daly’s comments appear to pour cold water on the idea of a Quebec franchise, it’s still a good possibility the league places a team there in the relatively near future.
- During the first period of Team North America’s win over Team Europe, former Avalanche VP of hockey operations and head coach Patrick Roy met with the media. Roy is said to have resigned his position due to philosophical differences with other members of management and a loss of influence in the front office. When asked whether the Avs choice not to seriously pursue winger Alexander Radulov in free agency was a contributing factor to his decision to leave the organization, Roy indicated that while he vouched for his former Quebec Remparts star and would like to see him one day play for Colorado, the final call was always Joe Sakic’s and that Roy “respected his decision.” Roy would later suggest that the team is giving more thought to using analytics in their decision-making and that also may have played a part in his decision to leave.
- Earlier today we touched on the lack of progress in talks between RFA Johnny Gaudreau and the Flames. But Gaudreau is far from the only remaining unsigned RFA of note. According to Custance, Winnipeg defenseman Jacob Trouba has not spoken to agent Kurt Overhardt since camp opened for the World Cup of Hockey. Custance also points out that one potential benefit to RFA’s participating in the tournament is the chance to further enhance their values with excellent performances at the tournament playing against many of the top players in the world. Trouba, for example, believes that he can fill a greater role with the Jets and if given a heave dose of responsibility with Team North America, perhaps he can prove to Winnipeg he is deserving of more ice time.