Last week was quite a busy one around the NHL. Here are five prominent stories from the week that was.
1) Coyotes Announce New Arena Deal: After years of reports of potential relocation not to mention their arena deal in Glendale getting ripped up a couple of years back, there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel. The Coyotes announced an arrangement with Arizona State University that will see a new 16,000-plus seat arena built within the district along Tempe Town Lake with the target of being ready for the 2019-20 NHL season. In the meantime, the team is expected to come to terms on a short-term lease extension in Glendale for the next couple of years while their new facility is being built.
2) Steven Stamkos Out Long-Term: The Lightning will be without their captain for the bulk of the season after he suffered a torn meniscus on Tuesday against the Red Wings. He underwent surgery and is expected to miss at least the next four months. While Tampa Bay can conceivably place him on long-term injury reserve to open up some cap space to get a temporary replacement, this is still a big blow for Tampa Bay and Stamkos, who was off to a strong start this season with 20 points in 17 games.
3) Johnny Gaudreau Out Six Weeks: The Lightning weren’t the only team struck with the injury bug this past week as Gaudreau, Calgary’s leading scorer last season, suffered a broken finger against the Wild on Monday. He underwent successful surgery and will be out for at least the next six weeks. The injury came from a slash, one of 21 that he received against Minnesota alone.
4) Senators Waive Andrew Hammond; Clears: After reportedly declining a conditioning stint in the AHL upon being green lighted to return from a lower body injury, Ottawa placed Hammond on waivers on Saturday; he went unclaimed earlier today. He’s off to a slow start this season with a 0-1-0 record with a 4.50 goals against average and a .793 save percentage in two appearances while Mike Condon, acquired as goaltending insurance earlier, has impressed in his three games.
5) NHL Discussing Change To Draft Age: A group of representatives across the various North American hockey leagues met to discuss a new player development model. Among the discussions was the possibility of raising the minimum draft age by one year from 18 to 19. The proposal also includes an exceptional status provision, similar to one that junior teams in the Canadian Hockey League currently have. Nothing has been ratified as of yet as everything is still in the exploratory stage but this could be something to keep an eye on down the road.
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