The IIHF held its annual press conference shortly before the semifinals of the 2019 World Championships and the most interesting question asked of IIHF President Rene Fasel was about NHL participation at the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Fasel said that much of that will depend on the NHL’s upcoming CBA negotiations, which is expected to expire in 2021-22 season, although either the NHL or the NHLPA can choose to opt out in September of this year.
“I had a short discussion with [NHLPA Executive Director] Don Fehr yesterday,” said Fasel. “It is important for the game of ice hockey, 100 per cent. We should show our product at the highest level. I’m happy that 119 NHL players are here (at the World Championships). And they don’t come for the money, they come to represent their countries and end the season in a good atmosphere.”
Fasel said that he would like to get confirmation of NHL participation as soon as possible, but has not set a deadline.
- Now that the Carolina Hurricanes season is over, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman on his 31 Thoughts column reports that one player who was unhappy and wanted a trade was defenseman Brett Pesce. The 24-year-old blueliner was unhappy earlier in the season when he was seventh on the team in ice-time, playing 1:31 minutes less than his 2017-18 totals. However, his ice time increased after New Year’s Day as he averaged 21:20, which was third on the team only behind Jaccob Slavin and Justin Faulk. His playoff numbers were even higher, which has appeased Pesce and should end any trade talk. Friedman adds that the team will most likely trade defenseman Haydn Fleury instead this summer as he is no longer waiver-eligible and the team would almost guaranteed lose him if he couldn’t win a roster spot.
- The Winnipeg Jets locked up their backup goaltender, restricted free agent Laurent Brossoit, to a one-year, $1.225MM contract earlier today. After struggling in an earlier stint in his career in Edmonton, the goaltender said that signing with the Jets was a priority due to his friendship with fellow goaltender Connor Hellebuyck. “There’s only one other guy that you can relate to on a full level,” Brossoit said (via Jets’ TV host Jamie Thomas). “For it to be with a friend, same age, similar interests and we get along very well. Just makes a season that much more enjoyable.”