It’s 2020 still, so there is more disappointing COVID-19 news to pass along. The Boston University men’s hockey program has paused all activity after a positive test result, canceling the upcoming game against UConn in the process. The positive test was from the team’s Tier 1 personnel, but the identity of the player, coach, manager, or support staff has not been revealed.
Though stoppages like this are not unexpected, it is frustrating for prospect watchers looking forward to seeing some of the best young players in the country at BU. The team is loaded with NHL prospects that need as much development time as they can get over the next few months.
- Eric Stephens of The Athletic (subscription required) took a look forward to the 2021 offseason and ranked some of the pending unrestricted free agents into tiers, with Alex Ovechkin coming in at the very top of the “elite” category. No one really believes that the legendary forward will play anywhere outside of Washington (at least in the NHL), but his negotiation is still an interesting one to keep an eye on. Now 35, he hasn’t shown any real sign of slowing down—in fact, Ovechkin was on a 58-goal pace this year had the season been a regular 82-game schedule. That would have been the second-best goal-scoring season of his career, a point almost unbelievable this far into it. The rest of the free agent list is just as interesting, with several “affordable” names popping off the page as potential steals.
- The Minnesota Wild should have a new captain soon, as GM Bill Guerin told media today including Sarah McLellan of the Star-Tribune that the team will “have something done before training camp.” The Wild allowed Mikko Koivu to leave in free agency after wearing the “C” for more than a decade in Minnesota, but Guerin has spoken before about the need to have someone take over the role this year. There are plenty of candidates, including defensemen Ryan Suter and Jared Spurgeon, who are both still under contract for at least another five years.