The first significant day of the NHL’s new calendar for the upcoming 2021 season is upon us as today is the deadline for NHL players to voluntarily opt-out of the season, according to TSN’s Frank Seravalli.
If a player wants to opt-out of the season, they must provide written notice to the league seven days before training camp starts, which means that the deadline has already passed for the seven non-playoff teams which start their training camps on Thursday. However, the rest of the league has until the end of the day today, if they don’t want to participate in the upcoming season.
Waivers are next, with it beginning Monday for the new season.
- With many teams struggling to move out salary this year without requiring to include a sweetener to get the deal done, there were quite a few people surprised when the Ottawa Senators took on the contract of Derek Stepan last night and instead of receiving some type of sweetener, sent a second-round pick to Arizona instead. Quite a high price to pay. However, Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch points out that the move is very Ottawa-like as Stepan might have a $6.5MM cap hit for the upcoming season, but is only due $2MM in salary, as the Coyotes have already paid Stepan a $3MM salary bonus. The Senators have been well known to take on players who have less salary to be paid out than their cap hit. This trade is one of them.
- Speaking of Stepan, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun notes that there is going to be a bit of a delay for Stepan to report to training camp in Ottawa. Besides the 14-day quarantine that will require him to miss part of training camp, Stepan is also waiting for the pending birth of his child, meaning that the 30-year-old could very well miss the start of the regular season. LeBrun reports, however, that Stepan’s agent, Matt Oates, says that the veteran is excited about joining Ottawa’s team as a team leader and is eager to arrive.
- The IIHF will have a disciplinary committee hearing regarding the illegal hit to the head by Team Canada’s Braden Schneider vs. Germany’s Jan-Luca Schumacher, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie. A decision is expected before Canada’s game vs. Slovakia later today. Schneider, a 2020 first-round pick of the New York Rangers, could be suspended, considering the IIHF has a no-tolerance policy on hits to the head. He was issued a game misconduct after the incident. McKenzie adds that Austria’s Philipp Wimmer is also expected to receive a hearing after his hit against USA’s Patrick Moynihan. UPDATE: Schneider received a one-game suspension for the hit, according to the IIHF.