While vaccination rates continue to grow across the NHL’s 32 cities, it doesn’t seem as if one of the staples of the offseason won’t be happening this year either. Player agent Andy Scott of Octagon Hockey told Postmedia’s Bruce Garrioch that he doesn’t expect Development Camps to be held due to the various travel and quarantine restrictions. To that end, some rookie tournaments could also potentially be in jeopardy or will need to be shortened unless things open up considerably over the next couple of months. It will be a compressed summer schedule with the draft and free agency being later in July but there could be a couple of notable events that are absent from the usual offseason calendar.
Elsewhere around the hockey world:
- The IIHF announced that they have made several changes to their rulebook in an attempt to amalgamate those used in the NHL and various international leagues. Among the changes that will be noticeable is the institution of the trapezoid behind the net, expanded video review and challenge options, plus the adaptation of the NHL’s offside rule which allows for a player to be onside as long as the skate is over the plane of the blue line instead of having to have the skate touch the line. These changes will be in effect for the Women’s Worlds which were recently moved to Calgary in late August as well as the upcoming Olympic qualification tournaments.
- The Panthers intend to have 2020 top pick Anton Lundell at training camp in the fall, GM Bill Zito told David Furones of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. The center was picked 12th overall and is coming off a strong season with HIFK in the SM-liiga while being Finland’s leading scorer at the World Championships. It’s worth noting that Lundell has not yet signed his entry-level deal but with Zito’s comments, it appears they expect to get him signed by then.
- Winger Justin Abdelkader was on Team USA’s entry at the Worlds before suffering a lower-body injury in their round robin victory over Germany. GM John Vanbiesbrouck told Detroit Hockey Now’s Kevin Allen that the veteran will need to have some work done to fix the injury which is speculated to be a knee issue. That could make it tougher for him to return to the NHL for next season which is his intention. The 34-year-old was productive with EV Zug in the Swiss League, notching eight points in nine regular season games plus nine more in 13 playoff contests.
This Justin, the IIHF is Abdelkating to boycott the Olympics.
I woke up early again to watch USA once again lose in the semi-finals at the World Championships. One of these years I’ll learn to just sleep in. :(