In their final game before being shut down, the Montreal Canadiens welcomed the Philadelphia Flyers to town. Things were going normally until the provincial government instructed that the game be played without fans. That caused “a lot of grumbling” according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, who writes that there is real worry about the reduced capacity in Canadian markets affecting the league’s revenue projections.
Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic adds that if the Canadiens are still not allowed to have fans at their home games in January, some of them could be rescheduled to later in the season. Montreal is set to return after the holiday break on a three-game road trip, before the Washington Capitals come to town on January 4.
- COVID-19 outbreaks are obviously not limited to the NHL, as many AHL teams have also seen players move in and out of the protocol throughout the year. One notable name today was Evander Kane, who entered the protocol along with Nick Cicek and Jasper Weatherby of the San Jose Barracuda. Kane, if you’d forgotten, has been playing in the AHL since his suspension ended last month and has eight points in five games with the Barracuda–the first five minor league games of his entire career. Now 30, Kane remains a potential trade candidate but he’ll have to isolate for the time being as he goes through the protocol.
- There won’t be many minor league transactions today as the league goes dark, but the Tampa Bay Lightning did sneak in one more before things closed. Andrej Sustr has been reassigned to the AHL for the break, saving the Lightning a few dollars. The 31-year-old has been used in spot duty throughout the year, playing eight games for Tampa Bay and 12 for the Syracuse Crunch.
“Kane, if you’d forgotten,…”
@Gavin – I “almost” had forgotten…not! Other sources want to keep him front and center. It’s like they *want* to trade him, or something. :)
With the way the Canadiens have shit the bed this year it may be best to shut it down completely.