Nick Paul has a decision to make and is running out of time to do so. The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reports that progress on a new contract for the impending UFA is still lacking and that Paul appears to be the one dragging his feet. Both Paul and the Ottawa Senators have publicly stated interest in an extension, but with just eight days until the NHL Trade Deadline there has been nothing new on that front. A hard-working, two-way forward, Paul has earned the respect of his teammates and coaches as well as the fans in Ottawa. As the Senators look to take a step forward as a club, they do not want to allow homegrown talent to walk away. However, if Paul cannot give them any assurance by the deadline, GM Pierre Dorion and company will have little choice but to make a trade. Paul is drawing considerable interest and the rebuilding Senators would gain valuable capital in a move. They would prefer to keep him, but that decision remains out of their hands so long as Paul cannot make a commitment to a new contract.
- Another impressive Hughes is heading to Michigan; however, this one has no relation to Quinn or Luke. The Wolverines have received a commitment from record-breaking AJHL scorer T.J. Hughes, as announced by his current team, the Brooks Bandits. At 20 years old, Hughes is an older prospect and college commit, but has earned his spot with an elite program like Michigan this season. Hughes just completed a 66-goal, 127-points season in just 60 games – an incredible 2.12 points per game. It was the most goals in a single season in Brooks history, as well as a top-ten historical mark in the AJHL and the first 60+ goal season in the league since before the turn of the century. As the star-studded Wolverines continue to chase an NCAA title this season, their incoming classes also continue to grow more and more impressive. Meanwhile, the Bandits are a juggernaut in the AJHL as the playoffs begin. The team holds the top seed in the postseason and each of the top four scorers in the league. They will look to make the most of Hughes’ efforts before he departs for Ann Arbor.
- The Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association is closing in on the formation of a fully-funded league. Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek reports that the PWHPA is nearing an announcement of a women’s league that would be the first of its kind in terms of financial backing and sponsor support. The PWHPA represents players that broke off from the PHF (and its previous iterations) and has only been operating as showcases to this point, but a change seems to be on the horizon. Of note, Marek does not believe that this newly-constructed league has any association with the PHF and the two will likely exist separately as competing leagues. Additionally, there is no evidence as of yet to suggest that the NHL is tied in to this new league either.
What is a “fully funded” league…exactly?
Most leagues selling tickets and TV rights and merchandise and “fully fund” their leagues that way.
Perhaps I’ve underestimated these women’s ability to guilt trip sponsors into creating a league where it’s success off the ice is completely disconnected from whether anyone wants to watch it.
With as many “woke” corporations as there are, it really shouldn’t be too difficult to get them to fund a financial failure such as this. As long as corporations can virtue signal off of this venture, then they’re all in.