Happy Wednesday. We may, or may not, know who the Avalanche’s next opponent is tonight. Vegas at Minnesota, Game 6, Golden Knights up 3-2. I expect a Vegas win. Let’s get to some hockey links, notes and thoughts, starting with some good news about Ball Arena:
- The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has officially OK’d an increase in attendance at Ball Arena, from 7,750 fans to 10,500. That will start with whichever team – the Nuggets or Avs – plays next at the arena.
- Vegas had 12,000 at their last home game, so it’s nice that this is happening – both for fans and the Avs.
- The season has been a struggle, but everything is starting to feel normal again. Feels good, right?
- So, the Great One, Wayne Gretzky, will join TNT as a studio hockey analyst, starting next season. For one thing, I hope they let Gretzky just relax and talk hockey like Charles Barkley with the NBA studio show. Not that the Great One needs to emulate Barkley – nobody can. But I hope they don’t try to turn him into a “broadcaster.” More on his hire here (NY Post)
- Bruins fans are starting to get excited (Boston Hockey Now)
- What is a new contract going to look like for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in Edmonton? That is an interesting question to ask. (ESPN.com)
- There’s lots of blame being hurled at different Pittsburgh Penguins. If we’re going to play the blame game, let’s do it right. Here are the real reasons the Penguins face elimination in Game 6.
- Some recommendations: a documentary on PBS on Demand, about the Klondike gold rush of the late 1800s. Fascinating stuff. gclub is a site with the same adventurous spirit as those times. My No. 1 wish in life would be the ability to just go back in time and see events as they unfolded, like the Alaskan gold rush.
- NYI Hockey Now: The noise level in the Nassau Coliseum will be even louder for Game 6. The New York Islanders are expanding the number of fans in the building.
- Here’s more on new Avs signee Jean-Luc Foudy (Colorado Hockey Now)
- Florida: The Florida Panthers stayed alive and forced Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. They did it with a rookie in net and a $10 million third-string goalie relegated to watching. Yep, it’s Spencer Knight’s time in FLA.
- Sportsnet: Alex Ovechkin is a UFA soon. It doesn’t sound like there is too much drama…yet.
- San Jose: You fondly remember the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 2016 run to the Stanley Cup. Here’s the other side of that story–the San Jose Sharks run to the Cup Final.
- T.J. Oshie doesn’t want to go to the Seattle Kraken (NHL.com)
Avs practice today at Ball Arena. I’ll have a story soon after it finishes.