This week in the NHL…

March 2, 2014 the Vancouver Canucks will host the Ottawa Senators in an "outdoor" game held at BC Place Stadium.

March 2, 2014 the Vancouver Canucks will host the Ottawa Senators in an “outdoor” game held at BC Place Stadium.

Where will you be March 2, 2014 #CanuckNation? I know where I will be, watching our Vancouver Canucks take on the Ottawa Senators at B.C. Place Stadium!! Rumors became fact July 10th when it was OFFICIALLY announced that these two teams would be participating in the Stadium Series taking place throughout next season. The event will officially be titled “The 2014 Tim Horton’s Heritage Classic”. Interesting to think about heading into this game is the fact that while former Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson will not be participating in the Heritage Classic, as a current member of the Detroit Red Wings he will be participating in the WINTER CLASSIC vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs….oh the irony!

I’m curious to see what the jerseys for this event will look like…perhaps a throwback to their 1994 jerseys?[Am I the only who wants to see those make a comeback?!]

Here’s some highlights from a game a few years back featuring these two teams to keep you entertained while we wait for October & this Heritage Classic:

This off-season has seen more than one surprising announcement from the Canucks trading Cory Schneider to Daniel Alfredsson leaving the Ottawa Senators. This week has seen the New Jersey Devils return to spotlight as forward Ilya Kovalchuk announced July 10th that he is retiring from the NHL after 11 seasons. This announcement comes just 3 years into his 15-year $100 million contract that he signed when he decided to remain with the Devils organization permanently. Over his 11-year career Kovalchuk amassed 816 points in 816 games [417 goals, 399 assists] scoring 30+ goals 9 times playing the Atlanta Thrashers[now Winnipeg Jets] and the New Jersey Devils. This announcement seems to have been a shock to the New Jersey franchise who probably expected him to play at least 5 or 6 more years given that he is only 30. He played a huge part in helping the Devils on their Stanley Cup playoff run in 2012 in which they finished as the runners up to LA…he came VERY close. It leaves many to question what could have been as his play on the ice could be polarizing. It has been speculated that while he has retired from the NHL, it is highly possible he could join the KHL.

Is anyone else stumped how Boston & Pittsburgh keep signing multiple players to BIG money & LONG term contracts? The Bruins recently signed Rask to an 8-year contract [$56 million] after he more than earned his contract with the year he had. They also announced the extension of Patrice Bergeron to an 8-year extension [$6.5 million cap hit]. Add Iginla’s 1-year $6 million contract and that’s nearly $20 million just on THREE players. Look and Penguins who have many players on long-term deals that curiously seem to match their salary cap hit to their jersey numbers in many cases. How can they even have any cap space left?!

Oh hey speaking of Boston…did you hear everyone’s favourite Tea Party member Tim Thomas has come out of hiding to announce that he wants to hear offers from teams in an attempt to comeback to the NHL next season. Any takers?  Anyone? He’s known to be an incredible athlete when called upon, has won a few vezinas, a Conn Smythe, and a Stanley cup….BUT he has been known to also make controversial statements and decisions that cause social media to go crazy. Wherever Thomas ends up will be interesting mostly due to the fact that he spent last season suspended for not reporting to camp and opting to sit out the final year of his contract with Boston. While I have never been a fan of Thomas, I can appreciate that regardless of statements he has made…he has been known to be an incredible goal-tender and is capable to help any team win.

This off-season has been more than interesting to say the least and more surprises and expected announcements are sure to be coming. Some days it feels like the off-season will last forever and others it feels like October is right around the corner.Soon there will be official pre-season and regular season schedule released, so here’s to the summer that will end before we know it!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

P.S. It looks like @strombone1 has returned to his humorous ways with twitter[if you don’t follow him yet, you should as he’s one of the best to follow!]…welcome back LOU!!

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