NHL Week in Review (October 22-28)

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This week reality set in for a number of NHL fans who are looking ahead to February as the biggest international tournament in the world is coming.

That reality was the fact that the NHL will not be participating in that tournament and some fans got a glimpse of what that is about to look like.

Although the Olympic rosters have not been announced for any team and there is still a lot of time for players to find their way onto and off of that roster there was a glimpse this week.

The glimpse came when Team Canada revealed their roster for the Karjala Cup, a pre-Olympic tournament.

Normally this tournament and any of the other pre-Olympics tournaments aren’t talked about too much in an Olympic year.

They are run right in the middle of the NHL season and everyone knows that those rosters aren’t going to look similar to the Olympic rosters.

They are full of players outside of the league that won’t be making national rosters when the NHL players are invited to play.

That isn’t the case anymore as the NHL pulled out of the Olympics this year before the season began.

They will not take a few weeks off in the middle of the season and they won’t be allowing their players to participate in the tournament.

No NHL players in the Olympics means that there will be a very big difference in the level of players attending.

It won’t affect the majority of teams as many of them have always relied more on their local leagues than the NHL.

There are a few though that have always relied heavily on the NHL players with some using NHL players exclusively.

Teams like Canada and the USA are constantly made up of All-Star NHLers and as a result, they are constantly at the top of the international stage.

The same can be said, albeit to a lesser extent, for the Russians who rely on their star NHL talent but also look to the KHL to fill out their rosters.

Many of the other strong countries also look to the NHL for their top talent but the majority of their rosters are full of players from the KHL or other local leagues.

So when the NHL pulls out and takes their talent away from the biggest tournament in the world some teams are going to have to make some major adjustments.

There are many teams that will certainly lose their top players and that will hurt but for teams like Canada and the USA, they have lost their entire rosters.

It was seen clearly when the Canadian roster for the Karjala Cup was revealed because although these rosters never meant much before they mean everything now.

These pre-Olympic tournaments are no longer just forgotten games for the big teams, they are now tryouts for many forgotten players that were once NHL stars and are now playing in Europe.hockey-sidebar

Canada released their roster with familiar names like Justin Peters and Ben Scrivens in net as well as players like Wojtek Wolski, Mason Raymond and Derek Roy.

All of these players have spent time in the NHL at the top level but none were able to stay in the league for very long.

Now all are playing around the world and are still good players but they are not at the level of some of the best in the world that would have been a part of the Olympics.

Although this is not a final Olympics roster this is a sign of what the roster might look like when it comes to February and the Olympics start.

For some of these players, this is their chance to prove that they belong on the team as the competition to make the Canadian team is more wide open than it has ever been before.

Although the lack of NHL talent is not going to be the greatest for the talent level in the tournament it is going to make things interesting.

The NHL stars are no longer going to dominate and so the teams that have always relied on them will be tested more than ever.

Countries like Canada have always dominated these tournaments and have always been considered the best in the world at the sport.

They won’t have their best players but the tradition of hockey in the country is so much so that they have a lot of options.

The question is whether or not they are deep enough to actually be as good as they have been over the past decade.

If they are going to be that good they will need to rely heavily on many of the players that are on the roster right now.

It makes everything more important as the Olympics are approaching and these pre-Olympic tournaments will be watched more than ever with an interesting Olympic year coming up.

Overtime

Looking for a Change

He was one of the first players to be announced as a member of the Vegas Golden Knights as Vadim Shipachyov was signed from Russia to fill out a new roster. It hasn’t worked out for the Russian though as he didn’t make the roster out of camp and was sent to the AHL. It clearly wasn’t what he was looking for in his first year in the NHL and so he wants out and the Knights seem to be fine with that after their strong start. This week the Knights granted him permission to seek a trade as the second Knight ever might be gone in a few weeks.

Bad Starts

Sometimes bad starts are expected and other time they come out of nowhere and this season there is a little of both. Although the Vegas Golden Knights were supposed to be the struggling team not many are completely surprised that Arizona is one of the worst teams in the league. They have struggled in a different fashion though as they have only amassed one point all season so far. The more surprisingly bad team is the Montreal Canadiens who have put together one of the worst seasons in franchise history putting panic into the fanbase.

Goalie Shortage

There are always injuries in any season but this season seems to be seeing a strange amount of injured goalies. The Vegas Golden Knights could be the worst hit as their top two goaltenders have been injured leaving them playing catch up, but still winning. They aren’t alone as Arizona, Boston, Florida and New Jersey are all looking to back-ups right now. That is a bad trend for many teams as any injury is a big one but a goalie is one of the most important positions in the game and losing a start could change everything.

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