The Instigator Podcast 9.23 – Martin St. Louis Takes Over in Montreal

The Montreal Canadiens fired Dominique Ducharme and named Martin St. Louis as their interim head coach as they work through a very difficult season. We discuss the Habs’ decision to go with a somewhat unexpected hire for their interim coach and whether or not St. Louis will have the inside track to take over in a more permanent capacity. Tuukka Rask called it a career and we celebrate his career while bidding him adieu We also discuss the NHL All Star Game and NHL Skills Competition before closing the show with a brief conversation about the men’s and women’s hockey tournament at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

The Instigator Podcast 10.21 – Preparing for a Post Olympics Power Play

It’s been a busy week in the NHL and we open this week’s episode with a conversation over Aaron Dell’s suspension and the bind that it has put the Sabres in to with their goaltending. Not only do we discuss how the suspension affects the Sabres but the actions Dell took and if he was deserving of the penalty he received.

Along the way, we touch on the new hirings of Kent Hughes, Patrick Allvin and Émilie Castonguay. The Philadelphia Flyers’ recent exploits were also a topic as the club held a press conference addressing their current struggles and the path forward.

We wrap up with a discussion about Owen Power and Devon Levi’s future once the Olympics wrap up and just how they can fit into the Sabres roster after the Olympics, NHL Trade Deadline and the completion of their respective NCAA seasons.

The Instigator Podcast 10.16 – NHL Out of Olympics as COVID Spreads

The NHL has extended their Christmas holiday break in an attempt to curb the COVID outbreak that has swept through the league. The result of the postponed games officially put the NHL past the breaking point on Olympic participation and the league and player’s association are expected to make a formal announcement on the withdrawal from the 2022 games soon. We close this holiday edition of the show with a couple listener questions on the Sabres potential deadline moves and what the future might hold for Casey Mittelstadt.

A Solution to the NHL’s Olympic Problem

After the NHL ended nearly 20 years of Olympic participation at the 2018 PyeongChang games, they’re set to return to the 2022 games. At least for the time being.

The first COVID hiccup of the 2021-22 season has caused the Senators to postpone games and immediately set off alarm bells regarding the NHL’s ability to withdraw from the games should additional postponements occur. How this all proceeds depends on a whole lot of factors no one can predict. The current surge in COVID cases certainly doesn’t bode well for avoiding additional outbreaks and postponements. But there’s no way to know if and when exactly another outbreak could come.

This all puts a cloud of uncertainty around if players will ultimately play in Beijing as it sounds like the league is happy to find any excuse to avoid actual participation in the games. That’s disappointing for anyone who relishes the opportunity to watch the best-on-best tournament and savors the quadrennial event. Whether or not NHL players ultimately make the trip to China for the 22 games won’t be officially determined in January, but it seems likely that if another postponement or two occurs in November or December, the league would pull the plug.

Hopefully it doesn’t come to that and the league’s stars are able to represent their countries once again. A men’s tournament with NHL talent is the best possible outcome for the event and would ideally shed more light on the women’s tournament which will have Canada and the US on another gold medal collision course.

The issues with the NHL at the Olympics are well documented at this point. The league is not shy about advertising their position on the matter, though I can’t help but think their inability to capitalize on their participation has more to do with how they manage the event and less to do with shutting down for a period each Olympic cycle.

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