Here’s my thoughts as we think about good nicknames for the NHL Seattle franchise while thanking Las Vegas for setting the bar so low in the category of nicknames.
*Will Seattle be the next NHL outpost? Feel free to put money on it. From a business standpoint, the league has no presence in northwestern United States (i.e. Oregon, Washington state) and Seattle is a growing city with a strong young professional base. Lots of corporate opportunities, lots of millennials with money to spend and socializing to do. Free agents will want to play there, and most importantly, players will want to live there. It’s the 14th-largest television market in the U.S., and would be the 12th-largest should it become one of the what would be the Original 32. From a logistical standpoint, the conference balance (including Las Vegas) is 16 east, 15 west. So it would make sense just to put a 16th team out west. That being said, it would be just as easy to put either Columbus or Detroit back in the Western Conference.
*One other expansion note – it’s time to give serious consideration to Houston as a potential NHL city.
*Hockey’s collective breath stopped just a couple weeks ago when it was learned Sidney Crosby suffered another concussion. The worst was feared. We hoped for the best. Thankfully, it appears – for now – we got what we hoped for, with Sid back on the ice on Tuesday night, a 3-2 Penguins win over Florida. It didn’t look like he missed a beat. His first goal of the season helped key the rally from 2-0 down to win the game.
*Poor Leafs fans. Riding the high of highs, its self-esteem as a fanbase as high as it had been since the days of Mats Sundin. Then once-primed-to-wear-a-Toronto-uniform Steven Stamkos comes into ACC and puts up a four-point night as the Lightning beat the Maple Leafs, 7-3.
*Stamkos now has 18 goals and 38 points in 31 games against Toronto.
*Calgary has wins over Chicago and St. Louis following a 1-4-1 start. The Flames will want to make it a habit of playing good teams hard; Ottawa (4-2 to start), Washington, Chicago, and San Jose await on the horizon.
*Patric Hornqvist does work down below the goal line. It was his strength on the forecheck that set up Crosby’s goal. A lot of Pittsburgh’s offense is generated by winning puck battles down low. It’s a big part of what makes him such a good asset.
*Nice to see Travis Konecny get his first career goal.
*Joel Eriksson Ek had three assists in Minnesota’s 5-0 win over Boston on Tuesday night, the second-youngest player to score three points in a game for the Wild, according to Elias. The youngest was 19-year-old Marian Gaborik in October 2001.
*Taylor Hall accounts for five of the 13 goals New Jersey has scored this season.
*Vancouver is 0-2-1 since jumping out to a 4-0 start to the season.
The latest hurdle cleared in the bid to get an arena built in Seattle, bringing the hopes of an NHL team in Seattle that much closer to a reality.
For those of you awaiting a team in Seattle – go check out the Thunderbirds of the WHL.
Elliotte Friedman shares his 30 thoughts of the week on all things hockey.
Another look into the early uptick in scoring across the league and what is causing it.
Ben Bishop continues to sit in limbo down in Tampa Bay.
Auston Matthews and William Nylander are finding instant chemistry in Toronto.