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[GDT] Around the NHL | January (09-15) 2022

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6 minutes ago, Coconuts said:

Sharks get the two points

Sharks just went through such a soft part of their schedule.


Coyotes, Flyers, Red Wings, Sabres, Flyers, Red Wings. Lol. Thats a lot of easy points.

They’ll start to fall down soon. They’ve got Rangers, Pens, Kings, Lightning, Caps, Panthers, Canes, Lightning. Basically our schedule but even worse.


California teams overachieving big time in the first half.


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1 minute ago, DeNiro said:

Sharks just went through such a soft part of their schedule.


Coyotes, Flyers, Red Wings, Sabres, Flyers, Red Wings. Lol. Thats a lot of easy points.

They’ll start to fall down soon. They’ve got Rangers, Pens, Kings, Lightning, Caps, Panthers, Canes, Lightning. Basically our schedule but even worse.


California teams overachieving big time in the first half.


Maybe, I've heard that about Anaheim for a while and they keep finding ways to get points more often than not 


They may slow down, but Alberta ain't going to keep losing forever either 


It's a competitive division where every game matters if the Canucks want to have a chance 

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1 minute ago, Coconuts said:

Maybe, I've heard that about Anaheim for a while and they keep finding ways to get points more often than not 


They may slow down, but Alberta ain't going to keep losing forever either 


It's a competitive division where every game matters if the Canucks want to have a chance 

Ducks are young and don’t know any better.

Lets see what happens when they face some adversity. So far their season has gone very smoothly for them.


Still over half a season to go.


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Just now, DeNiro said:

Ducks are young and don’t know any better.

Lets see what Halle a when they face some adversity. So far their season has gone very smoothly for them.


Still over half a season to go.

It has, but they've done well to give themself some cushion 


San Jose, Anaheim, LA, and Vegas have all been winning of late while Calgary and Edmonton are still ahead of us


It's a logjam, and any losing stretch for any team could be disastrous 


Half a season to go, but these teams don't all have a new president in evaluation mode, there's a chance we won't get half a season to see how things shake out if JR doesn't like what he sees over this next month and a bit


Time will tell 

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 The seldom classy Bobby Clarke goes off on former G.M.


Philadelphia Flyers franchise icon and senior advisor Bobby Clarke has always run his mouth at an elite rate, and on Tuesday he flexed those chops once again while utterly crushing former GM Ron Hextall.



On the latest episode of the Cam and Strick Podcast, Clarke blamed Hextall, who held the team's general manager position for a little over three seasons, for essentially everything wrong with the current roster. He pinned the somewhat miserable state of the franchise on Hextall's "huge mistakes" which, Clarke says, included some very questionable trades and draft choices, including the big one — passing on superstar defenseman Cale Makar.

Par for the course, Clarke did not mince words

"He alienated everybody right away. He shut his door, he locked the doors. He was the boss and nobody else was a part of it," Clarke said.


We get the second pick in the draft and we end up drafting Nolan Patrick. None of our scouts wanted Nolan Patrick. I don't know where Patrick should have gone after his performances in Brandon, he's a pretty good player, but they certainly wanted Makar. Of course he went next. Now he's a superstar and Patrick hasn't played ... but Hextall made that choice himself."

Patrick, the No. 2 overall pick behind Nico Hischier in 2017, was widely considered a flop in Philadelphia after tallying 70 points in 197 games while struggling to stay healthy over four seasons with the Flyers. They finally gave up on the former Brandon Wheat Kings star last summer when they traded him to Vegas for fellow former top prospect Cody Glass. Patrick has played in nine games with the Golden Knights this season, tallying just one goal and three points.

A tier-2 Jr. A star with the Brooks Bandits of the AJHL at the time, Makar slid to the Avalanche at No. 4 and played two seasons at UMass-Amherst before joining the Avalanche for the 2019 playoffs and hasn't looked back since. The now-23-year-old blueliner won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year, has already earned an All-Star game appearance (with a second surely to come this season), finished second in Norris Trophy voting last year, and is ripping up the stat sheet at nearly a point-per-game pace — in both the regular season and playoffs — which is absolutely unheard for a D-man, especially one this young.

And though that particular miss was of the unforgivable variety, Clarke insists it wasn't just one draft-day blunder that soiled Hextall's tenure with the Flyers. 

"There are other choices that were made in our draft that we're paying for. We've got two or three first-round picks that are never going to play. That's why we're struggling. Hexy made some huge mistakes," said Clarke, with zero F's left to give, before ripping into some of Hextall's other misfires — including some questionable trades.

“Our scouts were so mad at Hexy for doing [the Schenn deal],” Clarke said. “We also had a chance to get O’Reilly from Buffalo. We didn’t. Obviously that was the manager’s decision, but that was another one that the scouts weren’t consulted on.”

The Flyers currently sit sixth in the Metropolitan Division with a 13-15-7 record as of this writing. Hextall, meanwhile, was hired as the Pittsburgh Penguins' general manager last February. 


Haven't liked, or respected the guy since he broke Kharlamov's ankle; and his rant about the cancer stricken Roger Neilson was a final straw.

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1 hour ago, -Vintage Canuck- said:

This is a remarkable stat.



With Malkin and Letang pending UFAs, guess there's a chance the Kings players tie that record next year. However, Brown is also a pending UFA.

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24 minutes ago, 4petesake said:


Sad to see Bo Byram having ongoing concussion issues.




A story about his previous struggles;


Bowen Byram was sick of it. Sick of thinking he was better, only for symptoms to return. Sick of not being able to put everything into his offseason training. Sick of not feeling like himself.
The Avalanche defenseman called his mom one day this summer when the load got too heavy. He had felt totally out of it skating that morning. Months of frustration — of setbacks and symptoms and not knowing what was wrong — had built up. When Stacey Byram answered, he confessed a growing worry: that his career was slipping away.
“What am I going to do now?” he remembers asking. “I can’t play hockey anymore.”
Sitting in his Toyota Tacoma in Vancouver, where he trains during the offseason, he was a worn-down 20-year-old, struggling and scared. He’d never suffered a serious injury before the 2020-21 season, but in his first full year as an NHL player, he’s dealt with multiple concussions, vertigo and COVID-19, all of which have limited him to only 30 games.
At times over the summer, Byram didn’t know what symptoms were caused by what. His medical situation was perplexing, and the recovery process hasn’t been fun. The family thought at various times they were done with it, and then something else would go wrong.
Now, after it finally looked like he weathered the worst of his problems, an errant elbow has thrown him back on the roller coaster once again.

Byram, who often sports a youthful grin, is confident and chatty when he feels like himself. He’s a jokester, someone who occasionally talked too much while growing up in Cranbrook, British Columbia, but was constantly kind, looking for ways to include classmates and teammates, his mom says. When New Jersey defenseman Ty Smith met Byram four years ago on Canada’s U18 team, he couldn’t believe how outgoing his new teammate was, and Avalanche forward Tyson Jost calls Byram bubbly, a “salt of the earth guy” who brings good banter to the dressing room.
“He’s a social being,” Stacey says. “He’s touchy and interactive and wants to look in your eyes.”
So the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic posed challenges for Byram. He didn’t appear in any games for the Avalanche in the 2020 playoffs but skated with the team in the Edmonton bubble, spending more than a month within the strict parameters there. Then, at Team Canada’s training camp ahead of World Junior Championships, he had to quarantine for 14 days in his hotel room after two teammates tested positive for the virus. He ultimately captained Canada to a silver medal and, in January 2021, arrived in Denver to join the Avalanche and take the first step in a lifelong dream: playing NHL games.
But the 2020-21 season was far from normal. Colorado instructed players to remain cautious of the virus, so there weren’t the normal get-togethers or team outings. His parents weren’t in the stands for his NHL debut; they watched from their couch in Cranbrook.
Byram, the people lover, spent his free time by himself, all while adjusting to being a young defenseman in the world’s hardest league.
“Of course, he was ecstatic being down there,” Stacey says. “(But) I could tell he was really lonely.”
Then came the concussions. Byram doesn’t know what caused the first one, which he sustained in a late-February game against Arizona. He just woke up the next morning not feeling right.
When the team diagnosed Byram with a concussion, Stacey decided she needed to be there. She drove 17 hours to Denver from Cranbrook, presenting a note from the team at the U.S.-Canada border saying she was coming to help her son.
Byram recovered fine from the first concussion, returning to the lineup 19 days later. But then, with the Avalanche hosting Vegas in late March, he found himself chasing a puck toward the side boards. As he flung the puck out of the defensive zone, Golden Knights forward Keegan Kolesar flew toward him, leaving his feet and making contact with Byram’s head. The defenseman grabbed his helmet before skating off the ice and heading to the dressing room.
With fans not yet allowed in Ball Arena due to COVID-19 regulations, Stacey watched on TV from her son’s apartment. She texted her husband, Shawn, after the play. They worried and waited, but the fear dissipated when Byram eventually returned to the game.
That relief faded as soon he got home.
“I could tell the minute he walked in it wasn’t good,” she says.
Byram was upfront with her, saying he didn’t feel well but would go to bed and see how he was doing in the morning. When he woke up, there was no improvement. He felt foggy. Not like himself.
That hit began a yo-yo of progress and setbacks. Concussion recovery isn’t linear, so at points Byram would feel better, only to hit another rut. He started dealing with vertigo, too.
“I’d be so dizzy, I’d be over the toilet almost throwing up,” he says.
During times he felt up for it, Byram and Stacey would go for walks. They’d play cards or go for a drive, one time making a trip to Red Rocks to take in the sandstone formations.
On other days, Byram couldn’t do much.
“I just wasn’t really up for it most of the time just because I was feeling not like myself,” he says.
The Avalanche set him up with a sports psychologist, and that helped. He also took to meditating, using the Calm app on his iPhone almost daily, which allowed him to play guided audio tailored to specific situations, be it for when he was relaxing or getting to sleep.
“(It) helps you lift that weight you’re feeling off your shoulders at times,” Byram says. “I just felt like nothing was going my way. … It was kind of an escape.”
Ten days after the Kolesar hit, as Byram started feeling better, he joined the team on a four-game road trip, and Stacey headed back home to British Columbia. But as he neared a return to game action, he dealt with a setback of a different kind: He tested positive for COVID-19 while the team was in Anaheim.
Byram took a car service back to Denver, sequestered in a taped-off backseat for 16 hours. He felt a little sick for a few days after his positive test, but it wasn’t too bad. After going through protocol, he worked out a few times and — finally — got back on the ice.
That didn’t go as planned.
“After I skated, I felt like I was a corpse,” he says. “I was dizzy, couldn’t see. It was crazy. It was like somebody was pounding on my head. It was tough, and everything snowballed on top of it.”
His vertigo episodes became more frequent after he got COVID-19, and he didn’t always know what was causing his symptoms. It was, as he put it, an undocumented area. One doctor told him that COVID-19 picks on weaker parts of the body.
“And Bowen’s weak part at that time was his brain,” his dad says. “We think it put him back a long way.”
“If you have a head injury, then you get an illness that affects the neural system, you have all these side effects that nobody’s really studied yet,” says trainer Jordan Mackenzie, who worked with Byram over the summer.
With Byram’s mom back in British Columbia, his girlfriend, Kailey, visited from Nova Scotia, where she’s in college. He was frustrated with his situation and, like his mom had, his girlfriend provided moral support. Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon also helped out, paying for Byram to work with his personal trainer, Marcin Goszczynski.
Goszczynski did functional neurology exercises with Byram, and the defenseman had an upswing ahead of the playoffs. The medical staff cleared him to play, but, while he skated with the team throughout the postseason, coach Jared Bednar didn’t put him in the lineup. The coach hadn’t been blown away with the games he’d seen Byram play earlier in the season, and he was hesitant to throw such a young player into a physical second-round playoff series against a strong Vegas team.
“Would’ve loved to have him back a few weeks before the season ended, be able to experiment with him a little bit, see how he played, and then he could’ve been a good option for us,” Bednar says. “But he just wasn’t healthy.”
When the Avalanche lost Game 6, Byram watched his first NHL season end from the press box. He had pushed to get back in the lineup, but in retrospect, he believes it’s good he didn’t get into game action, because his situation took a turn south when summer training began.
“I just went downhill again and kind of fell apart,” he says.

Byram arrived in Vancouver in mid-June, motivated for an offseason training with NHLers Brendan Gallagher, Milan Lucic and Ty Smith, only to feel the lingering effects of his injury return. Mackenzie, who has worked with Byram since 2018, noticed his recovery times were slower during workouts. He had less energy.
Mackenzie knows Byram as a loud guy, happy to talk with anyone and joke around with serious veterans like Lucic. But that aspect of his personality was lacking at the start of the summer. He normally loves skating and working out in the gym, but he physically couldn’t put all his effort into it. That sucked out the enjoyment.
“I’ve just totally been invested since I can remember,” Byram says. “I’ve always said I’m going to be a hockey player. That was the scary thing for me: not totally knowing what the future was going to hold.”
He didn’t necessarily feel terrible; just off. And the buildup of not feeling like himself led him to the call with his mom. Stacey’s heart stopped when she heard how dejected he was.
“It was probably a bit over-reactive from myself, but when you’re in positions like that and not feeling good, it really is hard to keep a positive mindset,” Byram says.
Mentally and physically exhausted, he needed to vent, he remembers, and Stacey mostly just listened. She also gave him some perspective: Just because he was injured then didn’t mean he’d always be injured.
Mackenzie and Byram’s goal for the summer was to get “Bo back to being Bo,” the trainer says. That meant pouring time into treatment. The clinic he trained at in Vancouver had a massage therapist who worked on the soft tissue around his neck, and he saw a specialist with experience in post-concussion management. He tried to check every box, hoping for a breakthrough.
That also meant seeing a therapist in Vancouver. Byram says he wasn’t depressed, but he felt on edge after months of frustration. He needed someone to help him take a step back.
“You don’t want to admit something is wrong, but when something is wrong, it needs to be taken care of,” he says. “I’m not afraid to tell anyone I saw a therapist now. I’m proud. I think everybody should. It helped me so much and it helped rejuvenate me as a person and eventually on the ice again.”
He saw improvements and, at the end of July, went on a 10-day wilderness trip in the Yukon with his dad. They camped near Kusawa Lake, completely isolated and unplugged from the outside world. To get there, they had to drive more than 24 hours north and then, since drivable roads extend only so far, take a small plane into the bush.
“There’s a lot of hardship and physical exertion and pain that goes with it,” Shawn says. “You’ve got to be motivated by something you can’t always explain.”
Byram felt symptoms on a couple of days during the trip, his dad says, but he mostly just valued the grounding presence of nature. It was hard work — they hiked more than a dozen miles some days — but good for staying in the moment. On their last evening, with a plane set to come the next morning, father and son built a fire. Byram kicked off his shoes and sat against a rock, his toes near the warmth of the flames. There was a sense of exhaustion between them, and accomplishment, too.
“That (trip) kind of gave him — and I think his nervous system — a chance to really settle down and take in all the work that had been done over the past three or four weeks before he left,” Mackenzie says.
When Byram returned to Vancouver after the trip, Mackenzie saw a shift. He radiated enthusiasm walking through the door. “Let’s go!” the trainer thought to himself.
Bo was back to being Bo.
Earlier this month, Byram glided toward the Columbus net on a two-on-one, sandy hair poking out of the back of his helmet. He waited calmly for a pass from teammate Nazem Kadri and, when it came, flicked the puck into the net. Not all defensemen have this type of offensive skill, especially at 20 years old, and Byram wasn’t done. With less than a minute left in the game and the Avalanche trailing by a goal, he flung a shot on net and watched as it zipped in for a goal. He turned, full of adrenaline, and pumped his fist.
In that moment, it felt like a statement game, like Byram had arrived as a truly dangerous NHL player — maybe even a star. He showed all the tools that led Colorado to draft him fourth overall in 2019, as well as confidence he believes he lacked during his 19-game stint last season.
“Every time I step on the ice and I feel good, it’s such a breath of fresh air, because, seriously, for a while there, I was like, ‘I’m done,’” he said at the time, noting that most of his lingering injury concern had dissipated.
A thought struck Stacey after she watched her son force overtime with the Blue Jackets. She felt like — after everything — the family had finally made it through. Sure, there had been scares since his return, notably when Byram took a dangerous cross-check into the boards against Minnesota, but her son had continually been fine. He told his mom about how good he was feeling: better than he’d felt since before his days as a major junior player in the Western Hockey League.
Then came the elbow.
With the Avalanche hosting the Canucks on Thursday, Byram skated toward Vancouver captain Bo Horvat, ready to fight for a puck along the boards. As the two collided, Horvat’s elbow hit Byram’s face and the defenseman fell to the ice. He got up quickly but skated gingerly to the bench and went down to the dressing room.
An all-too familiar problem was back.
“It’s scary stuff,” teammate and close friend Alex Newhook says.
Byram felt great the morning after absorbing Horvat’s elbow, and he skated with the team, laughing between drills like normal. But concussions are cruel and unpredictable. The next day, this past Saturday, he woke up feeling not well. By Monday, the team had put him back in concussion protocol.
“That’s not something you ever want to see,” teammate Andre Burakovsky says.
Bednar doesn’t have a return timeline, and how could he? He said this week that Byram is out until he feels better. Then, once again, he can begin the process of easing himself back into action.
Given the injury and Byram’s history, it’s unclear when that will come.
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42 minutes ago, 4petesake said:


Sad to see Bo Byram having ongoing concussion issues.




Bring Byram home!


Being at home with family certainly could help in those situations.


Wonder what it would take to get him from the Avs.

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