- Stop what you’re doing and read Bryan Bickell’s Players’ Tribune piece about his multiple sclerosis diagnosis and what his future holds. And have some tissues handy. [Players’ Tribune]
- Happy trails to Alexander Semin, retiring from the KHL to pursue a graduate degree in metallurgy. Yes, really. [Russian Machine Never Breaks]
- It’s a one-year extension for Jack Adams winner John Tortorella with the Blue Jackets, following their 108-point performance a year ago. [Blue Jackets]
- More on the release of the 2017-18 national TV schedule from Puck Daddy, with the annual winners and losers column. [Puck Daddy]
- Even Second City Hockey, covering a team that will appear on national television 17 times next season, says enough’s enough. [Second City Hockey]
And I’m re-linking my own take on the schedule here too, mostly just to re-emphasize the point: the issue with the Hurricanes not being on national TV has much less to do with their recent performance on the ice than it does with their lack of appeal to NBC. They could go 82-0 next season and they might - might - get half as many national games as the Blackhawks and Penguins.
More to the point, the Ottawa Senators took the eventual Stanley Cup champions to double overtime of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final last season, and for their effort they earned the princely sum of zero games on American television this year.
The Columbus Blue Jackets, as mentioned above, earned 108 points last season. They at one point won 16 games in a row. They got one national game next season (a laughable “rivalry night” game against the Sabres, who aren’t even the Jackets’ rival).
Tell me again how success leads to more national games?