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Hockey Storylines to Be careful for in 2020

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From the continued fallout of hockey’s so-called social reckoning, Don Cherry’s potential substitute, the shaping of Seattle’s NHL franchise and the unsure way forward for the ladies’s sport, The Canadian Press takes a have a look at some hockey storylines to be careful for in 2020.

What’s Subsequent in Hockey’s #METOO Motion?

The resignation of Calgary Flames head coach Invoice Peters over allegations of previous racism and bodily abuse began the method of shining a light-weight on a number of the sport’s unseemly corners within the final six weeks of 2019. Chicago Blackhawks assistant Marc Crawford was subsequently suspended by the crew, however will preserve his job, for allegations of bodily abuse by some former gamers — one thing he has sought counselling for since 2010.

Coach Marc Crawford.

Dallas Stars head coach Jim Montgomery, in the meantime, was fired for unspecified unprofessional conduct. The NHL unveiled a code of conduct earlier this month, however hockey’s greatest query heading into 2020 is that this: The place does the story go from right here?

Who or What Fills Don Cherry’s Footwear?

One of many sport’s most polarizing figures, famed “Hockey Evening in Canada” commentator Don Cherry, was fired by Rogers Sportsnet in November. Cherry, 85, was fired on Nov. 11 for feedback two days earlier that many felt have been vital of immigrants for not sporting Remembrance Day poppies. Cherry used the phrase, ‘You folks,’ throughout the “Coach’s Nook” phase however later denied that he was singling out minorities. “You those that come right here, no matter it’s, you like our lifestyle, you like our milk and honey, a minimum of you may pay a pair bucks for a poppy or one thing like that,” Cherry mentioned. “These guys paid on your lifestyle that you just take pleasure in in Canada, these guys paid the most important value.”

Hockey commentator Don Cherry (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese)

So after 38 years, the place does this system go from right here? Sportsnet has but to call a substitute or map out a long-term plan for its prime first intermission slot on Saturday nights, but when somebody takes on the job, Cherry’s footwear shall be monumental to fill.

Seattle Taking Form

The NHL’s 32nd franchise continues to grind towards its inaugural season in 2021-22. Seattle has employed a basic supervisor in Corridor of Fame ahead Ron Francis, continues to construct its entrance workplace and scouting staffs, and will have a reputation, color scheme and head coach by this time subsequent yr. Francis is already making ready for the enlargement draft in June 2021, however pretty or unfairly, Seattle will at all times be in comparison with the Vegas Golden Knights, who made the Stanley Cup last of their first season again in 2017-18.

The Way forward for Ladies’s Skilled Hockey

Ladies’s skilled hockey had a fantastic begin to 2019, however its future because the calendar flips to 2020 stays very a lot up within the air. U.S. star Kendall Coyne Schofield wowed followers at January’s NHL all-star sport with a formidable exhibiting within the quickest skater competitors in opposition to her male counterparts. However the Canadian Ladies’s Hockey League — one in all two professional leagues in North America — ceased operations in Could after 12 years. 

U.S. Ladies’s Nationwide Group’s Kendall Coyne Schofield (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Jeff Chiu)

The Skilled Ladies’s Hockey Gamers Affiliation rose from the CWHL’s ashes, stating its roughly 200 gamers wouldn’t play wherever, together with the U.S.-based NWHL, till a league they deem financially viable and sustainable is established. From the surface, it is sensible for the ladies’s sport to finally fall beneath the NHL banner, however it stays to be seen if that may ever truly occur.

Canada’s Stanley Cup Drought

Presently final yr, the Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets all sat close to the highest of the NHL standings, their followers dreaming of an finish to Stanley Cup drought for Canadian groups that dates again to the Montreal Canadiens’ victory in 1993. However all three golf equipment have been bounced within the first spherical of the playoffs, and no crew residing north of the border appears to be like to be among the many league’s elite heading into 2020. Issues, nevertheless, can change rapidly. Calgary, Toronto and Winnipeg have been the one Canadian franchises to make the playoffs final yr, however Edmonton, Montreal and Vancouver might convey that quantity to as excessive as six this spring.

This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed on Jan. 1, 2020.

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Observe @JClipperton_CP on Twitter

Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press

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