The NHL Season starts on October 2. That’s less than 30 days after the first NFL Regular Season game between the Bears and Packers on Sep. 5. The NHL Preseason starts on Sep. 15. That’s less than a month from now. It’s time for us to start paying attention to the National Hockey League!
NHL Updated of the Week – August 20th Edition
Florida Panthers Ready to Retire Luongo’s Number
Robert Luongo, one of the top goalies in the NHL, decided to retire during the offseason. The Florida Panthers have said that they’re going to retire Luongo’s number. It’s the first number that the franchise will retire.
Retiring his number makes total sense. Luongo was a beast in the net. He played 1044 games. He allowed an average of 2.55 goals per while his save percentage was .919. That’s impressive! Luongo never won the Vezina Trophy, handed out to the top goalie in NHL. He finished second in the 2007-2008 season.
After finishing ninth in the voting for the Vezina this past season, Luongo decided it was time to hang up the mask. It’s better to retire when you have something left instead of waiting for the skills to really depreciate.
New York Approves Islanders Moving to Belmont Park
New York has approved the Islanders’ plan of building a $1.3 billion facility next door to famed Belmont Park racetrack in Elmont, New York. Belmont, created in 1905, runs the third leg of the Triple Crown, the 1 ½ mile Belmont Stakes.
The Islanders’ plan is to create a 19,000 seat arena that also includes shops, restaurants, and hotels. The project should create thousands of new jobs. Before an ultimate sign off, an environmental study must be done.
Residents are screaming foul because the development will bring noise, cars, a bunch of tourists, etc. But, it makes sense for both New York, Belmont Park, and the New York Islanders.
Lightning, Bruins, Maple Leafs, and Golden Knights Top Four in First Rankings
The Lightning are followed by the Toronto Maple Leafs at +900, the Boston Bruins at +1000, and the Vegas Golden Knights at +1000. The St. Louis Blues are at +1500 to repeat as Cup champs. It’s early, so the odds can change, but with a month before the preseason, the top 4 choices are pretty much the same as the top four choices at the beginning of last season.
Some Believe Rangers Ready to Contend in 2019-2020
The New York Rangers finished off last season with a 32-36 record and in sixth place in the Metropolitan Division. That’s second to last place, only ahead of the New Jersey Devils, which is why NYR got the second pick in this year’s NHL Draft.
No doubt, the Rangers are in rebuild mode, right? Not so fast. Greg Wyshinski wrote an article about NYR already being a contender. Wyshinski made some great points in his piece including how the Rangers won free agency by signing both Artemi Pannarin and Jaco Trouba.
Although it sounds nuts to think the Rangers could contend this upcoming season, only a couple of season ago, the Vegas Golden Knights won the Western Conference as an expansion team. The odds on New York to win the Cup are high at +4000. They’re not in true contender territory, but they’re not out of this world Miami Dolphins Super Bowl odds, either.
So, yes, oddsmakers also believe the Rangers have an underdog chance to hoist the Stanley Cup Trophy.
Have a great week!