Episode 0177: Hub Cities Undecided, CBA Discussions and the Current Climate, If Eichel Leaves Buffalo, Sabres Organizational Needs, Kotkaniemi Returning, Wild About the Expansion Draft and More!

July 5th, 2020

As we close in on the start of the next level for the NHL, the Two Man Forecheck continues to talk hockey without pauses.  This week we start with the Hub Cities and where they might be located.  It would now appear that they will both be in Canada and there appears to be a level of certainty now that could spell Edmonton and Toronto.  The Athletic has an article dispensing information regarding the current framework for the NHL's CBA agreement.  There were some surprising nuances in the document regarding 35+ contracts and players with NMC/NTC in their contracts.  So we dive into the deep end and break down what it all means.  Jimmy Murphy has written an interesting article regarding if Eichel leaves Buffalo it will start a bidding war, but we go deeper and talk about the troubling issues with the franchise itself.  Jesperi Kotkaniemi is returning to the Canadiens, which should help the team, but in what way and will Julien use him at all?  Finally, we talk about the Wild and their skittishness with the expansion draft.  Having lost Tuch the last time around, who are they willing to expose when Seattle comes calling?  All this and much more so grab a beverage, give us a listen, tell us what you think and...Enjoy the Show!

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Episode 0176: Wingels Retires, Hub City Quandary, Tuukka Plans to Return, NHL Prospects Galore, Hockey Hall of Fame Inductees and so much More!

June 28th, 2020

Hi all and welcome to another week at the Two Man Forecheck!  We have a long show this week, packed with information and fun so delve in!  Tommy Wingels retired a couple weeks ago but we missed it so now we say a proper goodbye.  We dive into the Hub City quandary and try to discern where the two will end up.  We also discuss other potential spots the NHL won't consider.  Even further down the rabbit hole we talk about other ways to deal with the ice issues that may creep up.  Tuukka has a plan to return to the Bruins for practice while the other goaltender never left town.  Now we have fun with our prospects galore, with more to come next week, but for now we talk about guys that we feel will go in the second or third round.  We close out the show with a discussion about the Hockey Hall of Fame inductees and those that should have or have not been voted in.  A lot to digest here so sit down with your favorite beverage, or whatever you do to listen to podcasts, prepare your comments and Enjoy the Show!

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Episode 0175: Sabres Making Changes, Eichel Availability, Luke Kunin Ready to Play, Matthews Tests Positive, Hockey Diversity Alliance is Formed, Ryan Reaves Family Tree and much More!

June 21st, 2020

The excitement builds as the NHL targets the end of July for a return to live games.  Here at the the Forecheck, we are live every week.  Starters consist of Luke Kunin, forward for the Wild, expressing his desire to start playing again.  The concern here is that he has diabetes and is of a higher risk to contract the virus than others, but he has been presented with the information he needs from professionals around him to make an informed decision regarding playing.  Auston Matthews has tested positive for the virus, and appears to be the only named player around the league to have tested as such.  Why is he named?  There has been no answer so we discuss.  Only about 5 percent of the players tested have received a positive result.  For the mains, we delve into the dumpster fire that is the Buffalo Sabres.  They have eliminated 23 administrative and scouting employees, including the GM and assistant GMs.  The replacement is the senior VP of business administration, Kevyn Adams.  There is a long road ahead for this man, and one of those tasks is convincing Jack Eichel to stay with the team that drafted him.  We talk about the possibility of the Bruins acquiring his talents.   Finally, we discuss the formation of the Hockey Diversity Alliance, formed by a handful of players and headed up by Akim Aliu and Evander Kane.  Although not an NHL created alliance, the NHL is hoping to work with them on the topic of diversity and inclusion.  Oh yeah, and Ryan Reaves and Kane appear to be working towards burying the hatchet.  His great, great, great granddad is Bass Reeves.  Give us a listen to find out who he is and...Enjoy the Show!

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Episode 0174: NHL Hub Cities, Vegas Leaked, Best To Wear the Number, the Chicago Way, Danny Wirtz Named ‘Hawks President, Bruin Tests Positive, Miller for Masterton and More!

June 14th, 2020

Phase 3 is the next step in the return, as July 10 is the next date to remember, but the Two Man Forecheck presses on.  This week we talk about the security in the NHL with regard to its hub cities, as Las Vegas is speculated to be one of the two.  We break down scenarios and locations of where the other one (or both) should be held.  The NHL has released a list of the best to wear the number, and Chicago claims that 12 of those numbers belong to Blackhawks.  But is that the truth?  Reality tells us that maybe not, and we discuss who and how many are actually 'Hawks players.  Danny Wirtz, son of chairman Rocky Wirtz has been named interim president of Chicago, but how does this affect the team.  We give ample time to the discussion of how this will work out for them and other young execs around the league.  A Boston Bruin has tested positive (and then twice negative) for that which shall not be named, so how does this affect the team going forward.  Finally, Kevan Miller has been nominated for the Masterton Award for perseverance.  We talk about how it affects him and the team.  Lots to talk about, so give us a listen and share your opinions with us.  Enjoy the Show!

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Episode 0173: Kellerman Rant, Western Conference Preview, Round Robin Issues, Golden Knights Return, Eichel Frustrated2003 Redraft Vindication and More!

June 7th, 2020

The light in the tunnel is getting brighter.  Phase 2 brings with it practices for the teams with a limit of 6 players.  But we at the Two Man Forecheck are still in playoff form.  We start out with a rant from Max Kellerman from First Take where he stated that the NHL is not one of the 4 major sports.  This, amazingly, brought with it some backlash especially from Mike Milbury.   We delve into the playoffs with a Western Conference preview.  Some of the matchups should make for entertaining hockey.  Spinning off of this topic we discuss why the Round Robin games should not be happening.  We also pay a short visit to Las Vegas and talk about their start of practice tomorrow (Monday the 8th).  Buffalo has had its share of failure the past few seasons and one player in particular is frustrated over the whole ordeal.  We talk about Jack Eichel and his current tenure with the Sabres and what they should do to make his remaining time there successful.  Finally, we talk about the 2003 draft again, and give ourselves a pat on the back for a job well done.  Mike is especially proud of the fact that he has the same number one pick as NHL.com.  Give us a listen, tell us what you think and, as always...Enjoy the Show!

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Episode 0172: 2020 Supplemental Draft (Not What You Think), Cehlarik Leaves Boston, NHL Return to Play Plan, Replacement C’s for Chara, Nash Playoff Woes, Kakko’s Return, Wheeler’s Tweet and More!

May 31st, 2020

Hockey is back!!  And that is the best thing about the NHL's Return to Play plan.  Mike and I break down what we like and do not like about this plan...here's a hint...the draft lottery is a mess!  But we start with a story from the Athletic where each of the 24 playoff teams are allowed to draft a player from one of the seven non-playoff teams.  Its clearly not going to happen, not real, but extremely entertaining and leads to a lot of discussion...especially with regard to snubs.  We talk about Peter Cehlarik leaving Boston and signing with Lugano.  He played 40 games in the NHL with 11 points, but felt that he was always waiting for the mistake that got him sent down.  We break down possible captains for the Bruins when Chara retires.  We respond to Larry Brooks' response to a question regarding Rick Nash's playoff woes in 2014 and discuss a current Ranger, Kaapo Kakko and his return to the Rangers.  Based on what John Davidson says, we have no idea what he is saying.  Finally, we present a tweet from Blake Wheeler regarding his home state of Minnesota and his feelings on what is happening to his home.  Give us a listen, its a little longer show than usual but full of opinion makers.  Thank you and Enjoy the Show!

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Episode 0171: The Importance of Sport, Compliance Buyouts and Our Two Picks, 16 vs. 24 Playoff Format, A Bold Prediction, Draft Day and Lottery Changes, Ales Hemsky Retires and More!

May 24th, 2020

There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it is the NHL Playoffs.  The main idea is that hockey will come back with a 24 team playoff format, effectively ending the regular season.  We start with a brief diatribe around the importance of sport to the masses, but then get on with the business of talking hockey.  We talk about the possibility of compliance buyouts and we give two examples each of players we feel should be bought out.  We get into the logistics of a 16 versus 24 team playoff format.  Amazingly, we agree that the 24 team format is better for the league and fans.  There is a story out there by David Staples of the Edmonton Journal predicting that the Blackhawks will beat the Oilers in the playoffs this season.  A good read, the link is below.  Finally, we venture into a discussion (which becomes a Mike rant) on moving the draft from June to April, changing the format of who drafts where and the possibility of getting rid of the draft lottery or significantly changing how it is conducted.  Also, Ales Hemsky, former Oilers draft pick in 2001 has officially retired from the NHL.  We wish him the best of luck and success in his future endeavors.  Lots of content on only a few stories, so please let us know what you think as hockey gets closer to returning.  Enjoy the Show!

https://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/cult-of-hockey/chicago-blackhawks-will-upset-the-edmonton-oilers-in-first-round-of-nhl-playoffs-stats-analyst-predicts/

 

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Episode 0170: AHL Cancels Season, Botterill Report Card, Nick Ritchie Chemistry Issues, David Backes, Torey Krug PP QB, Radko Gudas’ Thoughts, Cody Glass and More!

May 17th, 2020

Another week in May has come and gone and still no live hockey, but we press on.  The AHL, however, will not and have cancelled their season.  We break down Jason Botterill's time in Buffalo and grade him on his 3 year anniversary with his time running the team.  Here's a hint:  Chris gives him a C-, Mike a D+.  We talk about Nick Ritchie and his time with the Boston Bruins.  He talks about his difficulty gelling with the team and forming some kind of chemistry.  David Backes has moved on to Anaheim, and this pause may be just what he needs to get back on track.  Torey Krug is the best power play quarterback in the league, but what of others such as Brent Burns and Kris Letang?  Radko Gudas has stated that he believes the NHL should shut down, that the league should worry more about the safety of the players, while discussing his contract status in the same interview.  Finally, Cody Glass sent his mother a warm Mother's Day wish that will bring a tear to your eye.  Another show in the books, listen, give us your thoughts and Enjoy the Show!

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Episode 0169: NWHL Draft, Tyler Wall Signs Entry Level, Rangers Goaltending Depth, Leipsic Released, Reconfiguring the 2020 Draft, Sexton Retires, Re-open the Trade Market and More!

May 10th, 2020

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers who are listening!  Hockey will return!

We start this week with the NWHL Draft.  Something took place here that you don't see on the men's side too often.  Many of the players taken by the top two teams in the league were drafted from their own geographic areas.  The Boston Pride drafted a B.U. player, Sammy Davis, with the number one overall pick and took most of their players from the Northeast.  The Minnesota Whitecaps drafted their top two picks from the University of Minnesota.  The New York Rangers signed Tyler Wall, a 2016 pick from U. Mass Lowell, to an entry level contract.  With this signing, it also led us to discuss the depth the Rangers have at the goaltender position.  Brendan Leipsic was released by the Capitals after some scathing comments made on a private instagram chat were released.  Should he be punished?  Was it right for someone else to bring these comments to light?  This also affected his younger brother, who was dropped from his college team in Manitoba.  Dominic Tiano stated recently on Twitter his plan for the 2020 draft, and we discuss it here.  Ben Sexton, a Bruin draft pick in 2009, has retired from hockey at 28 years of age due to concussions he has suffered throughout his career.  We wish Ben the best of luck in his future endeavors and a speedy recovery from his malady.  We also look at an Athletic article by Sean McIndoe in which he makes a case for re-opening the trade market. Lots to think about as we anticipate the re-start of the NHL season, so let us know what you think and we'll be sure to talk about it here.  Give us a listen and...Enjoy the Show!

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Episode 0168: NHL Restart, Calder Candidates Revisited, Lindblom Recovering, ‘Hawks Fire McDonough, Bourque Praises Krug, Super 16 D-Men, Potential NWHL Expansion Spot, Halak Extended and More!

May 3rd, 2020

As we continue without any live Hockey on the horizon, we at the Two Man Forecheck continue to find the stories that can be talked about.  This week we open with a frank discussion on the NHL Restart and the Return to Play committee that has been created.  We also revisit the Calder Candidates this season and debate who should and should not receive consideration.  Oskar Lindblom was diagnosed with bone cancer back in December, but he is almost done with his treatments and could see a return to the ice soon.  We wish him all the best and hope for a speedy return.  The Blackhawks have fired their president, John McDonough, for no other reason than it appears the owner is trying to send a message, but what message is he really sending?  Ray Bourque has gone on record as saying that Torey Krug is one of the best defensemen in the NHL, so we discussed it.  NHL.com has put out a super 16 list of defensemen, and we break down the list and decide that some of the players are in the wrong spots.  We talk about another potential expansion city for the NWHL, a point raised to us by Douglas Bildhauer on Facebook.  And finally, the hockey gods have smiled on Boston as Jaro Halak has signed a one year extension to play for the Black and Gold.  Lots of content to digest and comment on so give us a listen, send us your feedback and...Enjoy the Show!

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