Ramblings: McDavid Returns Tonight, Stamkos Under 70 Points, and more (Feb. 2)

steve laidlaw

2016-02-02

Ramblings: McDavid Returns Tonight, Grubauer to get a Greater Share, Stamkos Under 70 Points and more.

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The All-Star break ends tonight, thank goodness! Five nights with no real NHL games counting towards our fantasy leagues is a long spell. Probably too long. I cannot wait to get back into the swing of things even if we are still about a month away from things getting really interesting in terms of the trade deadline and playoff races tightening, etc.

Thank you to everyone who has stopped in for fantasy coverage despite the lack of games. It is much appreciated for you to devote your precious time to our product. It makes the work worthwhile.

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Gary Bettman received a seven-year extension to stay on as commissioner of the NHL. He’ll be on until 2022, which guarantees us another lockout in 2020 when the league opts out of the current deal. You may as well prepare for it now. We haven’t had a CBA negotiate not go to a lockout during Bettman’s tenure. He has proven without a doubt that he doesn’t actually care about the game or the fans any more than he needs to in order to serve his owners. That may be stretching it a bit. He probably does care more than that but he still serves his masters and serves them well. Lockouts are a guaranteed winner for professional sports leagues so steel yourselves now.

For those of us in the fantasy industry, these lockouts are death. We can survive five days without real NHL action but five months? That’s pushing it. Hockey needs to return, on time, every fall or we go into withdrawals.

The last lockout nearly broke me. I was still merely writing as a columnist for the site so providing content once a week, while competing in probably five fantasy leagues. I gave real thought to ceasing the column, quitting those leagues and boycotting the NHL in general. I don’t think I watched a single NHL game the first month it returned and I cancelled my Center Ice subscription and didn’t setup a new one until this season.

I don’t know if I can do another lockout. The good news, the 2020-21 season is still four and a half years away. A lot can change in that amount of time. For instance, four and a half years ago I was just graduating from university, kicking off the Cage Match column for the site and embarking on