The NHL has announced a Heritage Classic outdoor game in Hamilton on March 13 between Buffalo and Toronto. The geography makes sense given the cross-border rivalry. But for fans outside of this area, are the Sabres really going to be a draw? The game will of course also feature the Leafs, which means that the TV numbers will be there anyway. Even if it's not as much of a draw for folks like me in western Canada who are already used to nonstop Leafs coverage from the major sports networks.
Speaking of the Buds, the most recent Offseason Fantasy Grades features Auston Matthews and company, written by Alex MacLean. Later today, or maybe by the time you're reading this, I'll have the Offseason Fantasy Grades for the Vancouver Canucks.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly announced that the salary cap is expected to increase by $1 million next season. That will probably have a greater impact on NHL teams than those in salary cap leagues, but it's a start to help teams that maxed themselves out before the pandemic.
Daly also mentioned that the vaccination rate for NHL players is within the 98-99 percent range. Daly also estimated that fewer than 15 players could be unvaccinated by the start of the season. Not getting paid for missing games due to a positive test seems to serve as an effective incentive.
Daly also said that the league's investigation of the gambling allegations of Evander Kane will conclude next week with a report. In the meantime, Kane appeared in an interview with ESPN's Linda Cohn regarding the allegations.
DobberHockey's 16th annual Fantasy Hockey Guide is out now, fully updated and ready for download. Pick it up here!
According to Chris Johnston, Erik Gustafsson will be coming to the Islanders camp on a professional tryout. After what might have been an outlier 60-point season in 2018-19, Gustafsson has struggled to under a half point per game with four different teams over the past two seasons. He has also been in and out o