Ramblings: Olympics; Draisaitl/McDavid; Duclair; Makar; Updates on Hughes and Hayes – November 23

Michael Clifford


American Thanksgiving is coming up in just a couple days and the day before Thanksgiving is absolutely loaded with games. That means I probably won't have much to talk about for Thursday's Ramblings, as I will be busy relaying the info from the games.

To that end, I want to take today and talk about some things I'm thankful for with the NHL. I often complain – and, as we've seen with the Blackhawks and others, complaints are warranted – but there are still some parts about hockey I just love. Here are some things I'm thankful for in the NHL.

The Olympics

Time for a bit of honesty: I am looking forward to the 2022 Winter Olympics more than I was the 2021-22 NHL season. As someone who makes a living writing, making videos about, and betting on the NHL, maybe not the best thing to admit? But from a pure hockey-watching perspective, I am beyond excited for this edition of the Winter Olympics.

Just think about the storylines we have:

  • Crosby and McDavid on the same team
  • Team USA with its best roster in 20 years
  • Team Russia is deeper on the blue line/in net than any point in the last 15 years
  • Sweden looks elite
  • Final international hurrahs for Crosby and Ovechkin?
  • Emergence of Germany

And that doesn't even start to get into the nitty-gritty of the roster compositions. Even as a man in his 30s, I feel like a little kid again making a dream team of my favourite Canadian players. And this is a great era for Canadian hockey. But it's also a great era for Russian, American, Swedish hockey, and others. That is what makes me so excited for the tournament.

While I am Canadian and clearly have my rooting interest, I did write about a potential Team USA roster back in the summer. This team, from top to bottom, is very deep offensively and there are elite puck-movers all over the blue line. This is going to be a very fun American team to watch, provided they don't stub their toes like they did in 2014 with the roster selection.

I don't even think they're a dark horse anymore: it'll be fun to watch Team Germany. They aren't in that upper-echelon of Canada/USA/Sweden of course, but I think they've definitely climbed into that Czech/Slovakia/Swiss tier below them and th