It was a week full of endings, both happy and not so happy. Over the last seven days, we witnessed the Datsyuk-less Detroit Red Wings get eliminated, Connor McDavid pull the Oilers into the playoffs through the sheer force of his otherworldly will, Patrik Elias announce his retirement and USA Hockey final come to its senses after a lengthy negotiation with the USWNT. This is your Saturday Seven.
Detroit Red Wings’ Historic Streak Comes to an End
After winning four Stanley Cups over a period that featured 25 consecutive trips to the post-season, the once mighty Detroit Red Wings have been eliminated from playoff contention.
It was a week full of endings, both happy and not so happy. Over the last seven days, we witnessed the Datsyuk-less Detroit Red Wings get eliminated, Connor McDavid pull the Oilers into the playoffs through the sheer force of his otherworldly will, Patrik Elias announce his retirement and USA Hockey final come to its senses.
Red Wings 1990-91 to 2015-16
Wins 1,133 Most
Goals 6,518 Most
Playoff wins 170 Most
Stanley Cups 4 T-Most
— Bucci Mane (@Buccigross) March 29, 2017
This past off-season saw offensive phenomenon Pavel Datsyuk leave the organization for the KHL, and maybe that was the final nail in the coffin for a team that hadn’t made it past the first round of the big dance since 2012-2013, or the second round since they lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2009 finals.
But with a handful of promising youngsters who are already lineup regulars in Anthony Mantha, Dylan Larkin and Andreas Athanasiou, the powers that be in Motor City aren’t planning a full rebuild just yet.
McKenzie says the Red Wings are probably not going to do a “tear down” and trade players like Zetterberg. (I say they should.)
— Draglikepull (@draglikepull) March 31, 2017
x – Edmonton Oilers Also Snap Historic Streak
This is what I looked like in 2006, the last time the Oilers made the playoffs. It’s been a long ride. pic.twitter.com/N9GFWygML0
— Curtis LeBlanc (@curtiswleblanc) March 29, 2017
The Orange and Blue nearly broke the internet on Tuesday when they clinched their first playoff berth since 2006 with a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings. The Oilers’ ten season drought was tied for worst-ever in NHL history with the Florida Panthers, who ended theirs in 2012.
7 Head Coaches and 177 players later, the Oilers return to the NHL postseason.
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) March 29, 2017
The Edmonton Oilers have clinched a playoff spot for the first time since hockey began being played indoors in 1875. Incredible! #Wow
— NHLNumbers (@NHLnumbers) March 29, 2017
The Oilers have clinched a playoff spot pic.twitter.com/uhkP7kzXiM
— Ⓜ️ickey (@yungpun_) March 29, 2017
Does anyone know where Chris Pronger’s furniture is buried??? The curse is over!
— Michael Parkatti (@mparkatti) March 29, 2017
With a 3-2 victory over the Sharks on Thursday, the Oilers showed they aren’t just settling for a spot in spring hockey—they’re going for the division title. It’s in the realm of possibility that both the Oilers and Connor McDavid finish the regular season with 100 points.
I’m just going to leave this here, courtesy of Edmonton native Cadence Weapon.
Highlights From a V. Terrible Avalanche Season
It’s my opinion that Colorado’s stinker of a showing in 2016-2017 came one year too early with Swedish superstar Rasmus Dahlin eligible to be drafted in 2018, but they went ahead and did it anyway. Here’s how:
Thanks to GlovesOffHockey on Facebook for the video.
Tkachuk v.s. Doughty (Part 2)
The Flames and Kings met on Wednesday for the first time since rookie Matthew Tkachuk fed a stiff elbow sandwich into Drew Doughty’s unsuspecting shnoop. The transgression cost him a two game suspension. The next meeting between the two teams contained some of what you might have expected.
Closer look at Tkachuk-Doughty flying hip check pic.twitter.com/wDfMDs5bBi
— Andrew Forbes (@AndrewGForbes) March 30, 2017
— Mark Garbino (@Garbino42) March 30, 2017
It appears Matthew Tkachuk enjoys playing the villain pic.twitter.com/xMCb11aoyp
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) March 30, 2017
He’s an evil little boy, that Matthew.
Patrik Elias Announces Retirement
The two time Stanley Cup champion and veteran of 1240 NHL regular season games let the hockey world know he was hanging up his skates on Friday.
Patrik Elias is 15th among forwards in on-ice Corsi in the Corsi era (minimum 5000 minutes). The Corsi era began when he was 31.
— Driving Play (@DrivingPlay) March 31, 2017
— BARDOWN® (@BardownHockey) March 31, 2017
Elias spent much of his twenty-year career as an under-rated but consistent offensive performer. He can now look forward to joining the list of players about which the media crafts Hockey Hall of Fame yes/no narratives.
NHL Expansion Lists Will Be Made Public After All
After coming close to sucking literally all of the potential fun out of speculating over the implications of the Golden Knights expansion franchise this off-season, the NHL did fans a solid and announced that they would make said lists available to the masses.
UPDATE: Protected & Available Lists for Expansion Draft will be made public simultaneously with their distribution to the Clubs. Date TBD.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) March 29, 2017
When the league officially pulls out of the 2018 Olympics, infuriating fans and players alike, I expect they’ll likely say something along the lines of: “But we let you see the expansion lists! The fans can’t get everything they want!”
USA Hockey Reaches Agreement with Women’s Squad
USA Hockey avoided a boycott of the IIHF World Championships, which began Friday, when it reached an agreement to address major issues of low compensation and unfair treatment of the women and girls who represent their country.
Compensation for the US Women’s National Team will increase by $70,000 per player annually, according to ESPN.
According to the article, “…the federation tried to muster a replacement team to report on Wednesday, in time to play in Friday’s opener, in case the boycott held. But dozens of pro, college, high school and post-collegiate players — even some rec-league players that the federation approached — publicly said they had rebuffed the invitation to play or would not play if they were asked.”
It was an amazing show of solidarity among the country’s women and men who play the game, and one that was supported by the NHLPA.
Word circulating among NHL players that American players will refuse to play in men’s World Championships in solidarity with the women.
— Allan Walsh (@walsha) March 26, 2017
— NHLPA (@NHLPA) March 24, 2017
It’s great that USA Hockey was able to come to their senses and grant this basic and necessary request, but the fact that the organization still tried to cobble together a replacement team rather than immediately doing so is troubling.
Still, an important lesson was learned by the hockey world this week: Protest works. There is power in solidarity.