By Larry Snyder
The staff in charge of making the schedule for the National Hockey League has something new for the 2016-2017 campaign. According to ESPN‘s Pierre LeBrun, the NHL is constructing a five-day off-week for every team between the dates of Jan. 1 and Feb. 28 next season.
The five-day period would effectively have the players practice free from their respective teams. The only exception is if the organization has a contest on the sixth day of the week. Then, the players would report to practice at 4 p.m. on the fifth day.
The National Hockey League Players Association asked for this type of break as part of the All-Star Game negotiation. It came when the NHLPA agreed to the league’s plan to make the All-Star Game into a 3-on-3 tournament. It could increase the appeal of the All-Star Event for the fans if more of the stars attended.
Another aspect that is worth noting is that with the World Cup of Hockey in the mix next September, some of the players could be in as many as 118 contests next season. One other benefit to consider is that by permitting the players to take a breather and have the time to recover from their inescapable assortment of injuries, it could result in better play across the board.
Too Funny Department: Hall of Famer Guy Lafleur, the all-time leading goal scorer for the Canadiens, thinks that Sidney Crosby would get his offensive output back on track with a new team. Of course, the change of scenery that Lafleur advocated on TVA Sports is Montreal. Nice try, Guy…
Good Read: Another Hall Of Famer, Bryan Trottier, remembers his time with the Penguins’ Mario Lemieux, Kevin Stevens, and Badger Bob Johnson. You can read his story in his own words at The Players’ Tribune.
Trade Rumors: The Hockey Writers‘ Michael Pityk thinks that Jim Rutherford and the Penguins could be targeting St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo to help the blue line crew while Olli Maatta remains out.
GameDay: The Penguins return to the ice Wednesday, Nov. 25 against the Blues (13-6-2, 28 points). This match-up closes out their four-game homestand. They drop the puck at 7:00 p.m. You can watch every score on ROOT Sports Pittsburgh.