While NHL fans can’t wait for the 2021 Stanley Cup postseason to arrive, there’s still plenty of headlines being made both on and off the ice. This includes rumors on teams parting ways with coaches, and firings also getting underway. In this article, we have NHL news with the latest updates across the league. Read on to know exactly what’s going on.
Columbus and head coach John Tortorella parted ways
In a big move out of the Eastern Conference, Columbus and head coach John Tortorella parted ways. The big news came in late last week, as the club’s higher-ups decided that enough was enough and the best decision for the organization was to move forward in a different direction. Tortorella had been with the Blue Jackets for six seasons, but the team’s struggles this year were noteworthy.
They’re going to be missing out on the NHL postseason after a rough 2020-21. When Tortorella was fired, the team was tied for last place with Detroit in the Discover Central Division. Tortorella closed out his time with the Blue Jackets this season with an 18-26-12 record, despite them having decent NHL odds to compete for a postseason berth. That of course was the last thing that fans were hoping to see this year, making the decision to part ways an easy one.
“After discussion and consideration of the future direction of the team, Jarmo (Kekalainen) and I have come to a mutual agreement to part ways,” Tortorella said in a statement. “I’d like to thank the Columbus Blue Jackets organization for the opportunity to coach this team and live in the great Columbus-area. It has been a privilege to work with the players, coaches and hockey operations staff, which is one of the best in the League.”
This offseason, Columbus will begin its search to make a hire that will not only help the team get back on the right track, but inspire some hope back within the fanbase. In what’s been a forgettable 2020-21 season, the Blue Jackets failed to live up to the hype. Tortorella is now out of a job because of this. The pressure will be on GM Jarmo Kekalainen to find a suitable replacement.
Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin invested in an NSWL team
Elsewhere around the NHL circles, news recently broke that Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin invested in an NSWL team. More specificially, Ovechkin has decided to invest in the local Washington Spirit. In an interview with ESPN, Ovechkin revealed that he’s always been a big fan of women’s sports, which started at a young age, as his mom was a two-time Olympic medal winner with the Russian basketball team.
“I think it’s important to support women and women’s professional athletes — not just in the United States, but all over the world,” Ovechkin told ESPN. “It was also important for me to support the D.C. community. I support everybody in this town. Me and my wife love to go watch a soccer game, watch football, and baseball. We all win. If I have this opportunity, I think it’s very important for me to do it, because it also shows we care.”
Ovechkin is without question one of the best players in the NHL and he’s a fan favorite across Washington D.C. Heck, he’s got millions of fans all over the world. With that said, he’s also incredibly humble and will always be appreciative of his different opportunities. That’s why the decision to invest in the NWSL and Washington Spirit was an easy call for him. He wants to give back to the D.C. community and he’s done so in a big way.
Ovechkin is now 35 years old and has spent the last 16 campaigns in Washington, winning the NHL Stanley Cup in 2018. He’s a team legend through and through and will one day have a statue built outside the stadium. With this latest news on him with the Spirit, it’s only going to add to his popularity. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
Rangers and defenseman Ryan Lindgren have agreed to a three-year extension
Meanwhile in New York, the Rangers and defenseman Ryan Lindgren have agreed to a three-year extension. The news broke on Monday, with the team paying him $9 million over the next three seasons. This is big for the New York front office, as Lindgren was all set to be a free agent this offseason. Instead, he’ll be spending the next three years at Madison Square Garden.
Fans were a little nervous with the Lindgren situation, as he was sure to draw plenty of interest from teams this offseason if he indeed became a free agent. That won’t be happening, though. Despite missing the end of the season with an upper-body injury, Lindgren said he’s already fired up for the new campaign to arrive, especially after New York is missing out on the postseason.
“I’m feeling a lot better,” Lindgren told reporters recently. “Obviously never like missing games, especially at the end of the season, but just needed to take some time. I’m feeling better and better each day. Excited for the training and the offseason.”