Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Puck Soup: Julien fired, Eichel trade talk and a Swedish game show

In this week's episode of the Puck Soup podcast:
- Claude Julien is fired minutes before we record
- Greg reports from Lake Tahoe
- The Artemi Panarin situation
- Is Sidney Crosby headed for all-time top 5 status
- Let's trade Jack Eichel
- And lots more, including a weird new quiz...

>> Stream it now:

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Monday, February 22, 2021

Weekend rankings: An outdoor debacle, a bottom 5 shakeup, and yes, the Leafs

Well, it looked good. For a while.

You have to give the NHL credit for that much. After weeks of hype over just how beautiful the Lake Tahoe games would look, the real thing somehow exceeded expectations. The whole thing was jaw-dropping.

Then the game started and, well… you know the rest.

The Knights and Avalanche were able to finish the game later that night, and last night’s Bruins/Flyers game went fine, albeit in a new time slot. Still, there’s no point pretending that this weekend won’t be remembered as a failure. We’ll remember the sights of players tripping over divots and a frustrated Gary Bettman explaining that the clouds weren’t cooperating at least as much as the breathtaking pregame visuals.

The NHL is taking a lot of criticism over this, and criticizing how this league operations is pretty much half my schtick. But I don’t think I can join in here, at least to the same degree that so many fellow fans and media seem to be. I don’t see this weekend as being an example of incompetence, or Bettman forgetting that sometimes the sun shines during the day. Rather, I see a league that took a risk and got burned when they pushed a little too far. An outdoor game being waylaid by weather was always a possibility, and after over a decade, something close to the worst-case scenario finally played out. That’s bad, but I’d still rather have an NHL that takes the occasional big swing rather than the conservative, play-it-safe version we get with almost everything else.

On to this week’s rankings, where the top five looks familiar but the bottom five gets a makeover…

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Sunday, February 21, 2021

Call for mailbag questions

Hey folks...

It's getting close to mailbag times again. Please send over some questions we can have some fun with, via email at

We could talk bigger nets, draft lottery, outdoor games or awards. What-ifs, would-you-rathers and all-time bests (and worsts) work well. Creative stuff is great, but the occasional straightforward question can often spark an interesting discussion too. Don't be shy about asking questions about the ongoing season.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Grab Bag: How to increase scoring without making the nets bigger, a draft lottery request, young Joe Thornton and friends, and more

In the Friday Grab Bag:
- So you want more scoring but won't make the nets bigger. Cool, I've got some idea...
- A simple request about the draft lottery debate
- An obscure player who may have gone to Alcatraz
- The three comedy stars
- And a YouTube look back at teenaged Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Roberto Luongo

>> Read the full post at The Athletic

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Thursday, February 18, 2021

The Athletic Hockey Show: Katie Strang on her Coyotes bombshell

On this week's episode of The Athletic Hockey Show:

Katie Strang joins us to talk about her blockbuster Coyotes report, including:
- How a story like this comes together
- What she's thinking the night before a big story drops
- Her thoughts on that Bill Armstrong threat
- What's the deal with those mysterious investigators lurking around?
- What the next chapter of this story could bring...

- That Maple Leafs collapse
- Has Sidney Crosby reserved his spot in the all-time top five?
- The Hawks and Panthers surprise
- This day in history, listener questions and more...

The Athletic Hockey Show runs most days of the week during the season, with Ian and I hosting every Thursday. There are two versions of each episode available:
- An ad-free version for subscribers that you can find here
- An ad-supported version you can get for free wherever you normally find your podcasts (like Apple or Spotify)