Deep Blue Sea: Weisblatt, Robins returned to WHL clubs

Plus Joe Thornton’s fantasy value, 2021 draft updates and more in today’s news and notes.

With the state of the Canadian Hockey League’s 2021 season in flux since the NHL began its season in January and the AHL began their season earlier this month, prospects have been allowed to play for their team’s AHL affiliate — something normally forbidden by the NHL’s agreement with the CHL.

The Western Hockey League, one of three leagues that make up the CHL, has seen its share of pushbacks, but has been granted approval to begin their season on in Canada on this Friday, February 26, and in Washington State on Friday, March 19. The season will be shortened from 68 games to 24 games.

The closed border between the United States and Canada will temporarily create a U.S. Division of five teams that will only play each other. The five Alberta teams will create a new Central Division. The five teams in British Columbia will form their own division and the remaining seven teams are in the East Division. The top three teams in each division will make playoffs, as well as two wild card teams in each conference.

San Jose Sharks prospects and 2020 draftees Ozzy Weisblatt and Tristen Robins have been returned to their WHL clubs. Weisblatt played in three AHL games, scoring one goal. Robins went scoreless in two AHL games. They’ll be facing off in the East Division all season with the Prince Albert Raiders and Saskatoon Blades, respectively.

News & Notes

  • Sharks reassign two players to San Jose Barracuda [San Jose Barracuda]
  • Sharks fans have mixed emotions about team not playing in Tahoe [NBC Sports Bay Area]
  • Sharks hope ‘character’ win vs. Blues a sign of things to come [NBC Sports Bay Area]
  • Sharks’ Rookie John Leonard’s Journey to His First 2 NHL Goals [The Hockey Writers]
  • San Jose Sharks: Eight burning questions for their eight-game homestand [The Mercury News]
  • Balcers scores winner as Sharks hold off rallying Blues [TSN]
  • Sharks See Mixed Results in Eventful Series vs. Blues [The Hockey Writers]/

Blood in the Water

  • NHL’s Lake Tahoe outdoor game delayed 8 hours due to poor ice conditions [ESPN]
  • The remarkable sights and sounds from NHL’s outdoor games at Lake Tahoe [Sportsnet]
  • Hischier named captain of Devils prior to season debut []
  • Emrick talks ‘Voice of Hockey’ premiere on ‘NHL @TheRink’ podcast []
  • 20 NHL Fantasy Thoughts: Joe Thornton gains value on Maple Leafs’ top line [Sportsnet]
  • Anaheim Ducks recall top prospect Trevor Zegras, setting stage for his NHL debut [ESPN]
  • NHL Buzz: Zegras could make NHL debut for Ducks against Coyotes []
  • More hurdles emerging as NHL looks into pushing back 2021 NHL Draft [Sportsnet]
  • High school students host hockey tournament to benefit cancer survivor [Channel 3000]
  • Fans hope NHL games in Tahoe increase interest in hockey [KCRA]
  • Alaska hockey, gymnastics seek more time to save programs [Charlotte Observer]
  • ‘You’ve All Given Me Reason to Keep Fighting’: Injured Mass. Hockey Player Shares Message of Thanks [NBC Boston]/

Scores & Recaps

  • New Jersey Devils 3, Washington Capitals 4
  • Montreal Canadiens 2, Ottawa Senators 3 (OT)
  • Philadelphia Flyers 3, Boston Bruins 7
  • Winnipeg Jets 4, Vancouver Canucks 3 (OT)/

Click on a team name to find a recap on their SB Nation site!

On the Schedule

  • Tampa Bay Lightning at Carolina Hurricanes, 4 PT/7 ET on ESPN+, FS-CR, SUN
  • Calgary Flames at Toronto Maple Leafs, 4 PT/7 ET on TVAS, TSN4, SNW
  • Dallas Stars at Florida Panthers, 4 PT/7 ET on FS-F, FS-SW
  • Buffalo Sabres at New York Islanders, 4 PT/7 ET on MSG+, MSG-B
  • Los Angeles Kings at St. Louis Blues, 5 PT/8 ET on NHLN, FS-MW, FS-W
  • Anaheim Ducks at Arizona Coyotes, 6 PT/9 ET on FS-A PLUS, PRIME, FS-SD
  • Vegas Golden Knights at Colorado Avalanche, 6 PT/9 ET on ESPN+, SN1, SNE, SNO, SNP, ALT, ATTSN-RM
  • Minnesota Wild at San Jose Sharks, 7:30 PT/10:30 ET on NBCSCA, FS-N/