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The Edge of Lori: November 15, 2021

Ottawa Senators Right Wing Tyler Ennis (63) skates with the puck while battling Los Angeles Kings Defenceman Matt Roy (3) during second period National Hockey League action between the Los Angeles Kings and Ottawa Senators on November 11, 2021, at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, ON, Canada. (Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire)

NHL Noise

The NHL is starting to feel more like another Law and Order spinoff than a hockey season.

On Tuesday, Nov. 9, the Anaheim Ducks placed Executive Vice President and General Manager Bob Murray on administrative leave following accusations of improper professional conduct. The Ducks enlisted an external investigator to conduct the investigation.

On Wednesday, Murray resigned as GM to enter an alcohol-related abuse program. Ducks employees have disclosed incidents of verbal abuse dating back several years. Murray has been the Ducks GM since 2008.

We should brace ourselves. The Chicago Blackhawks investigation has broken the seal. There may be some guys who have irresponsibly wielded power over the years who are feeling their nerves right ow.

On Monday Alexander Ovechkin scored his 11th goal of the season against the Buffalo Sabres to tie Brett Hull for fourth place on the all-time goal-scoring list at 741. The 36-year-old is likely to have moved ahead of Hull by the time you’re reading this, and already be chasing Jaromir Jagr’s total of 766.

Carey Price rejoined the Montreal Canadiens this week, and on Tuesday issued a statement confirming that he had been away from the team to enter a residential treatment facility for substance use. He indicated his substance misuse followed years of neglecting his own mental health. It is currently unknown when he will be able to resume play.

Canadiens fans should consider starting a petition for the NHL to keep an eye on the situation in Montreal. The Habs are off to an abysmal start that has fans calling for a clean sweep across management. Carey Price’s absence leaves us wondering how many years he concealed the true quality of the roster. The Habs defeated the Calgary Flames 4-2 on Thursday night to bring their record to 4-10-1.

As of press deadline, the Ottawa Senators had nine players in COVID-19 protocol. The NHL is keeping an eye on the situation as the Sens continue to try and compete despite a seriously depleted line up. A team made up of AHLers were shut out by the L.A. Kings on Thursday night.

After an uninspiring start to the season, the Toronto Maple Leafs have improved to an 8-5-1 record and are on pace for a 100-point season. Kyle Dubas and his crew know another quick trip to the golf course won’t be acceptable this year, and he is already planning tweaks to the roster. The rumour mill has defencemen Justin Holl and Travis Dermott available for trade.

CFL Catch-Up

Week 14 of 16 in the 2021 CFL season featured two Friday night games and two games on Saturday.

On Friday, in the Battle of the Exotic Cats in Hamilton, the Tiger-Cats defeated the BC Lions 26-18. With the win, the Ti-Cats have secured a playoff position. In Edmonton, the Saskatchewan Roughriders claimed their third straight road victory when they beat the Elks 19-17. It was the Elks last chance to secure a home victory this season, but they fell short.

On Saturday in Toronto, the Argonauts came from behind to beat the Ottawa Redblacks 23-20. Heading into the fourth quarter, the Argos were down 20-12. A touchdown, two-point conversion and a field goal late in the game stole the victory from the Redblacks.

In Winnipeg, the Blue Bombers defeated the Montreal Alouettes 31-21 for their ninth straight win. The Bombers have not been beaten at home this season.

The Calgary Stampeders enjoyed a bye week.

Raptors Racket

After two weekend losses, the Toronto Raptors had back-to-back games on Wednesday and Thursday night. They lost to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday and beat the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday to climb to a 7-6 record.

The Raptors are projected to be a bubble team to make the playoffs, and this is understood to be a developmental year. Scottie Barnes, drafted 4th overall in the 2021 draft, has not disappointed so far. It’s early in the season, but Barnes is leading all rookies in scoring and rebounding, and his defensive game is ahead of the curve. The kid has a bright future.

Blue Jays Babble

Last Sunday the Toronto Blue Jays announced they had extended qualifying offers (QO) to second baseman Marcus Semien and pitcher Robbie Ray, who are both coming off career years. It is expected that both players will decline the offers, which means that if they sign elsewhere the Jays will receive draft pick compensation. The Jays also made a multi-year contract offer to pitcher Steven Matz, which he declined. They did not make Matz a QO.

The Blue Jays hope to eventually sign all three free agents. The players have 10 days to accept or decline the QO. During this period, they are free to negotiate with other teams, and get a sense of what they can get on the free market. If all three choose to move on from Toronto, the Jays will have big holes to fill in free agency, in addition to the areas in which they hoped to improve this off-season.

It might be hockey time on the calendar, but you can expect the Baby Blue to provide some entertainment this winter as they build for another season.

Lori Bennett is a social worker, policy professional, recreational softball player and coach, and new ukulele-ist. Originally from NL and now based in Toronto, Lori loves a good hockey chat or debate, as long as it remains respectful. She posts game time thoughts on twitter as @lori10habs.

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