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Over The Boards

Mailbag: Thoughts on taking Global Series outdoors

NHL.com's Dan Rosen answers weekly questions

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

Here is the Oct. 2 edition of Dan Rosen's weekly mailbag, which runs every Wednesday. If you have a question, tweet it to @drosennhl and use #OvertheBoards.

The NHL is doing a great job with the Global Series and bringing NHL teams and games to other countries. Do you think we will see a team or teams from another country come to North America anytime soon? How likely do you think an outdoor Global Series game is? -- @mikeybox

I love the idea of an overseas outdoor game. I wonder if that's where the NHL's outdoor game series could be headed in the next few years; it could be played in November in a soccer stadium in Stockholm, Helsinki, Prague, Berlin, Zurich or Moscow. Many of the outdoor stadiums in those cities are on the relatively newer side, so the technology exists for the NHL to make it happen. The League would have to ship the mobile ice plant, which would require a heavy dose of logistics, but it could be done. I would bet the fan interest would be high. I've witnessed it firsthand in Stockholm, Helsinki and Prague how well it's received when the NHL brings regular-season games to them; it would be kicked up a few notches for it to be an outdoor game. 

As for a European team coming to play here against an NHL team, it's intriguing but wouldn't have the same impact as an NHL team traveling to a European market to face a local team. I question whether it would be worthwhile, because the goal of the NHL Global Series is to grow the game outside North America. The League wants to showcase its players and product to fans who don't get the chance to see them often; you'd likely have many of the same fans attending a preseason game between two NHL teams as you would attending one between an NHL team and a European counterpart in any NHL arena in North America, which is why it won't happen.

 

Which team has more urgency to make the playoffs in the East: Buffalo Sabres or New Jersey Devils? -- @nashman92

The Sabres are expected to show progress; the Devils, at least in my opinion, are expected to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs. By that alone, New Jersey would be the answer to your question, because it's built more for now. It will be a dramatic improvement for the Devils to get into the playoffs this season after missing by 26 points last season, but they made major upgrades in the offseason with the additions of center Jack Hughes, forwards Wayne Simmonds and Nikita Gusev, and defenseman P.K. Subban. There is a push to begin a new playoff tradition in New Jersey, and that puts the pressure on the Devils to be a playoff team this season. I think it will be a disappointment if they are not. 

The Sabres, who missed the playoffs by 22 points last season, have the longest playoff drought of any team in the League, having missed in eight straight seasons. They seem to be in the middle of yet another rebuild, and they have a new coach, Ralph Krueger, their third in five seasons. As painful as it must be to be for Buffalo fans, they're going to have to be patient. Among the new Sabres are forwards Jimmy Vesey and Marcus Johansson, and defensemen Colin Miller and Henri Jokiharju . Those are nice additions, but they are dwarfed by the improvements the Devils made, at least on paper. The pressure is on New Jersey to have its changes pay immediate dividends. I don't get that same sense for the Sabres.

Video: NYR@NJD: Hughes pots early breakaway goal

 

What are the biggest surprises to you so far as far as final roster moves made in the Metropolitan Division? -- @_rodrigues_20

The New York Rangers kept forward Micheal Haley instead of forward Filip Chytil, who played 75 NHL games last season. Chytil had a chance to win the job as the No. 2 center but didn't run with it. I thought if he didn't make it as a center he'd wind up on the wing, where he played last season. There is reason to believe this could benefit Chytil. The Rangers want him to be a center and don't feel he's ready to do that at the NHL level. They also have four games in the first 14 days of the season. Chytil can play four games with Hartford of the American Hockey League in that time, play center, and then the Rangers can re-evaluate where they are after that. Chytil turned 20 on Sept. 5, so there is still development time remaining with him. 

The opposite happened with the New York Islanders, who kept 19-year-old defenseman Noah Dobson over 30-year-old defenseman Thomas Hickey. The Islanders sent Hickey to Bridgeport of the AHL after he cleared waivers Wednesday. Hickey has played in 449 games with the Islanders since the 2012-13 season. Dobson was No. 12 pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. The Islanders clearly feel his future is now, and he should be in their top six with Nick Leddy, Scott Mayfield, Devon Toews, Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock when they open the season against the Washington Capitals at Nassau Coliseum on Friday (7 p.m. ET; MSG+, NBCSWA, NHL.TV).

 

Does Cody Glass enter the discussion for the Calder Trophy if he does, in fact, play most of the season between Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone like the Vegas Golden Knights' lineup Sunday night suggested? -- @DerekSchoen

It's possible, but it's also quite a leap to go there now. I think Glass has terrific upside, but I'm hard-pressed to say the 20-year-old center will play all season, or at least the balance of the season, with Stone and Pacioretty. If he does, he'll be in the Calder conversation with Devils center Jack Hughes, Rangers forward Kaapo Kakko, Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar and Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes. But I think center Paul Stastny will end up between Stone and Pacioretty, and I wonder about Glass' staying power once the Golden Knights are healthy, meaning center Cody Eakin (day to day, upper body) and forward Alex Tuch (week to week, upper body) each is back in the lineup. There's so much to like about Glass, including his playmaking, intelligence and his production last season in the Calder Cup Playoffs with Chicago of the AHL (15 points in 22 games).

Video: Glass joins the show to discuss his prospect ranking

 

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