According to Hockey Slovakia, Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Maxim Cajkovic has been excluded from the Slovak U20 National Team camp due to disciplinary reasons and won’t participate in the upcoming World Junior Championship. Per reports, Cajkovic delivered a couple of dirty hits during yesterday’s scrimmage against his teammates, which doesn’t correspond with the values set by coaches and players. Cajkovic has responded to this situations and reportedly already left the team.
Čajkovič’s response:— Matej Deraj (@MatoDeraj) December 4, 2020
“I feel sorry for what happened. I realize my behavior was not appropriate and I bear the consequences. I respect the coaches’ decision.” @HockeySlovakia
It was the first preparation game since Team Slovakia entered a training camp bubble in Zvolen, Slovakia. Before being excluded, Cajkovic scored two goals in this game.
After excluding Cajkovic, the Slovaks' chances to make the playoffs, or even to survive in the top division, have significantly dropped. Maxim Cajkovic is one of the few returning players and the biggest star of their team. Their opponents in Pool A are Canada, Finland, Switzerland and Germany and if Canada and Finland are obvious favourites, the remaining two teams have very talented rosters, especially Germany, which has probably one of the strongest rosters in recent years. Their potential opponent in relegation game – team Austria, also doesn’t look like an easy rival, and boasts some big talents, such as Marco Rossi, the first round selection in the 2020 NHL Draft by the Minnesota Wild.
Team Slovakia have been in the top division since the implementing of the playoff format at the 1996 World Juniors and has won two bronze medals since that time, most recently in 2015.
Around the League
Per Pierre LeBrun, the NHL is moving the potential date of start for the 2020-21 regular season to January 15. Earlier the league shared the preliminary schedule of 56-game regular season with the NHL teams.
A Jan. 15 start is now being discussed, source says, really no choice given that Jan 1 doesn’t seem realistic at this point. Economic issues still unresolved but both sides keep talking about other issues around season planning. As Frank says below, some positive vibes https://t.co/0uMf6FViG2— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) December 4, 2020
According to draft schedule, training camps could start on January 1, the playoffs would start early in May and the Stanley Cup will be awarded around July 7
Some good signs on #NHL front. Like some others, have also heard a recent proposal to #NHLPA involves a 52-game season, starting Jan. 15. Camps would open Jan. 1, a few days earlier for non-playoff teams. End of season early May, Cup Final ends around July 7. More talks coming.— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) December 4, 2020
However, the financial issue still hasn’t been resolved. The NHL has asked for an additional increase of deferral and escrow payments. The negotiations with the NHLPA are still continuing.
With a number of assumptions made over the summer "not applicable anymore," Gary Bettman says NHL is reacting to a changing landscape rather than renegotiating its financial deal with players: https://t.co/CHbHA5yeyX— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) December 2, 2020
One league is playing in the United States - the ECHL. The Orlando Solar Bears had their first exhibition game last night and fell 5-4 to the Florida Everblades. Adam Rockwood had a goal and an assist while Peter Abbandonato and rookie Nikita Pavlychev also scored.