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Lightning Round: Salary cap could rise more than expected, Canucks make history

And Russians likely barred from WCoH in 2024

NHL: OCT 15 Lightning at Penguins
PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 15: Tampa Bay Lightning Defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (98) waits for play to begin during the second period in the NHL game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Tampa Bay Lightning on October 15, 2022, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA.
Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Vancouver Canucks are the first team in NHL history to lose four straight games after holding a multi-goal lead in each game. Up 3-0 on Edmonton, lose 3-5. Up 2-0 on Philadelphia, lose 2-3 (hey, copycats). Up 4-2 on Washington, lose 6-4. Up 2-0 on Columbus, lose 4-3.

All this losing early has put the Canucks in a good position to either pick first and draft hometown boy Connor Bedard, or come back enough to miss the playoffs and get a mediocre pick. Let’s see what happens!

The Canucks are one of three teams yet to win this season, San Jose and Minnesota being the other two. Four teams are undefeated in the early goings of the season, Dallas, Carolina, Calgary, and Philadelphia.

The NHL Board of Governors are meeting right now and two topics of discussion came up.

First, revenues are looking promising so far this season with the league expecting to make up the losses due to the 19/20 and 20/21 seasons. The owners should expect to be paid back for subsidizing player salaries for the past few seasons, allowing for the salary cap to go a lot more than the capped $1 million.

Gary Bettman says that number could be as high as $4 million. It likely won’t be that high, but a $2-$3 million improvement would be very helpful to teams like the Lightning who have some hefty extensions kicking in.

The salary cap is currently expected to reach $92 million by 2025-26, but with this good news it could happen sooner.

The second piece of news is the NHL’s World Cup of Hockey. It doesn’t look like Russian players will be participating so long as the invasion continues. This push is coming from “some of the participating countries.” The Czech Republic announced last week that they will not be inviting the NHL back to their country after they barred Russian men from coming to the country (those fleeing the war/conscription) and the NHL defied those orders.

Anson Carter is now a part owner of the ECHL Atlanta Gladiators.

The 2026 Winter Olympics are taking place in Italy. As a result, their men’s national team is deciding to enter a team into the men’s ice hockey tournament. In part of their build-up, they have hired Mike Keenan to be the head coach. [CBC Sports]

Keenan, 72, coached eight teams in the NHL over 25 years from 1984 to 2009.

Italy, which did not compete in the 2022 Beijing Games, is set to host the 2026 Winter Olympics. Host countries get automatic entries into Olympic competition for hockey