NCAA

Coast To Coast: Kelly Cup Clinched, Colonials Lawyer Up, NHL Mourns

Coast To Coast: Kelly Cup Clinched, Colonials Lawyer Up, NHL Mourns

An unprecedented 2020-21 hockey season winds down.

Jul 14, 2021 by Jacob Messing
Coast To Coast: Kelly Cup Clinched, Colonials Lawyer Up, NHL Mourns

Coast To Coast is FloHockey’s monthly, cohesive news on North American hockey and live-streaming partnerships.


As the unprecedented 2020-21 hockey season winds down, the atypical summer checklist reads something like: Kelly Cup clinched; Individual Awards won; Lawyers called.

That does not include free agency, the Seattle Expansion draft, or the 2021 NHL Draft. But still, North American hockey has fought hard to see these modified seasons through.

ECHL 

The Fort Wayne Komets earned their first Kelly Cup in franchise history as the ECHL champions. The Komets are an affiliate of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights, defeating the Washington Capitals’ affiliate South Carolina three games to one. 

 

The Komets played just 51 games in the strange, split season as the lone team to not play between 68-72 contests after starting their season in February, while every other team began to play in late 2020.

The Komets defeated regular season studs, the Wichita Thunder and Allen Americans, in their postseason path. Their improved success is evident throughout their affiliation with the AHL’s inaugural season success from the Henderson Silver Knights, as well as the NHL’s aforementioned Golden Knights.

NCAA

The WCHA is officially a defunct college hockey conference after both Alaska Fairbanks and Alaska Anchorage opted to cease operations. Alaska Fairbanks is pursuing the 2021-22 season as an independent program while Alaska Anchorage seeks a path to reinstate the hockey program dropped last year due in part to COVID.

Similar to Alaska Anchorage, the third WCHA team left out by the revitalization of the CCHA is Alabama Huntsville. Alabama Huntsville is opting out of the 2021-22 season as they seek a reliable alternative for fundraising to ensure future hockey seasons are sustainable and not reliant on annual fundraising and crowdsourcing.

The affected players of the sudden closing of the Robert Morris ice hockey programs appear to have “lawyered up” as they seek legal recourse for the expulsion of the varsity sports.

Both Robert Morris’ men’s and women’s teams have had agreeable success over the past several seasons, which has made the sudden decision to cut the programs that much stranger.

Now represented by Jeffrey Kessler, the same counsel Tom Brady brought on for his ‘Deflategate’ lawsuit is taking the case to ensure players are seeking all options ahead fo the 2021-22 season.

NHL

The Columbus Blue Jackets confirmed reports on July 5th of the passing of 24-year-old goaltender, Matiss Kivlenieks. After a tragic fireworks accident. Kivlenieks was at the home of his trainer, former NHL goaltender, Manny Legace.


No charges are expected to be filed, but the investigation remains ongoing in exactly what occurred the night of July 4.

As the Stanley Cup Final continues with the Tampa Bay Lightning holding a 3-1 series lead, star defenseman Victor Hedman became the first NHL player to have scored a goal in every month of the year.

Hedman, the 2020 Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the postseason MVP is one win away from a repeat title with the Lightning.


Have a question or a comment for Jacob Messing? You can find him on Twitter @Jacob_Messing.