100 things I love about the NHL right now

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman crunches some financial numbers from the BOG meetings, says the league is having extraordinary healthy growth in revenue, which points to a significant increase in the salary cap for next season.

In no particular order…

1. Sudden death overtime

2. The way Erik Karlsson skates, passes, does his hair

3. Watching warmups and taking note of which player goes off last for each team (also looking for who doesn’t wear a helmet because they want to be seen and/or enjoy the breeze through their hair)

4. Connor McDavid gathering steam around his own net with the puck on his tape

5. A couple days after a club’s elimination when you hear the long list of the injuries players’ were pushing through

6. No one wanting to block Shea Weber’s shot

7. Sticking up for one another

8. Drew Doughty interviews

9. Goalies who try to score on the opposition’s empty net

10. Tyler Seguin and Mark Scheifele’s paper-rock-scissors battles

11. That the winning captain, not the team owner, is the first person to touch the Stanley Cup

12. Tumbling down a CapFriendly.com rabbit hole

13. Going for the Gordie Howe hat trick

14. Goalie fights

15. Goalie controversies

16. Goals from centre ice

17. Goal songs, good team ones and individual ones

18. That guys with names like Dit Clapper still hold scoring records

19. Steve Yzerman winning at playing and winning at GM’ing

20. Endless bickering about who should be your team’s seventh defenceman or 12th forward

21. The Halley’s Comet that is the blockbuster one-for-one trade

22. David Poile (see above)

23. Boring Sean Monahan

24. Gary Bettman always getting booed whenever he appears publicly

25. Gary Bettman not caring one iota that he gets booed whenever he appears publicly

26. Zoomed-out photos of games with poor attendance

27. Zoomed-in photos of sweaty, intense faces about to take a face-off

28. Claude Giroux creating from the wall

29. Patrik Laine’s release

30. Under-rated Evgeni Malkin considering leaving Sid and the Penguins but deciding to stick around anyway

31. Mic’d-up refs

32. Two full minutes of 5-on-3

33. The uncut visual cocaine that is 3-on-3 overtime

34. That night Auston Matthews hit ’em with the four

35. John Tortorella press conferences (bonus if he says “Brooksie”)

36. The Flying V

37. That every member of a championship team, even trainers and assistant coaches, gets a summer day alone with the Cup

38. When they go to the Olympics

39. The off-the-board draft pick that sends us all scrambling to Google

40. The undrafted star everyone missed

41. James van Riemsdyk not understanding what mouth guards are for

42. Joe Thornton generally not giving an eff

43. Team Twitter battles

44. That you have to buy a guy something if you’re new to the team and want his sweater number

45. Trade rumours outnumbering actual trades by a ratio of about 45 to 1

46. Beards, playoff and lifestyle

47. Three stars of the night

48. When the singer holds the mic away from his or her mouth, lets the crowd sing “O Canada” and still gets paid

49. Completely unimaginative but so-fun-to-say nicknames

50. Hordes of grown men buying those Budweiser goal lights that sync up with their TVs

51. Head coaches that take time explain

52. Head coaches with no time to explain

53. Bob Cole trying to describe everything that’s happening

54. Doc Emrick’s vocabulary

55. Harnarayan Singh’s passion and perseverance

56. Alex Ovechkin waiting for the one-timer

57. Cheeky shootout moves

58. Hockey hugs

59. The unmistakable sound of a puck hitting a post

60. Unfair bounces

61. Mark Stone stealing your puck when you least expect it

62. Ceremonial puck drops

63. Commentators planted between the benches

64. The Tampa Bay Lightning‘s game presentation

65. Retired numbers watching bird’s-eye from the rafters

66. Press box snacks, and the hockey writers who passionately rate them

67. That moment between when a penalty shot is called and when a penalty shot takes place

68. Jaromir Jagr’s immortality (and the costumed grown-ups who follow him)

69. Doug Glatt

70. Braden Holtby’s pre-game routine

71. Quiet Joe Sakic shutting everyone up

72. When tanking backfires

73. Offer sheets (extinct)

74. The Pittsburgh model

75. Five minutes of Timbits shinny during intermission

76. The moment Don Cherry realizes he’s running out of time

77. Ron MacLean’s dedication to the pun as a form of comedy

78. Gene Principe’s dedication to the pun as a form of comedy

79. Jokes about the Columbus Blue Jackets’ cannon and the Chicago Blackhawks‘ hording of outdoor games

80. Evgeny Kuznetsov celebrating goals like a bird

81. That time Phil Kessel filled the Stanley Cup with hot dogs and them (all?)

82. New arenas putting the home team’s logo on the dressing room ceiling instead of the floor

83. “Last minute to play in the third period”

84. Throwback jerseys

85. Scrambling-for-a-last-minute-emergency-goalie stories

86. Chirps

87. Sidney Crosby’s insatiable desire to win despite already winning everything

88. Finished checks

89. Insiders

90. When fake insiders get accidentally retweeted by real reporters

91. Steven Stamkos coming back stronger

92. Must-win games (but only the literal ones)

93. Patrick Sharp still using thin shoulder pads that are about 23 years old and falling apart and gross

94. Brainstorming a nickname for your freshly drafted fantasy team

95. Pucks in shallow (which result in an odd-man rush the other way)

96. Owning own-goals

97. Game-time decisions

98. Handshake lines

99. Wayne Gretzky mentoring McDavid

100. Game 7