The National Hockey League will commence on August 1 with a very exciting best-of-five qualifying round, followed by the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Teams from the Western Conference will play in Edmonton, while teams from the Eastern Conference will play in Toronto. So far, there are six players who have decided not to play. Players had until 5 p.m. ET on Monday to notify their team of their decision not to participate without penalty. Let us take a look at the six absent players.
6) Karl Alzner–Montreal Canadiens–A defenseman from Burnaby, British Columbia, Alzner has played only played four games for the Canadiens this season and did not collect a point. The 31-year-old has spent the majority of the season with the Laval Rocket of the American Hockey League in 2019-20.
5) Steve Kampfer–Boston Bruins–The defenseman from Ann Arbor, MI, had played 10 games for the Bruins this season, and had two assists. Boston has a very deep blueline, led by Zdeno Chara, Charlie McAvoy, and Torey Krug. It was unlikely that Kampfer would have played much for Boston in the postseason, and would have only seen any action if there was an injury to the Bruins core six.
4) Sven Baertschi–Vancouver Canucks–A left-winger from Bern, Switzerland, Baertschi, like Kampfer, has two assists this season. The 27 year-old has 66 goals, 72 assists and 138 points over the last nine seasons with the Canucks and Calgary Flames. Baertschi has only played six games for Vancouver this year after clearing waivers on October 1.
3) Roman Polak–Dallas Stars–A defenseman from Ostrava, Czech Republic, Polak has four assists in 41 games for the Stars this season. In his 14 year-NHL career, Polak has been considered a very dependable blueliner. He had 104 hits and 94 blocked shots for Dallas in 2019-20.
2) Mike Green–Edmonton Oilers–The native of Calgary had not seen much time in Edmonton, as he only played two games with the Oilers since being traded from Detroit at the trade deadline. In 50 games, Green had three goals and eight assists for 11 points. Despite being a -34 this season, Green has played in 880 NHL games. His absence on the Oilers blueline could be extremely significant for a team that has home-ice advantage for the rest of the playoffs.
1)Travis Hamonic–Calgary Flames–The loss of Hamonic for the Flames will be gigantic as they face the Winnipeg Jets in the qualifying round. Part of the Flames’ top four blueliners, Hamonic had three goals and nine assists for 12 points in 50 games this season. Where Hamonic is magnificent is in his shot blocking. He has 110 blocked shots this year and 1281 blocked shots over the last decade.