Bulls of the Week
The NHL was slow out of the gates in its interpretation of social and racial justice issues. Yet by delivering a heartfelt opening-round speech and raising his fist in the air during the anthems, Matt Dumba of the Minnesota Wild helped the NHL recover on that front and became a hockey household name in the process.
The NHL also put itself in a difficult-to-rationalize spot with the way it opened up the draft lottery to several of its better teams. The league is fortunate the New York Rangers won theAlexis Lafrenière sweepstakes, rather than recent lottery winners such as Toronto or Edmonton.
Despite those slip-ups, the NHL is bullishly basking in the glow of its made-for-TV Stanley Cup tournament.
In almost every respect — including its return-to-play format, the smart decision to build around two Canadian hub cities and the elaborate staging of the games without fans in the stands at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto and Rogers Place in Edmonton — the league has exceeded expectations and has received praise from even its most fervent of critics.