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‘Canada’s hockey dad’ Walter Gretzky passes away at 82

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Some devastating news coming out of the hockey world.

Walter Gretzky, the father of legendary NHLer Wayne Gretzky, has died after a prolonged battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 82 at the time of his death.

“It’s with deep sadness that Janet and I share the news of the passing of my dad…He bravely battled Parkinson’s and other health issues these last few years, but he never let it get him down” said Wayne Gretzky.

“For me, he was the reason I fell in love with the game of hockey. He inspired me to be the best I could be not just in the game of hockey, but in life.”

Known to everyone as Canada’s Hockey Dad, Walter was more than just Wayne’s father. He was inspirational to young hockey players and gave back to the game in many ways, including charitable causes.

“Walter’s passion for the game and for teaching it to young players transcended place, status and skill level,” said NHL commissioner Wayne Gretzky.

“During the two decades since Wayne retired, Walter could always be found at a rink, sharing the game with players and fans at all levels. Quietly and humbly, Walter dedicated so much of his time to countless charities with little fanfare but with a deep commitment to improving the lives of so many — particularly children.”

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Avalanche goalie Philipp Grubauer tests positive for COVID-19

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The Colorado Avalanche are going to have to get by without their starting goalie for a little while.

The team has confirmed that Philipp Grubauer will be sidelined for at least two weeks after being placed in the NHL COVID-19 protocol after a positive COVID-19 test.

“It’ll be at least 14 days before his next game,” said Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar.

“Not ideal, but I know he’ll be hungry to get back in the net when he’s healthy.”

The 29-year old has posted a 25-8-1 record with a 2.00 goals-against average, .920 save percentage and five shutouts in 34 games this season.

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Bruins bolster offence with Taylor Hall acquisition

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The Boston Bruins have added some much-needed scoring depth as they look to move up the standings in the East division.

The team has acquired former MVP Taylor Hall and veteran forward Curtis Lazar from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for forward Anders Bjork and a second-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft.

Hall, 29, has struggled this season with the Sabres, posting just two goals and 19 assists in 37 games. But getting out of the toxic environment in Buffalo and onto a contending team in Boston will more likely than not get him out of his season-long funk and back to his All-Star ways.

He is in the final season of a one-year, $8 million contract and will be an unrestricted free agent again this offseason.

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Leafs acquire Nick Foligno, Stefan Noesen in three-team trade with Blue Jackets, Sharks

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The Toronto Maple Leafs have made a big splash ahead of the trade deadline.

The team announced it has acquired veteran forward Nick Foligno from the Columbus Blue Jackets and Stefan Noesen from the San Jose Sharks. As part of the deal, they have sent their 2021 first round draft pick and 2022 fourth rounder to the Blue Jackets, and a 2021 fourth round draft pick to the Sharks.

In order to fit him in the salary cap, the Leafs will only retain 25% of Foligno’s salary.

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