The Nashville Predators now have a brand-new supporter. Forward Matt Duchene and his wife, Ashley, welcomed a baby girl. They revealed the name (Jaymes Olivia Duchene) and the first photo on social media, prompting excitement among fans.
Duchene posted a series of photos on Instagram while announcing the birth. The first showed the newborn staring wide-eyed at the camera. Another featured the Predators player holding his new daughter while a third showed the happy parents. Duchene then rounded out the group of photos, with one showing the baby girl sleeping peacefully.
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When Duchene first announced the birth, he expressed excitement about when Jaymes would meet her older brother, Beau. The hockey player then showed the first meeting, which featured his son holding Jaymes on his lap. "Bro and sis meeting for the first time today... don’t think I’ve ever melted more in my life than watching this," Duchene wrote in the caption of his Instagram post.
While Duchene is at home and enjoying time with his now-expanded family, he is also getting ready for the upcoming season. The Predators had an early end to the 2020 season after failing to reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Now the team will prepare for another opportunity to chase the championship title.
The season came to an end in October, with the Tampa Bay Lightning defeating the Dallas Stars in the Stanley Cup Finals. The postseason took place in two separate bubble cities — Toronto and Vancouver — but there are concerns about an entire season taking place in a bubble situation. There are also several questions about the length of the season.
"Our goal is to get back to a normal schedule starting in the fall and being done before July on a longer-term basis," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. Under the current plans, the league would start the season sometime during the winter and would have a shortened 82-game season. Cutting the number of games would present the opportunity to return to the normal offseason schedule after the playoffs.0comments
In addition to changing the number of games, Bettman also mentioned possibly switching up the divisions. The changes would put the Canadian teams in one division to limit the travel requirements. Additionally, teams would face off multiple times in one city.
"Obviously, we’re not going to move all seven Canadian franchises south of the 49th Parallel, and so we have to look at alternative ways to play," Bettman said. "You’ll play for 10 to 12 days. You’ll play a bunch of games without traveling. You’ll go back, go home for a week, be with your family. We’ll have our testing protocols and all the other things you need. It’s not going to be quite as effective as a bubble, but we think we can, if we go this route, minimize the risks to the extent practical and sensible."