Nine scouts from nine teams attended Tuesday’s Penguins vs. New York Rangers game at PPG Paints Arena. Thursday, two teams returned but sent additional scouts: The New Jersey Devils and Vegas Golden Knights each had a pair of scouts in the press box.
One scout is advance work. Two scouts from the New Jersey Devils, a division rival which is not on the Penguins immediate schedule, is a reason to raise two eyebrows. New Jersey’s GM Ray Shero is the Penguins former office boss and still has ties to some players, though not many.
The Devils have led the Metro division for much of the season, but on the surface don’t appear to have needs which align with the Penguins excess. The same is also true in reverse.
The Penguins will play the Vegas Golden Knights next week, and Marc-Andre Fleury could be in goal…finally. After playing five goalies in the last two months, perhaps the Golden Knights could have an extra worthy of a number three position, but enough talent to be a backup?
Also returning to PPG for at least a second straight game are scouts from the Buffalo Sabres and St. Louis Blues.
The Sabres have several hot commodities, including power forward Evander Kane. Kane has been dogged by a bad personal reputation, deserved or (likely) not. He will be a UFA after this season and the Sabres GM Jason Botterill has not decided if Kane will be traded or re-signed.
The Sabres also have goalies to spare. They need defense and character…
The Chicago Blackhawks, Calgary Flames, and Vancouver Canucks shared press box nachos. None of those teams are on either the Penguins or Islanders immediate schedule. So the visit figures to be a little more than a social call.
IF you haven’t
If you haven’t yet done so–read John Perrotto’s fantastic piece today. John is national for a reason. He spoke with Ryan Reaves and Kris Letang about the eroding player code in the NHL, Ryan Reaves roll and fighting.
Truly great stuff!