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Dan’s Daily: Captain Staal in Conference Final; Penguins Draft Possibles



RALEIGH, NC - MAY 11: Members of the Carolina Hurricanes celebrate winning game 5 of the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs between the New Jersey Devils and the Carolina Hurricanes on May 11, 2023 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Katherine Gawlik/Icon Sportswire)

You really have to think back to remember the last time Jordan Staal suited up in a Penguins jersey — Game 6 vs. the Flyers in that humbling 2012 playoff series–yet the town has always had a soft spot for the second-youngest of the sod-farming, NHL-playing brothers from Thunder Bay. Now, the 34-year-old captain of the Carolina Hurricanes has the team back in the Eastern Conference Final for the first time since 2018-19 after a 3-2 OT win over the New Jersey Devils. They’ve been the darling of the analytics community for years; is this finally the year we see the Hurricanes storm surge into the Stanley Cup Final?

Meanwhile, in the West, the Dallas Stars jumped all over the Seattle Kraken early and pulled away late, winning 5-2 to take a 3-2 lead in the series. Former Penguins forward Jared McCann scored his first playoff goal in the losing effort.

Off the ice news: Looks like Ryan Reynolds won’t get a chance to resuscitate another moribund franchise. Reynolds, whose purchase of Wrexham FC was the catalyst of the buzzy Disney+ reality show “Welcome to Wrexham,” had put together a consortium of investors to purchase the club and met with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in December. The group wanted an exclusivity window to negotiate directly and reportedly made an offer of over $1 billion, but it request was rejected.

Pittsburgh Penguins / Steelers / Pirates

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Here come the mock drafts. Should the Penguins go for a steady center or a scoring winger with pick number 14, their highest in over a decade?

Mark Madden: Pens should trade first-round pick

Pittsburgh Baseball Now: The losses keep piling up for the Pirates, who are seemingly faced with instability across the diamond.

Steelers Now: It’s NFL schedule release season, which is practically a national holiday at this point. The entire Steelers schedule has been revealed and now everyone can start making their game-by-game win predictions.

NHL Trade Speculation, Playoffs, & National Hockey Now

Vegas Hockey Now: Alex Pietrangelo gets a well-deserved one-game suspension for slashing Leon Draisaitl.

Philly Hockey Now: Keith Jones officially is named president of hockey operations for the Philadelphia Flyers. Daniel Brière has the interim tag removed and is the official GM going forward.

Florida Hockey Now: The Florida Panthers failed to close out their series with the Maple Leafs, who avoided a sweep with a 2-1 victory. So what about Bob? Don’t blame Bob.

Washington Hockey Now: Evgeny Kuznetsov is unhappy with life as a Washington Capital.

Montreal Hockey Now: The Montreal Canadiens might be looking to trade up at the 2023 NHL Draft.

Boston Hockey Now: If Patrice Bergeron bolts from the Bruins, will Brad Marchand be next in line as captain?

LA Hockey Now: The Penguins can (usually) relate: The LA Kings don’t have a first-round pick this season (again).

NYI Hockey Now: Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin is named one of three Vezina finalists.

Nashville Hockey Now: Juuse Saaros was snubbed.

Calgary Hockey Now: Drama off the ice in Alberta. Former Calgary GM Brad Treliving is being blocked from interviewing by the Calgary Flames.

Don’t forget to check out our newest sites:

Buffalo Sabres coverage at Buffalo Hockey Now

Nashville Predators coverage at Nashville Hockey Now

Chicago Blackhawks (home of the #1 pick in the 2023 NHL Draft) coverage at Chicago Hockey Now