The NHL All-Star break is over and hockey Twitter’s search for a strawman to oppose the Green Day prank mostly came up empty. Now the Pittsburgh Penguins bye week begins, so we have a full week of analysis planned. The NHL is watching the Penguins and GM Jim Rutherford, as well we have a handful of other NHL trade rumors.
We began the week of analysis with Kris Letang’s mid-season report card (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
At least one executive propelled the NHL trade rumors when he told Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun fellow NHL execs expect Penguins GM Jim Rutherford to get an early start on the NHL trade market. (Ottawa Sun)
Reliable columnist Lyle Richardson of longtime hockey news site Spectors Hockey penned a piece listing the five GMs on the seat. There’s no surprise that Marc Bergevin is listed, but a few other longtime GMs are in trouble, too (Featurd)
The moment I most enjoyed during the NHL All-Star game didn’t receive a lot of attention. Calgary Flames pest Mathew Tkachuk set up Edmonton Oilers star Leon Draisaitl for a slick goal. Then just skated away. No celebration. No congrats. You may also know that Calgary and Edmonton have been at war this season, which culminated in Edmonton bruiser Zach Kassian ragdolling Tkachuk for a dangerous but legal-ish blindside hit, just a couple of weeks ago.
Here’s the story with comments and the highlight (Sportsnet)
Pierre LeBrun sized up all 31 teams ahead of the NHL trade deadline. For the Penguins, he tossed out the name Tomas Tatar in Montreal, but to be 100% clear, that was speculation, not reporting talks (The Athletic)
If Tatar were available, the Penguins would have to give up a barge full of goodies. We’re talking a No. 1 and a prospect. He is Montreal’s leading scorer and was dealt for three
first-round picks, including a first rounder two deadlines ago. The NHL trade rumor sites were already churning with that name, but don’t get too attached. Rutherford has more affordable options.
But yes, he would fit well with the Penguins.