The Pittsburgh Penguins are charting a new front office course, other teams began to settle arbitration cases or win them, there are a handful of restricted free agents who could finally break the decade long stalemate on RFA offer sheets, and the NHL is considering a bevy of return to play scenarios.
The sometimes glacially slow-moving offseason will be dramatic.
If you don’t subscribe to PHN+, this story is a great reason to do so. We’ve been quietly following the path of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ front office for over a year. We’ve subtly offered a few insights, but the Penguins Hockey Ops has been missing something, and it appears GM Jim Rutherford has set about fixing it. We explain AND named names who could fill the void. (PHN+)
There are eight big-time RFAs without contacts. Could a team poach Mathew Barzal or Mikhail Sergachev? (Sportsnet)
We say this every year, but it is time GMs begin to use the CBA as it is intended or rewrite the RFA rules. Restricted Free Agency isn’t supposed to mean “off-limits.”
The New York Islanders avoided arbitration with Josh Ho-Sang and signed him to a one-year, two-way, league-minimum deal. It’s time to play Ho-Sang or move on. #FREEJOSHHOSANG (NYI Hockey Now)
I’ve met Ho-Sang and players like him. He’s hung in there longer than most. It’s a testament to the player on whom the Islanders are missing out.
The TSN Insiders dropped a few bombshells. The NHL is working on six different return to play scenarios, and a little bit more on the jaw-dropping saga of Arizona Coyotes fourth-round pick Mitchell Miller, who bullied a classmate and used racial epithets when he was 14-years-old (TSN)
Miller was 14, and while that does not guarantee forgiveness, it does mean we should light the path to maturity and redemption. That’s USA Hockey’s stance, as well. …But the reported bullying was horrific and extreme. This isn’t an easy issue, but how long do we judge 8th-grade actions? And why didn’t adults stop it?! I hold the adults who knew equally, if not more, responsible.
Yes, I expect to get some criticism for the softer take, but how to earn forgiveness and when it’s publicly appropriate is worth discussing. Anyway…
San Jose Sharks spoke to San Jose Hockey Now to pay tribute to Joe Thornton, and agents spoke about the clogged market (San Jose Hockey Now)
The Detroit Red Wings basically won their arbitration case against Tyler Bertuzzi (The Detroit News)
The Colorado Avalanche have a star prospect who wants to leap the NHL, but will they bury Bow Byram in juniors again? (Colorado Hockey Now)
The Boston Bruins may soon have a little dilemma with Zdeno Chara. Believe me when I tell you there is some news about to break on that front, but it could go several different ways. The Boston Bruins blue line might go through the circle of life (Boston Hockey Now)