The Toronto Maple Leafs’ fan base is uncharacteristically calm while the team is holding firm against a pair of star players in contract negotiations. Just wait for that storyline to explode. Dave Molinari looked at a couple of former Pittsburgh Penguins, their roster battles, and lineup uncertainty leading to the coming NHL season. The NHL trade talk, like everything else, has gone ice cold in Winnipeg. while the Philadelphia Flyers contingent feels snubbed again, how the Carolina Hurricanes can get over the hump, and a gaggle of current and former NHL players gathered in Slovakia for Marian Hossa’s farewell game.
And the road trip has paused for a day, but not before a long ride Friday, including an old chrome diner, visiting the most notorious statue in the country, and a warm bowl of soup with a pack of DOTS at a country truck stop. I was a half-step ahead of the rain all day as I barreled from Wellsboro, PA, to Jamestown, NY, for one purpose only: to finally see Scary Lucy.
If you don’t know Scary Lucy in Jamestown … oh boy.
I’ve long believed those people who tell you, “You can be anything you want if you just work hard and believe in yourself,” are already rich, idiots, or lying. Put a pin in that thought…
Friday, I intended to publish a full advocation of the Penguins pushing to sign Jonathan Toews. It makes great sense to me, but my math was off (as usual) by about $100,000. So, I’m working on it.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Dave Molinari looked at a couple of former Penguins fighting for new roles and lineup spots in the Penguins notebook.
A gold jacket and three Super Bowls? Joey Porter Jr. is setting lofty goals for his Steelers career.
OK, you’ll love this — “He couldn’t take it.” The war of words between Vontaze Burfict and Joey Porter Sr.
Tonight, the rookie QBs will get a chance to shine vs. the Buffalo Bills. It’s the Steelers game No. 2.
Pittsburgh Baseball Now
First, a little shout-out to beat writer Danny Demelio, columnist John Perrotto, and writers Cody Potanko and Griffin Floyd. The boys are on pace for their best month of readership ever, and August is usually a down month. Great job!
Pittsburgh Baseball Now: Bubba Chandler was the two-way hot shot in the Pirates system but the org took away his bat in spring training. He wasn’t happy, but he’s finding his way as a pitcher. The latest Pirates prospects watch.
Womp womp… Missed opportunities and a big fat L in Minnesota. Keep tabs on the Bucs with the quickie Pirates recap.
NHL Trade Talk, News & National Hockey Now:
Winnipeg Sun: The two big fish in the NHL trade pond are currently not attracting many nibbles. What’s up with Mark Scheifele and Connor Hellebuyck?
Montreal Hockey Now: Marc Dumont’s latest mailbag has the most underrated Canadiens, which was fun, but also the Canadiens trade options.
Detroit Hockey Now: Fare thee well, Marian Hossa. Plenty of current and former NHL players gathered in Slovakia for Hossa’s big send-off, including Nick Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, and a pack of Detroit Red Wings.
Editor-in-Leaf: The team is holding firm in contract negotiations, especially with William Nylander. Is $10 million too much? And what comes next?
Next are the NHL trade rumors that are so thick you have to brush them away from your face.
LA Hockey Now: Don’t forget about the Kings! Can Pierre-Luc Dubois up the ante and post more career highs with the LA Kings?
Actually, I forgot the Kings acquired Dubois. Oops. Austin Stanovich does good work. Check it out.
Nashville Hockey Now: Is Filip Forsberg a top-20 winger? The Nashville Predators debate.
Philly Hockey Now: Snubbed? Chuck Bausman took issue with a recent list of the 15 sure-fire Hall of Famers who are still active. No Claude Giroux?!
Technically, the list also forgot Jaromir Jagr.
Dan’s Weird and Wild Adventures, Part III:
Leaving Wellsboro is never easy, but I cheered myself up with a run to Jamestown, NY.
You see, there is a statue in Lucille Ball Park that is an abomination. It is easily the worst statue in the country, if not the world. And it is a must-see.
In 2009, the little city scraped together enough money to honor their beloved hometown hero with a bronze statue. Hooray.
However, the sculptor was awful. Not only did he look at the unfinished work and plow forward, he charged the town full price, then reportedly wanted $10,000 to return and fix it. For seven years, Scary Lucy was a downtown blight before they moved it to the park (and turned it away from the road). The eyes?!
Jamestown finally got enough petition signatures and raised enough money to replace the statue in 2016 with a much better version (also pictured below).
And Scary Lucy is the hard lesson when someone says … You can be anything you want! Perhaps sculpting isn’t for everyone…