Of course, there are Vancouver Canucks in the NHL trade chatter. Interest in the Montreal Canadiens is picking up, too. Matthew Tkachuk got tossed as a brawl broke out between the Florida Panthers and New Jersey Devils. Elliotte Friedman advocates finding some way, any way, to have an international competition with NHL players, as well as taking Jordan Staal off the block. And knew it would happen, but it may not be safe to go back into the water — Washington Capitals winger Tom Wilson was cleared for contact. And Phil Kessel is driving another coach mad.
You may want to avoid driving north this weekend as the NHL canceled the Sabres game because of the coming once-in-a-generation snowstorm. I’m kind of curious; could it be worse than seven feet in a day?!
Later Thursday morning (11:45 a.m.), I’ll make my annual appearance on the Plum High School Make-a-Wish telethon. They get so many big names in media … and me. You can watch it here. Hopefully, I’ll be able to post a link to donate. If you donate $50 or more to the telethon, send me a picture of the receipt, and I’ll give you a free PHN+/SN+/PBN+ subscription.
You can call 412-471-WISH.
Do I go with my Don Cherry special, a red and black checkered jacket? How could I not?
Pittsburgh Penguins / Steelers, Pirates:
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Contests and silly penalties. The Penguins locker room decided what Brian Dumoulin should wear and with what equipment he had to practice. The bright red jersey was just the start. He definitely stood out at Pittsburgh Penguins practice.
There is one specific reason the power play is scoring more goals. It’s not star power, either. Dave Molinari got to the core reason for the Penguins’ power play surge.
You may have noticed the Metro Division, like Parker Lewis, can’t lose. Carolina, New York Rangers, and the Penguins are on epic runs against each other. “Like, oh crap,” it scared Kris Letang and the Penguins into action.
PHN+: It turns out a healthy and happy Jason Zucker is a world-class trash talker. He was at it again in the locker room and on the ice against New York, “He drags us into the fight,” coach Mike Sullivan said. Just don’t let Zucker tie your skates. Check it out — inside the Pittsburgh Penguins.
- The reaction to Franco Harris’ death was far-reaching, and many paid tribute. From current players to Terry Bradshaw, even President Joe Biden.
- Fans created a memorial at the Immaculate Reception statue at the Pittsburgh airport.
- For the current Steelers, T.J. Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick were selected the NFL Pro Bowl.
Pittsburgh Baseball Now
The 40 series — Ji Hwan Bae is definitely one of the more intriguing players on the Pittsburgh Pirates roster.
NHL Trade Talk, News & National Hockey Now:
Sportsnet: The New Jersey Devils ended their losing streak by beating the Panthers, but the story was the game-ending brawl and Matthew Tkachuk. Tkachuk got his revenge on Nico Hischier and got tossed.
32 Thoughts: Crosby and McDavid on the same line? Matthews and Kane? Elliotte Friedman really wants international play.
Montreal Hockey Now: We’re into the NHL roster freeze, but that only means more juicy NHL trade rumors, gossip, and talks leak (except in Pittsburgh) to the media. There is an uptick in interest in Montreal Canadiens players.
TSN: Add another name to the NHL trade rumors in Vancouver — Tyler Myers.
The last man left in Vancouver turn off the lights. I’ve never said this before, but maybe Jim Rutherford needs to cool it. It seems he and Patrik Allvin are making matters worse with the trade chatter. They’re burning down the house. David Byrne would be proud.
Washington Hockey Now: You can almost hear the Jaws theme begin to play. Just when you thought it was safe… The Capitals are getting healthy. Ovechkin-Backstrom-Wilson is together at practice. Yes, Tom Wilson is cleared.
Philly Hockey Now: There’s been a lot of heat around John Tortorella over the past week. He brought his fastball to Philly, but Sam Carchidi writes that he should be given credit for developing the young Philadelphia Flyers, too.
NYI: The Islanders don’t stink this year. They’re in the five-team Metro playoff gaggle. Here’s how they’re benefitting from new coach Lane Lambert — the New York Islanders.
Boston Hockey Now: If you’re headed to Fenway Park, the musical guests will be Bel Biv Devo and the Black Keys during the Penguins vs. Boston Bruins Winter Classic.
Vegas Hockey Now: I missed this story–but it’s still developing. Coach Bruce Cassidy isn’t so happy with winger Phil Kessel.