MONTREAL — The Pittsburgh Penguins have a full boat of fresh prospects to watch after snagging five at this week’s NHL Draft in Montreal. Pittsburgh Hockey Now has a full boat of new swear words after internet crashes at the arena and in downtown Montreal left us scrambling. The NHL trade rumors will be hot this week, as it appears the draft was merely a staging area for some big movement. Even Penguins GM Ron Hextall admitted he’s trying to shed salary. Several big names were hot at the draft, but we didn’t see a blockbuster, so this week could be more fun, especially when Vancouver Canucks’ president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford is involved.
Goalies are the hot ticket on the NHL trade market. Matt Murray rejected a trade to Buffalo as the Chicago Blackhawks put forth a plan to lose most of their next 82 games with Petr Mrazek in goal and by trading their young scorers.
I apologize for the lack of “news” today. There was a draft. Some great drama and picks. And yet…it’s all post-draft trade stuff. I loved the top pick Juraj Slavkovsky. I think he’s going to be an excellent player. I understood Shane Wright’s defiant stare. Actually, I LOVED it. I really liked the Pittsburgh Penguins’ top pick, Owen Pickering. He wasn’t on my short board. We thought he would go later, but scouts loved it, too.
Watch: Our Penguins chat from the draft floor — I couldn’t do a live one due to internet issues, but here are some insights on the draft picks, news, and Penguins trade chatter.
NHL Trade Reaction, Chatter, & Pittsburgh Penguins:
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Penguins GM Ron Hextall said he would like to shed salary.
First, Hextall admitted the Penguins would like to clear salary, and are working to keep Evgeni Malkin. Pittsburgh Penguins coverage.
Now, if Hextall wants to shed salary, he doesn’t have many options. From the two we’ve discussed for a year, and two new options–here are Penguins trade potentials.
Montreal Hockey Now: Kris Letang signed, so take the Penguins out of the mix, but the Jeff Petry trade chatter is getting warm, again. Montreal Canadiens rumors.
Vancouver: Just because the draft is over, no no, don’t think for a moment the J.T. Miller trade talk will die down. They’re just getting started. Vancouver Canucks trade talk.
Philly: The Flyers’ blue line got better. Tony DeAngelo is coming home. The Carolina Hurricanes acquired second, third, and fourth-round picks spread over the next two years and shipped the high-scoring d-man with a checkered past to Philadelphia Flyers.
Washington Hockey Now: The Capitals traded Vitek Vaneck to the Devils and got surprisingly little for him. Here’s why they did it — Washington Capitals trade.
With only Ilya Samsonov on the roster, there’s plenty of chatter that Washington could chase Darcy Kuemper. Washington Capitals rumors.
Colorado Hockey Now: The Avalanche acquired Alexander Georgiev from the Rangers, and told Kuemper they would not meet his price. As our folks in the Rockies opine: They’d better be right. Colorado Avalanche analysis.
TSN: The goalie market is shrinking and teams are still on the hunt (and this is why Hextall signed Casey DeSmith). The TSN insiders look at who is left and who is looking.
Detroit: St. Louis Blues goalie Ville Husso is the new starter in Detroit. Red Wings trade!
News & National Hockey Now:
Sportsnet: Russia. Things are getting intense under dictator Vlad Putin. Kirill Kaprizov tried to leave twice. He was stopped, both times. The Minnesota Wild star is trapped?
**Calgary: I think this is the biggest story this week. The clock is ticking on Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk. Steve Macfarlane writes, that the team is being held captive to the negotiations. Calgary Flames drama.