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Dan’s Daily: Reaves Suspended, Leafs Choke, NHL Trade Rumors Begin

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Evgeni Malkin Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL trade rumors

There was high drama on Monday, and that drama will beget more drama. The NHL gave Vegas Golden Knights tough guy Ryan Reaves the boot for only a couple of games. His coach said no biggie because no one was injured. The Toronto Maple Leafs choked away a 3-1 series lead and lost Game 7 to the Montreal Canadiens. And the NHL trade rumors have begun, including some noise around Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin.

The Malkin story will be around until it happens or squashed, but I’ll caution everyone to take every report in the manner in which it’s given. Trade interest doesn’t mean an impending trade, and the Penguins’ willingness to engage or discuss doesn’t mean they’re trying to trade him.

PHN+: There is one team with known interest in Malkin, and Malkin has known interest in them, but it’s complicated. The folks who went “Off the Record” with us this week include an NHL GM, a coach, and an executive. In fact, all contributed to the Evgeni Malkin trade talk. 

Our OTR column has been a crystal ball for coming hockey news.

NHL & The National Hockey Now Network

There is a new Hockey Now launching this morning…We went and got ourselves some Hall of Fame talent!

NHL playoffs:

Vegas: Ryan Reaves was suspended for two games. Vegas was still unhappy about Ryan Graves’s hit on Mattias Janmark, but Reaves got two from DoPS. 

Colorado: Adrian Dater did a little venting and analysis of the situation. 

NYI: The New York Islanders survived a third period collapse and won Game 2 in OT. Our Christian Arnold was in Boston for full coverage. 

Boston: Oh, so close. Jeremy Lauzon’s ill-advised pass became a Casey Czikas goal. 

I don’t make a secret of it–I really hope the New York Islanders blueprint doesn’t catch on. Teams need more high-end talent or up-tempo schemes, but if a team can win on their heels, that’s not hockey that will interest fans beyond the hard-core loyalists.

Sportsnet: The sick pit in the stomach of Toronto Maple Leafs fans may last a while. Toronto gagged away a 3-1 series lead and choked away their first playoff victory in 16 years. The Montreal Canadiens stuffed that talented roster like a turkey in Game 7. And talk of changes is already hitting Toronto…

Montreal Gazette: How about his headline: Canadiens Send Leafs Packing, Restore Balance to the Universe. You gotta love it. Here’s the reporting and series analysis from Montreal. 

Gee, you don’t think Montreal and Toronto have a rivalry, eh? The series win may have saved or certainly fortified GM Marc Bergevin’s job. And cost a few in Toronto theirs.

I like Winnipeg’s chances against Montreal.

NHL trade rumors…

The Athletic: The Columbus Blue Jackets let Artemi Panarin play out his final year with the team before he bolted via free agency. Columbus All-Star defenseman Seth Jones said he wants to test free agency next summer, but Columbus won’t sit back and get nothing this time. Cue the NHL trade rumors…

ICYMI: The Athletic is trying to sell after merger talks fell through. The New York Times is kicking the tires, but the Athletic has burned through a lot of money. 

The Athletic has been the best and worst thing to happen to the sports reporting world. Some venture capitalists tried to corner the market and collapse newspapers–that’s bad. But lots of good people have good jobs–that’s good. The NYT would be a good fit.

I’m currently in Denver, headed to Vegas later this week for the Avs-Golden Knights series. Someone asked me on Twitter if the Penguins could have played with Colorado. And the answer–unequivocally–is yes. However, Colorado did enough good things to get good looks; backside trailers, won enough net-front battles to keep Vegas honest, and defended hard in front of their net, too.

The Penguins really aren’t far away. But they’re not getting younger. It’s been great to really get a good look at other teams for context.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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Keith T.
Keith T.
11 days ago

I am wondering if all the Bruins fans lay the loss on Tuukka Rask even after the glaring defensive error by Lauzon’s & his really bad pass? If the Pens fan constantly blame Jarry for many losses in the mist of multiple defensive mind-less defensive errors it stands to reason Rask is the (deleted)

Crazyhorse87
Crazyhorse87
11 days ago

Toronto this, Toronto that from trade deadline to the play-offs, then the Maple Laffs woke up to their reality. Hilarious.

Joy Funk
Joy Funk
11 days ago

So let’s be clear. Have the Penguins engaged in discussions with other teams about Malkin this year? Your comments are couched in ambiguity and that’s not really fair IMO. What exactly is happening? I read your article and the other one and nothing new was revealed. Several tweets about “what you’re hearing” but just vague and no specifics. Not a fan of that kind of writing

Steve
Steve
11 days ago

Dear NHL: just say no to a new era of clutch and grab. I just read an interview from a few years back with Larry Bird. He praised the NBA for being freer, more movement, less clutching. I don’t know if he’s right, but the sentiment should be a maxim in all pro sports. Let star players be stars. Let people display their talent. No one tunes in or buys a ticket to see a goon play rodeo with the face of a franchise or league. I lived in NJ during the Devils’ glory days. That was enough. [shudder]

John
John
11 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Star players, MJ, Erving, LeBron (steps for both), Bird (he grabbed a lot) always got preferential treatment. The Centers don’t play anymore. If anything they ought to dump the 3pt shot and make it a full court game again.

Steve
Steve
11 days ago
Reply to  John

I am the last person who’s going to get into an NBA debate. Last game I watched, Jordan pushed off Russell. In the interview Bird made that point about clutching as being something that teams did, but he said he likes the game as played now more than them. Still, I stand by my larger point about giving stars space.

Last edited 11 days ago by Steve

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