Wellsboro, PA — Greetings from the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. The NHL roster freeze allowed this humble scribe to escape on Monday afternoon to the little town of Wellsboro, PA, where even the bars closed at 9:00 p.m. No joke (I’m here, yet I’m still working?!). From a turn of the century hotel that was astonishingly cheap–The New York Islanders are rumored to be hot on Vladimir Tarasenko, the NHL trade cost was astronomical for Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen, we may put stay-home RHD Adam Larsson back on the table, and Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Marcus Pettersson’s expansion draft stock is rising.
I don’t know if you read between the lines of our breakdown, but after viewing the availables, I think there is a very good chance Seattle selects Pettersson.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Who will the Seattle Kraken select on Wednesday night? A breakdown of the Penguins availables and why Seattle could select each (and why they shouldn’t), including our 3-1 odds that they select Pettersson.
The Pittsburgh Penguins preseason schedule is public--the “Free Game for Kids” returns!
TSN: It was a big story met with positive reactions everywhere. Nashville Predators prospect Luke Prokop announced via Twitter that he is gay. Overwhelming support followed.
NHL Trade Chatter, News, & National Hockey Now network…
NYI: A great get here by Christian Arnold (and maybe our young reporter’s first!). An NHL source with direct knowledge told NYI Hockey Now that Seattle is keen on Josh Bailey, but the Islanders are trying to push them towards Jordan Eberle. High noon drama in Long Island.
Philly: Ryan Gilbert writer–the Ryan Ellis swap on the NHL trade front was just the beginning of the offseason for the Flyers. Buckle up!
Sportsnet: Here is their mock expansion draft. Consensus is forming around several players. Would you take Tarasenko? I surely would. I’d leave Carey Price, his ailing knees and hips alone. Here’s what the pros at Sportsnet think.
TSN: Owen Power is pulling away as the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft.
WGR 550: Daren Dreger appeared on Buffalo radio. Yes, the Buffalo Sabres put Rasmus Ristolainen on the NHL trade block. Their cost was just short of your firstborn.
Sabres GM Kevyn Adams is beginning to remind me of former Pirates GM Dave Littlefield, who routinely slapped heavy price tags on his players and got less than full value when the market collapsed. Adams cost for Eichel was insanity (up to six pieces, per a fellow GM who spilled the beans to our Jimmy Murphy in a recent PHN+ Off the Record column), and asking for a young NHL defenseman and a top pick for Ristolainen is doubling the market value.
St. Louis Dispatch: The paper reports Blues GM Doug Armstrong had a few offers for Tarasenko before the Saturday 3 p.m. deadline halted NHL trade activity. Those offers will be on the table if Seattle doesn’t snag Tarasenko.
National Hockey Now
Detroit: It’s looking more and more like the Detroit Red Wings will lose a veteran defenseman in the expansion draft.
Florida: It might be a double whammy for the Florida Panthers. Could they lose both Chris Driedger AND Frank Vatrano?
Boston: The Bruins open their preseason schedule in September. No biggie, right? They’ll open against Tom Wilson, who sent Brandon Carlo to the hospital last season, and the Washington Capitals.
Washington: Sammi Silber (who is KILLING it in Washington like an old pro) steered head-on into the controversial Capitals decision to protect Trevor van Riemsdyk and expose Justin Schultz.
I don’t know what lightning in a bottle Schultz caught in 2016-17 when he scored 51 points, but I haven’t seen that defenseman since. He hasn’t hit the 30-point mark since.
San Jose: The Sharks decided Adin Hill was starting-goalie material and snagged him via trade just under the Saturday deadline. Now it appears his salary cap hit will be higher than expected. Sheng Peng explains.
And back to Detroit…
Remember Pavel Datsyuk? The 43-year-old is being encouraged for one more season. No, he’s not coming back to the NHL, but other big teams want him.