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Dan’s Daily: Goodbye Islanders, Hello Game 7s, Penguins GM Qualifications?



PIttsburgh Penguins, Fenway Sports Group, Dave Beeston

I say hello, you say goodbye. What qualities should the next Pittsburgh Penguins GM possess? The NHL trade rumors are taking off in Winnipeg. The wildest Round One of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs in recent memory is set up for a dramatic final weekend as the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Boston Bruins have blown a 3-1 lead and face a Game 7 against the Florida Panthers, the Seattle Kraken got schooled by defending champion Colorado Avalanche to force Game 7, and the New York Islanders bid farewell with an awful third period and OT in their chance to force Game 7.

The Islanders will join the Minnesota Wild and Winnipeg Jets as the NHL’s hunger games cannons blast.

I suppose I’m bragging. My Spirit Airlines flight is on time, and I have the row to myself. This isn’t Iowa, but it might be heaven.

UPDATE: I spoke too soon, and the gods of fate bit me. The plane was loaded and ready for takeoff. Then we didn’t. Something about the safety equipment not being up to standard. We’ve been sitting on the plane for an hour, but we’re told it won’t fly today. The pilot is mumbling into the microphone. He’s got a helluva career ahead storing marbles. The flight attendant asked me what he said.

“We’re screwed,” was all I could gather.

They de-planed us and told us to hang around for another 90 minutes, and they’ll give us an update. Maybe.

NEVER FLY SPIRIT. SPEND MORE MONEY. GET TO WHERE YOU’RE GOING. I had three airport delays all season. Two of the three were when I had to fly Spirit.

Also, never piss off a guy read by hundreds of thousands of people per month.

But a tip of the cap to Pittsburgh Steelers GM Omar Khan. After years of interviewing for GM gigs around the league, he got it with the Steelers, and he’s shredding the mountain. The Steelers draft was shockingly good.

Pittsburgh Penguins / Steelers, Pirates (Sports Now Group):

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Yet another missed Penguins draft pick. A former Penguins second-round pick saw the end of his road in the Penguins organization and signed a five-year deal in Sweden. Filip Hallander goes home.

If you don’t mind me pointing out, my record on prospect evaluation is pretty good. “Why don’t they call him up and see what he can do?” We usually answer that question thoroughly in training camp and preseason, often in PHN+ coverage. Then again, the Penguins’ poor drafting has made it easier than it should be.

Dave Molinari and I might disagree a bit on the qualities of the next Penguins GM. Dave writes this isn’t the time for on-the-job training. Penguins GM search.

Steelers Now:

Get all of the Steelers draft grades at Steelers Now: Thursday, they got their shutdown tackle. Friday? They hit a few more home runs on Day 2, including Joey Porter Jr with the No. 32 pick, NT Keeanu Benton later in the second round, and physical TE Darnell Washington in the third round.

How about some love for our Alan Saunders? He nailed it — of over 1000 mock drafts, Alan’s Steelers’ mock draft was fifth best in the country and best in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Baseball Now:

Andrew McCutchen talked about his smashing return.

NHL Playoffs, News & National Hockey Now:

Montreal Hockey Now: Pierre-Luc Dubois’ desire to go home is the worst-kept secret in the NHL. The NHL trade rumors resurfaced hours after the Jets’ loss.

Winnipeg Sun: More NHL trade fodder in Winnipeg. The Winnipeg Jets have some difficult decisions. A handful of key players have one year remaining on their contracts. Who stays, who goes?

NYI Hockey Now: Short. Sweet. And to the point. Paul Statsny got a cheapie game-winner in OT. Goodbye, yellow brick road. The New York Islanders had it in their hands but were eliminated in Game 6 by the Hurricanes.

Colorado Hockey Now: Stone cold sober, and matter-of-fact. The Colorado Avalanche, at least in Game 6, were back. They pounded Seattle 4-1 to force Game 7.

Now, the drama in Boston…

Boston Hockey Now: It was a wonderful crazy night for Florida. Game 6 had everything, but the Boston Bruins now face Game 7 after losing two games they should have won.

Florida Hockey Now: George Richards’ column says it all for Florida, who won’t let the sun go down on them. Believe in the Florida Panthers.

Sportsnet: Dallas took care of business and didn’t waste chances. They closed out the Minnesota Wild and advanced to Round Two.

No, I have no idea why I’m quoting Elton John this AM. Perhaps it’s getting to the airport at 4:30 a.m. for a flight that may never happen. That will teach me to fly this skyline pigeon.