As my man Tom Petty once wrote, the waiting is the hardest part. The final protection and unprotected lists are due to the NHL by 5 p.m. on Saturday, and teams are still scrambling to get something for their assets before Seattle Kraken GM Ron Francis drops down their chimney like the Grinch after Christmas trees. The Detroit Red Wings hit the NHL trade market, and the New York Islanders got some salary-cap relief. Ben Bishop opened up about why he allowed himself to be on the unprotected list, and we examine how in the world the Pittsburgh Penguins could possibly fit Zach Hyman under their salary cap structure.
It could be a fun day–like the NHL trade deadline. Teams are working, that’s for sure.
It’s also been interesting how many teams sent out the call to players, agents, and the entire org –SHUT UP! Silence and secrecy were entirely paramount this week. GMs knew it was going to be a wild week. They also have no idea what Francis is going to do in Seattle. Ronnie kept his poker face to the end.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Free for everyone (but please consider joining PHN+. Thank you to the dozen subscribers on Friday!). The original title was “How in the Hell Would Penguins Fit Zach Hyman Under Cap?” — I shortened the title, but from replacement costs, trades and options, I explained every possibility and ran through every scenario that conceivably made sense.
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Detroit: GM Steve Yzerman and Detroit Red Wings spent some of that $27 million cap space–The Red Wings acquired defenseman Nick Leddy. That’s a good get for the Red Wings.
NYI: The Islanders are a lesser team today without Leddy, but he would have been unprotected, and they recouped a solid asset. Also–Ba-bye Leddy, Hellooo salary cap space!
TSN: I don’t know if this has any Pittsburgh Penguins implications or not, but — Phillip Danault is headed towards NHL free agency.
Sportsnet: This definitely could have some Penguins implications–gritty defenseman Alex Edler’s agent told a Vancouver TV station that Edler declined the Vancouver Canucks latest offer and will become a UFA, too.
Also from Sportsnet–Dallas Stars goalie Ben Bishop opened up why he waived his NMC and allowed himself to be placed on the unprotected list.
Philly: I’ll say this for Chuck Fletcher, he’s trying to pull off something big. He’s working the NHL trade market like a politician works the room the night before an election. Can the Philadelphia Flyers pull off the big trade they seek?
Washington: The Pittsburgh Penguins fiercest rival will also lose a player in the expansion draft, and it could be a former Penguin.
Of course, Washington has at least four former Penguins on the roster.