Welcome to the hurt and pain that is being a hockey fan, Las Vegas. Sure your team is wildly successful, and little rain has fallen in the desert, but that just makes the hurt and disappointment of the end even more bitter. Vegas Golden Knights fans booed in what could be their final home game of the year. Lou Lamoriello is the GM of the year, and we examine how this lurch to muddy hockey affects the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Sorry, not much in the way of NHL trade rumors today. I’m happy to say the National Hockey Now network with our “Off the Record” column dominated the NHL trade debates over the last couple of days as insiders came forward to confirm our report and fans debated the merits of possible trades.
NHL Playoffs & the Pittsburgh Penguins
Vegas: Home fans booed as the Montreal Canadiens won Game 5 at T-Mobile Arena, 4-1. . Montreal scored a goal then barricaded themselves in the defensive zone. Often they had FIVE players below the circles. FIVE. Vegas couldn’t get a clean shot, and the Montreal Canadiens are on the verge of the biggest upset in 30 years.
Vegas head coach Pete DeBoer showed real respect for Marc-Andre Fleury and started him in Game 5. It didn’t matter. Vegas could have played for 1000 minutes and not scored a second goal.
On June 1, Montreal was a 30-1 shot to win the Stanley Cup. They were more than a 3-1 ‘dog to Vegas, too.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: This ugly, conservative, buttoned-up, muddy hockey will affect the Pittsburgh Penguins. The league can stop it, too. Here’s the NHL, officiating, and the Penguins’ future.
NHL.com: Mathew Barzal was NOT suspended for his angry cross-check to Jan Rutta’s face. Nah. It cost the well-paid center $5000, instead.
NYI: Lou Lamoriello was named GM of the Year for the second consecutive year.
Tell me again why? The FOURTH place New York Islanders and the trade for Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac was a total bust in the regular season.
Florida Hockey Now: Florida’s GM Bill Zito did a HELL OF JOB getting Florida to respectability. That’s a total snub of Zito.
If Florida didn’t draw Tampa Bay in Round One, they had a playoff run waiting for them.
NHL Trade Musings, Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft &
Boston: Jimmy Murphy had some fun with the Jack Eichel trade talks. What if–what IF–Boston put a star winger on the table?
Washington: The Capitals jolted the NHL trade deadline by dealing talented Jacob Vrana to Detroit for Anthony Mantha. The Capitals also included Richard Panik, a first and second-round pick. The move was NOT popular in D.C.
So, new Washington beat writer Sammi Silber tackled the fallout. With a couple of months’ hindsight, was it a good trade?
And–the Washington Capitals expansion draft protected list is a debate among THREE former Pittsburgh Penguins. Carl Hagelin, Conor Sheary, and Daniel Sprong. Wow.
Philly: The Flyers expansion protections will leave out one low-risk, high-reward player.
Vancouver: The Vancouver Canucks hired Daniel and Henrik Sedin to real front office jobs as special advisors and management.
TSN: Rene Robert, a member of the Buffalo Sabres’ famed “French Connection Line,” died in Florida at 72.
I know a lot of older hockey fans remember that team and that line well. It still stands as one of the greatest lines in NHL history.
San Jose: Sheng Peng released his NHL awards ballot. And defended his hard choices.