The monument construction begins next week. Former Pittsburgh Penguins first-round pick and hilariously self-effacing winger Beau Bennett has called it a day. NHL trade winds are sweeping across the desert as the reality of losing another NHL Semifinal hits the Vegas Golden Knights. The Tampa Bay Lightning and their massive payroll are headed to the Stanley Cup Final, and PHN took a hard look at the NHL and why it rewards the worst of the game.
I was surprised at how little pushback I received on our Friday column about the NHL.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The NHL has it wrong. The playoffs and the league reward the worst, not the best.
The person who pushed back was NHL analyst and former Penguins grinder Mike Rupp. Via Twitter, we sparred for a bit. Rupper’s last tweet was the place to stop– “I guess my point is, these (highly skilled) teams have to figure it out, others have! Winning the Cup isn’t easy! Skill teams still do it virtually every year. People just complain bc their team didn’t get it done.”
That’s certainly the NHL view.
NHL Playoffs & News
Tampa Bay won Game 7, 1-0…on a shorthanded goal.
Sportsnet: From a Canadian point of view…the Canadiens are getting a lot of love. Sportsnet’s headline: Lightning’s pursuit of history to meet 2021’s team of destiny in Cup Final
Canadiens, a team of destiny?
NYI: Irony. It was a power play for cross-checking that ended the New York Islanders season.
Are we sure the Islanders are done? There won’t be a recount or a final scene with a hand rising from the grave?
Montreal Gazette: Montreal transformed into one big party after Habs win
So glad they can’t host more than 3500 fans, eh?
TSN: This is the story that is going to shake the Chicago Blackhawks organization. The sexual assault/harassment lawsuit was filed by former players against the organization. Now, there are allegations the NHLPA may have turned a blind eye, too.
NHL Trade Chatter & National Hockey Now Network
The Athletic: Some reports say yes. Aaron Portzline says no. Are the Columbus Blue Jackets in hot pursuit of Jack Eichel or not??
Vegas: Our scribe Tom Callahan calls EVERYTHING into question in Vegas. “Rip Off the Band-Aid, Make Changes.”
It won’t be long before questions of trading Marc-Andre Fleury are prevalent. I have to wonder if or how there’s a fit close to your heart (and zip code).
Daily Faceoff: Frank Seravalli has a new home with Daily Faceoff. Perhaps it will become a site for credible NHL trade chatter? He dropped 20 names in play, aside from Jack Eichel.
Philly: Seattle Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol should be pretty familiar with the Philadelphia Flyers. Philadelphia beat writer Ryan Gilbert wonders if it’s Jakub Voracek who is Seattle bound.
Detroit: Get this–the Detroit Red Wings have $27 million in cap space. $27 million?!
Boston: I thought Trent Frederic could be on the Penguins’ radar, but the Boston Bruins re-upped their former first-round pick, who doesn’t mind tossing a few knuckles, too. It was an inexpensive contract for the 23-year-old RFA.
San Jose: It looks like Marc-Edouard Vlasic was mixing it up on Twitter and got the last word on a troll.
Washington Hockey Now: I always liked Brooks Laich. I appreciated his clean, hard-nosed play. He officially retired this week with an Instagram post.
And, finally, via Twitter, former Pittsburgh Penguins winger Beau Bennett retired. Here is his post and letter, which ended with, “P.S. A few tears were shed while writing this, but against all odds, I remained somewhat uninjured.”
Fare thee well, sir.
— Beau Bennett (@BeauBennett19) June 25, 2021