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Dan’s Daily: Fight Night in Montreal, Penguins Giving Away Points

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Pittsburgh Penguins, Casey DeSmith

The folks at Sportsnet are playing armchair GM ahead of the NHL trade deadline by making proposals for Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews. Minnesota Wild d-man Matt Dumba became the latest in a trend of coaches willing to scratch big-name players. Add the Colorado Avalanche to the list of teams that are kicking tires on Bo Horvat. One Canadian outlet put the Pittsburgh Penguins on the potential Horvat suitor list (that seemed silly), and Dave Molinari dove into the Pittsburgh Penguins OT struggles and rough-and-tumble Jake Guentzel.

And I wrote a piece criticizing Penguins GM Ron Hextall’s inaction. It contrasts the praise I offered back in November when things seemed to turn around and the lineup stabilized. I was wrong then, or I am wrong now. I suppose you will decide?

Hextall and the Penguins are behind the 8-ball with the salary cap hell and lack of expendable assets, but things won’t get better next season — and young teams are becoming good teams that are catching up.

Pittsburgh Penguins:

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Jake Guentzel the enforcer? The OT struggles and the consequences for the Penguins.

Pittsburgh Hockey Now (opinion): I have praised Ron Hextall for being nearly undefeated — that term didn’t sit well with some of you, but when things change, they change. Bad performances are becoming too common. The NHL trade deadline is March 3, and it has been more than seven months since a Penguins trade. Where is Ron Hextall?

NHL Trade Talk, News & National Hockey Now:

The Province: Our Jimmy Murphy confirmed Boston’s interest in Bo Horvat this week. Ben Kuzma added another team, the defending Stanley Cup champions, to the Horvant mix.

Also from the Province — I include this because it puts the Penguins on the Horvat board, but to be precise — it’s pure speculation. What might a Horvat trade look like?

TSN: Matt Dumba became the latest big-name to get a plate of press box nachos. And how soon will Rick Tocchet become the coach of the Vancouver Canucks?

Florida Hockey Now: Paul Maurice ripped the officials. The NHL lightened his wallet. The full story on the Florida Panthers coach.

Montreal Hockey Now: It was fight night in Montreal. The Panthers scored five goals in the second period for an easy win, but everybody was Kung Fu fighting. Those cats were fast as lightning. Mike Matheson started fight night, and it went from there. The Montreal Canadiens story (with fight videos).

And Sportsnet played GM for the Chicago Blackhawks. Four trade proposals, just in case center Jonathan Toews hits the NHL trade block.

Metro Division:

Philly Hockey Now: John Tortorella was called to explain or defend the Ivan Provorov Pride Night situation, “Why would I bench him?” Philadelphia Flyers coverage.

NYI Hockey Now: The good news–the Islanders lost. The bad news–they got a point. The worse news–the Buffalo Sabres won. New York Islanders story.

Washington Hockey Now: It was a one-sided game. The Arizona Coyotes didn’t offer much resistance. Get the full story — Tom Wilson is rounding into form, and the Washington Capitals won.

Sportsnet: Max Pacioretty has had a rough go in Carolina. He suffered an ugly leg injury on Thursday night.

Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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Nathan
Nathan
13 days ago

What is happening to the Penguins is not unexpected. They won the SC in 2016 and 2017. They sacrified some of their future to do so — but that is what you have to do to win now. They have gotten older. The resigned older players. They have no cap space and not a lot of immediate prospects. This happened to Chicago and to the LA Kings. Chicago may get a generational player in the draft. The Kings have already shown signs that they have bounced back. I expect the Penguins to be a border line playoff team for at… Read more »

Rob
Rob
13 days ago
Reply to  Nathan

Pens should’ve been making big changes at least a couple years ago. This is the result now of not doing so.

Michelle
Michelle
13 days ago

And now Povorov’s jersey is sold out on the NHL Shop and Fanatics. Wouldn’t have happened if media and the online outrage mob had just let the subject die.

Frank
Frank
13 days ago

Every GM has their good and bad moments. Overwhelmingly they all fall out of favor sooner or later and get canned. Hextall knows that I am sure. But at the core of this is the fact that barring rare exceptions . .. trades are nothing but a dice roll. At best a subjective view of a players performance and review of stats. When you add in current day hockey with free agency, college players, non-North American players, no trade clauses . .. and expecting to find the right guy that hits what you need is not much removed from being… Read more »

Sam
Sam
12 days ago

Is there anyone who would argue the following?

O’Connor > Carter

Puustinen deserves a legit shot at Kappy’s spot

So start by waiving Carter. He would go unclaimed.

For that matter, waive Kapanen. If he gets claimed, that frees up some cap space to make a trade instead of using the lack of cap space as an excuse.

Waive Dumoulin. He might get claimed by a team that wants depth. Same benefit as above.

Someone check SexyHexy for a pulse. Worse than watching paint dry.

Jstripsky
Jstripsky
12 days ago
Reply to  Sam

Unfortunately Carter’s contract has a “No movement clause” so he can’t be waived without his approval. If he was playing as well as he was when the contract was signed it wouldn’t be a problem. To make it even worse, it’s a 35+ contract so they can buy him out to save cash, but it doesn’t affect his cap hit. This was the worst move Hextall made during his time here..