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Dan’s Daily: Penguins Busting Out; Death Threats over Flyers Trade



Pittsburgh Penguins game analysis, Sidney Crosby, Rickard Rakell, Erik Karlsson

Believe it or not, the Pittsburgh Penguins are busting out of the malaise and slumps that haunted the first couple of months of the 2023-24 season. Drew O’Connor is on the cusp of a breakout, and there are several legitimate reasons for optimism surrounding the team. Things went from heated to insane in Philadelphia after the Flyers traded away former fifth-overall pick Cutter Gauthier. A report in Philadelphia media blamed former Flyers’ forward Kevin Hayes for influencing Gauthier. Hayes began receiving death threats and incredibly dark messages. And TSN chummed the NHL trade rumors with more potential Ducks deals.

It was not a fun drive home from Philly on Tuesday. I saved the $75 and skipped the Turnpike, coming home through State College on I-99. That stormfront on its way is no joke. There were at least a half dozen accidents between State College and Ebensburg.

Philadelphia gave me a parting gift on my way out after the Penguins’ bloody and hard-fought win. I love Pat’s Cheesesteaks. Every local grumbles that I go there and proceeds to give me three or four places “better” places. Nah. Pat’s. Wit Whiz and onion.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Shelly Anderson had the foresight to do some digging about the catalysts and produce a solid piece on the big step forward for Drew O’Connor.

Even after the Penguins won Monday in Philadelphia, I noticed the obstinant trend of nattering naybombs of negativity. It’s not my job to be a fan or tell anyone how to be, but it is my job to analyze and report. There are some legit reasons for optimism surrounding the Penguins lineup.

Steelers Now: Yes, Mason Rudolph will start Sunday vs. the Bills. Here are the announcers you’ll get to complain about on Twitter during the Steelers game.

NHL Trade Talk, News & National Hockey Now

TSN: First, let’s hit the NHL trade rumors from Darren Dreger. The Anaheim Ducks did well to land Cutter Gauthier for Jamie Drysdale, but they may not be done shedding young talent, and Dreger seemed to indicate that Trevor Zegras could be had. That video isn’t available to U.S. readers, but TSN’s Craig Button also reported GMs are circling Calgary and Ottawa.

Philly Hockey Now: Jamie Drysdale was in the eye of the storm and made his Flyers debut at practice on Tuesday. However, the Flyers now have a glut of defensemen. It seems more moves are coming for the Philadelphia Flyers.

Now, the ugly stuff out of Philly regarding Gauthier’s refusal to speak to the Flyers:

Crossing Broad’s reporter Anthony SanFilippo wrote: “What if I told you it could have been his connection to Kevin Hayes? Multiple sources have told me that Hayes was very influential with Gauthier, and three of them indicated that Hayes either had a direct impact on Gauthier’s decision to not want to play for the Flyers or that it was very possible that he did.”

STL Today: That’s the tee-up. Flyers fans did not react well to the report and harassed Hayes with some pretty ugly stuff. Hayes shot down any connection but has been receiving taunts regarding his brother, Jimmy, who passed away in 2021, and death threats.


Montreal Hockey Now: The Canadiens are also dealing with a blue line that is flush with prospects and veterans. Les habitants will probably not make the playoffs this season, but they’re building in the right direction. Conditions are ripe for a Canadiens trade.

NYI Hockey Now: The Canucks will face the Penguins on Thursday, but they helped the Penguins’ cause Tuesday by thumping the New York Islanders.

New Jersey Hockey Now: Bad news in New Jersey on the injury front. Jack Hughes is out for weeks.

I look at the Metro Division, and I just don’t see teams to fear. Carolina might be wearing down after a few years of their hyper-aggressive system. The Islanders haven’t yet found their swagger and may not have it. The Capitals and Flyers have played over their heads. It’s the Penguins and the New Jersey Devils who have underperformed so far.