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Dan’s Daily: Tension in Vegas, McDavid Pressure, What’s in Penguins Pipeline



Jonathan Marchessault: Photo credit Golden Knights Twitter

SAGINAW, Mich. — It’s my final days here in Saginaw for the Memorial Cup, as I have a few more interviews to conduct, and we’ll have the final chapters of our scouting reports on the Pittsburgh Penguins’ top prospect, Brayden Yager. The pressure is mounting on Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid to come through in the Western Conference Final, and he did so in Game 4. Elsewhere in the Daily, there’s growing tension and frustration from original Misfit Jonathan Marchessault in Vegas to get a new deal done, but there have been no talks held. And ESPN ranked the top 32 prospects, which could be interesting to Penguins fans because if recent history is any guide, one or two very well might fall to the Penguins in the middle of the second round.

OK, I did it. I went to the original little Saginaw diner, Tony’s, for the steak sandwich. The “Original” is a steak sandwich with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, onions, and mushrooms on toasted bread. I skipped the fungus on the sandwich, but it was really good. The funny part was that the sauce they feature is DeLallo’s from Jeannette, Pa.

It’s been a good few days here. Unfortunately, I must confess the full scouting report on Brayden Yager was not well read. Nor were the detailed nuts and bolts that I wrote from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last month. Everyone asks about those players, but the answer everyone wants is — “Yep, they’re going to be here in the fall, and they’re awesome, but coach Mike Sullivan hates young players, so the Penguins must fire Sullivan or the prospects will get screwed over.”

Sorry, but you get the real answers here, and not just us watching highlight videos.

Scouting Yager, Blomqvist, and the Penguins prospects is something I greatly enjoy because it gets back to the roots of PHN — which was me bringing more in-depth hockey talk and information to what can be loud yet superficial discussions. So, if you want to know what’s going on — what’s really going on — you can check out the player evals on PHN+.

Pittsburgh Penguins

PHN+: In-person and direct. A thorough accounting of where Yager’s game is, not just the physical tools, but his transition game, physicality, and game awareness. And a lot more. I think you’ll have a much better read on his immediate future after this Brayden Yager scouting report.

PHN Video: We pulled it off — a live video from the fabulous Ramada Hotel and celebrity center in Saginaw. We got some pretty good questions about potential unrestricted free agents who could fill the bottom-six and third-pairing defensemen roles, as well as more on Yager and potential top-six UFAs in Penguins Live Chat.

The hour flew by. Thanks! The lovely wallpaper and gold-framed photo in the back certainly looked like I was in 1985. Afterward, I had a Zoom meeting with a heavyweight in the publishing world, and he heartily laughed at the background. Sidenote: the number of people reaching out or willing to help NHN and our company get to national mainstream status is growing.

NHL Trade Rumors, News & National Hockey Now

Las Vegas Review-Journal: Jonathan Marchessault wants a new contract with the Vegas Golden Knights. He’s a Misfit, but Vegas has, at most, $7 million in cap space for next season with a few more roster spots to fill. For the VGK, we’re getting into trade rumors and frustration time.

Sportsnet: It was called the most important game in McDavid’s career. Edmonton trailed the Western Conference Final 2-1, and they trailed 2-0 into the second period before the explosion. Edmonton roared back for a 5-2 win, and now it’s on, as Edmonton showed they could play defense, too. A full accounting of the series-changing win.

McDavid’s career far more mimics the path of Mario Lemieux than Wayne Gretzky or Sidney Crosby, except writers couldn’t wait to vote McDavid for Hart.

TSN: He’s a bit misplaced, but Mika Zibanejad took responsibility for the mistake that cost the New York Rangers Game 4.

I’m sorry, Mika. Your mistake didn’t cost the Rangers the game. New York had no business being in the game except for a goalie standing on his head. If it were not for Igor Shesterkin, New York might not have survived Round One, certainly not Round Two against Carolina, and would be down 3-1 if not swept in the Eastern Conference Final.

ESPN+: The top 32 NHL draft prospects.

New Jersey Hockey Now: Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald tackled new coach Sheldon Keefe’s major flaw head-on. In fact, it’s a non-factor, according to the New Jersey Devils.

Philly Hockey Now: Re-signing Travis Konecny seems like a no-brainer. However, it’s not that easy, writes Jon Bailey. One reason is a few comparables have decidedly not worked out. Here’s why there would be considerable risk for the Philadelphia Flyers.

Boston Hockey Now: It’s a sad day in Boston. Matthews Arena, where Northeastern plays, was the original home of the Boston Bruins. Even before the rickety Boston Garden, Matthews Arena housed the Bruins. It’s the oldest arena in the world, and it’s about to close. A sad day for Boston hockey history.