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Dan’s Daily: Ryan O’Reilly on Trade Block, Penguins Load the Firewagon

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NHL trade block, Ryan O'Reilly, Pittsburgh Penguins win

Rick Tocchet joked about some boos from the Vancouver Canucks fans. Gary Bettman denied NHL teams tank to get the first overall pick and did so with a straight face. Tom Wilson suffered another lower-body injury. Ryan O’Reilly is officially on the NHL trade block. So, too is Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov, and the Pittsburgh Penguins loaded up the firewagon for a 7-6 OT win against the Florida Panthers.

The Penguins’ win became a divine comedy somewhere in the first period when both teams realized they needed to tighten up in front of struggling goaltenders and then decided, “Nah, not tonight.” It made for some gloriously entertaining hockey, but it surely wasn’t well played.

Coach Mike Sullivan noted the media may have had a laugh, but as a coach, it wasn’t as funny. It’s too far to see from the bench, but in the press box, I certainly had a few dark laughs at the entertainment value buttressed by the continued folly of both teams.

The win put everyone in a good mood, but the Penguins can’t seem to pull it together for long, can they?

Pittsburgh Penguins:

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: It was emotional for Kris Letang, who returned to the lineup. Played nearly 27 minutes and scored four points (2-2-4). Go inside the Penguins’ locker room with video from Kris Letang, Casey DeSmith, and Sidney Crosby after the Penguins win.

On the flip side — the Florida Hockey Now coverage of the Florida Panthers OT loss.

Dave Molinari got a one-on-one with DeSmith, so he got to ask the real questions. Check it out in the story above.

PHN+: The game analysis. There was far too little structure to do a report card with a chalkboard, so I went with four Talking Points. From the busted defensive zone coverage to whoops goaltending, it was a night. Full Pittsburgh Penguins analysis.

The Penguins did some housekeeping before the game, too. Jan Rutta was placed on LTIR, among several Penguins transactions necessary to activate Kris Letang.

NHL Trade Rumors, News & National Hockey Now:

TSN: Ryan O’Reilly is officially on the NHL trade block, and the Ottawa Senators are open for business.

Sportsnet: The boys on 32 Thoughts reported the Toronto Maple Leafs threw their hat into the ring for Columbus defenseman Gavrikov. Should Toronto really go for it?

Canucks postgame video: Rick Tocchet was met with boos, and within five minutes, some goober tossed his jersey onto the ice (I use the masculine pronoun because no woman is that dumb, right?). Tocchet joked the fans knew his middle name was “Lou.”

The Canucks beat Chicago for Tocchet’s first win.

More dark humor today. Gary Bettman — with a deadpan delivery — denied NHL teams tank for the top pick.

In fairness, only Arizona, Anaheim, Columbus, and Chicago really stink. Chicago has not yet torn it down to the studs. Arizona will forever stink without a viable market or arena, and Columbus signed Johnny Gaudreau (I’m still asking — why, Johnny??).

Can you imagine four games next season between Sidney Crosby vs. Connor Bedard with Johnny Gaudreau in tow?

Penguins Playoff Chase:

Washington Hockey Now: From Washington, it was a tough loss as the Washinton Capitals battled but fell to Colorado 3-2.

The good side, as the defending Stanley Cup champions, are rounding into form. Alexander Georgiev stood on his head. Go inside the Colorado Avalanche locker room.

Thursday, the Penguins visit the Capitals. They may face a banged-up Alex Ovechkin and may not face Tom Wilson, who suffered another LBI.

Die by the Blade: The Buffalo Sabres continue to keep pace and are nipping at the Penguins’ heels. They beat St. Louis on Tuesday night.

Everything Else:

Detroit Hockey Now: What about Dylan Larkin? The premier center needs a new contract, but things are slow going with the Detroit Red Wings.

Montreal Hockey Now: A mailbag — Sean Monohan, Juraj Slafkovsky, and Canadiens’ NHL trade values.

Philly Hockey Now: There are two ways this can go — when John Tortorella takes over, you get on board, or you get run out of town. Kevin Hayes was a healthy scratch earlier in the season, but it seems he’s adopted the ways of the Torts. Friction? Nope, say both Tortorella and the Philadelphia Flyers’ leading scorer.

San Jose Hockey Now: Coach David Quinn put Kevin Labanc in the press box for four games. He returned in the 3-2 OT loss to Detroit. Labanc talked about his exile, and Quinn shared his frustration with OT in the San Jose Sharks locker room.

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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cacastine
cacastine
7 days ago

Bettman is correct. Not a single team purposely loses to get a top pick. The players would never go for it. Its funny how some teams tear down and sell off all their good players and they are “rebuilding” but if they do it in a year where there is a generational prospect, they are said to be “tanking”. Teams do sell assets and then try their best to collect as many future prospects as possible.

But this is 2023 and the new religion is conspiracy theories about everything.

Ujn Hunter
7 days ago
Reply to  cacastine

Bettman is correct or else the Blackhawks haven’t gotten the memo… since they keep winning games they should be losing.

Steve
Steve
7 days ago

Thankfully, the NJ Devils didn’t tank on March 17th, 1984, when they beat a Bruins team that would get 104 points on the season in Boston, giving the Pens a little breathing room in the race for Lemieux.

Anita Brennan
Anita Brennan
7 days ago

Hey where is the more physical type player’s that were supposed to be target’s of the Pittsburgh penguins according to Hextall and Bourke? Because in my opinion if they can somehow get a couple more physical forwards that can not only handle a good run from ovetchkin and hold their own, this present Penguins hockey 🏒 team don’t have nobody skating around playing that physical grind you down then unleash Crosby ,Guentzel, Rackell line , then Malkin , Zucker, ? Perhaps a player from outside the organization like from a good hockey 🏒 trade ? But yeah, in my opinion… Read more »

Joseph Berardo
Joseph Berardo
6 days ago

Any goof knows the Pens need goaltending. Jarry is hurt or ineffective in big moments and De Smith is just a ok goalie. Love to get some scoring depth and a solid defenseman this trade deadline and a goalie over the summer.