It’s almost high noon, and the gunslingers are having their final belts of whiskey before strapping on their holsters and standing tall in the center of town. Johnny Gaudreau and the Calgary Flames are trying to get a deal done. Gaudreau to Philly chatter is red-hot. The Toronto Maple Leafs might yet acquire Matt Murray or another starting goalie via the NHL trade market. The Chicago Blackhawks let more talented youth walk without a qualifying offer in what might become the biggest teardown since Eddie Johnston stripped the 1983 Pittsburgh Penguins. And Penguins GM Ron Hextall and Evgeni Malkin are at an impasse, as emotion and pragmatism collide.
Toronto is back on Murray because Sunday talks with Jack Campbell stalled again.
Things between the Penguins and Malkin seem to have hit the tipping point.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: My read on the Malkin situation, as PHN was able to confirm (with the assist from Dave Molinari) that the sticking point is a fourth year to lower the AAV. Penguins say no. It’s emotional Malkin vs. pragmatic Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Malkin situation has created a backlog of decisions on others, too. Kasperi Kapanen? Danton Heinen? Dave Molinari writes that there are a few other looming decisions TODAY for the Pittsburgh Penguins RFAs.
PHN+: There was some good news for the Penguins. “Rookie” camp, otherwise called Development Camp, looked like a success. Day 1 showcased a couple of players I think you’re going to see soon. I really like the 2020 fourth-round pick. And the 2021 fifth-rounder. WBS Penguins coach J.D. Forrest liked a few of them, too. Complete Day 1 observations and analysis of the Penguins’ prospects.
Join this merry band of rebels at PHN+. We are THE most experienced group of sports writers in Pittsburgh and quite proud of the measured coverage we provided with two experienced writers at the NHL Draft in Montreal and in New York for the playoffs. We’re all over free agency, too. Join PHN+ at the discounted price here.
Dave will have Development Camp coverage today. I’m going to try for some downtime before the carnage. I’ll fail. Even as I had a late dinner and box of DOTS to unwind on Sunday night (don’t judge, dots are great), I found myself texting with junior hockey folks, making videos, and chasing info. If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. That’s a Texas-sized 10-4, good buddy.
NHL Trade Talk, News & National Hockey Now:
Philly Hockey Now: Sources tell Sam Carchidi that Johnny Gaudreau would LOVE to come to the Philadelphia Flyers, but…
Sportsnet: Matt Murray in the blue-and-white? Reunited with his juniors GM, Kyle Dubas? Back to a team with immediate Stanley Cup hopes? The great rebound or the final fall? Are more question marks possible in this setup? The NHL trade chatter — Toronto and Matt Murray?
Montreal Hockey Now: There remains considerable interest in Jake Allen as the NHL trade market heats up. Montreal Canadiens news.
TSN: The Chicago Blackhawks are hellbent on purging themselves of talented players in their 20s. Dylan Strome will not get a QO and will become a UFA.
Colorado Hockey Now: Adrian Dater is scooping plenty about the Avalanche offseason. Who signs, and who is on the way out? Here’s the complete story — Colorado Avalanche news.
NYI Hockey Now: The hotly rumored deal with the Vancouver Canucks fell through. Canucks GM Patrik Allvin said there was no such thing. Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello flatly answered questions about the expected trade that wasn’t, “ask Vancouver.” Allvin vs. Lou. The trade fell through. What happened? Stefen Rosner has some inside dirt. New York Islanders chatter.
Detroit: The Red Wings need some blue line help. Our folks at DHN lined up the 10 defensemen who could help the Detroit Red Wings.
Vegas: The five+ free agents who could help the Vegas Golden Knights.