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Dan’s Daily: Trades Begin; Big Contracts Delivered; Penguins Scoring Options



Andrew Mangiapane, Calgary Flames

LAS VEGAS — If this is a taste of what is to come with the NHL Draft today and tomorrow, then NHL free agency on Monday, hockey fans are in for a treat. The NHL trade market bustled as the Washington Capitals swung another deal for a higher-priced veteran who had a down year, the San Jose Sharks traded up in the first round, and the Philadelphia Flyers tried desperately to do the same. Dakota Joshua re-signed in Vancouver and Juuse Saros is set to sign long-term in Nashville. At the NHL Awards, a guy from Nova Scotia won the Hart Trophy. And we look at bargain middle-six options for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Capitals are deploying an interesting strategy. It has a real chance to absolutely blow up in their face, but it could deliver a new window of competitiveness.

So, I attempted to take the afternoon off. After conducting a job interview and writing a few articles on Thursday, I went downtown to Freemont Street. My conscience just wouldn’t let me have any fun while I could be working. I kept checking my phone waiting for some sort of Penguins news. In the meantime, I had a whisky sour, Canadian, of course, toured the Mob Museum and headed “home” to work.

I suppose I’m a tough audience, but I was underwhelmed by the museum–I was expecting exhibits and more of a story. There was very little memorabilia, and it otherwise felt scattered without the in-depth color that so many of those stories had, though I did get to listen to some of the John Gotti surveillance tapes.

Bugsy Seigel was not featured but merely mentioned here and there. Like, seriously?

I’ll finish up with a little bit about my awards votes at the bottom. Fortunately, I didn’t cause a national controversy.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The Canucks had a little surprise for me. We examined the feasibility and cost of signing Dakota Joshua and published four middle-six bargains, but about 30 minutes later, Vancouver re-signed Jagger. So, I adjusted the story to reflect the news, but here are some affordable free-agent options to help the Penguins’ depth scoring.

Early this morning, Team Sweden selected its first six players for the Four Nations Face-Off, including Penguins defenseman Erik Karlsson.

Pittsburgh Baseball Now: Bubber Chandler is throwing some gas in Triple-A. The Pirates have another pitcher on the way. Here’s the latest report on the Pirates’ prospects.

NHL Trade Talk, News & National Hockey Now

Philly Hockey Now: We’ll make this the lead, as it could directly affect the Penguins. The Flyers made a whopping offer to the Columbus Blue Jackets to move up to fourth in the draft, but it appears Columbus has rejected it. Here’s the Flyers’ trade offer.

Sportsnet: The Calgary Flames rebuild continued Thursday, and they keep dealing with Metro Division teams. A week after trading goalie Jacob Markstrom to the New Jersey Devils, they sent Andrew Mangiapane and his $5,8 million salary in an emotional trade to the Washington Capitals for a draft pick.

Nashville Hockey Now: Juuse Saros has been in the NHL trade rumors for a few months because the team has a hotshot goalie prospect pushing for his NHL spot. So, GM Barry Trotz extended Saros with an eight-year deal. Here’s the surprising Nashville Predators news.

San Jose Hockey Now: The Buffalo Sabres took the volume, and the San Jose Sharks wanted quality. The first swap of picks was Buffalo, selling the 11th overall pick. Here’s the Sharks trade.

NYI Hockey Now: J-G Pageau is on the chopping block as a buyout candidate. However, should the New York Islanders keep the center and sacrifice someone else, such as Casey Czikas, on the NHL trade block?

TSN: The Insiders tee it up. The latest on Carolina’s renewed efforts to sign former Penguins winger Jake Guentzel and the buzz on Tyler Bertuzzi and Max Domi. Today, we are going to see some fireworks.

Colorado Hockey Now: It was a big night for Nathan MacKinnon and very well deserved. Sidney Crosby’s buddy picked up both the Ted Lindsay Award and his first Hart Trophy.

Sportsnet: Here’s the full list of NHL Award winners, including Quinn Hughes for the Norris and Aleksander Barkov might become the new dominant force for the Selke Trophy.

ESPN: And big, thundering winger Dakota Joshua, who had a breakout season with Vancouver, got his payday just days before hitting the free agent market. Joshua got a four-year deal over $3 million from Vancouver.

2024 was the first time I earned a ballot for the awards. Pittsburgh has more writers who are worthy than votes, but I was quite honored to get one. Actually, I didn’t know I received the honor until the day the votes were due when I got a reminder to vote. That led to a dedicated couple of hours pouring through rosters and stats and examining everything.

I was terrified my ballot would cost someone an award, and social media would come after me. So, I agonized over every vote. The two that I worried about were the Selke and Norris trophies. I knew I could defend my Hart Trophy ballot (MacKinnon-Matthews-McDavid-Kucherov-Crosby), but it seemed there was a great push for Roman Josi to win the Norris. I voted for Quinn Hughes, Cale Makar, Josi, Evan Bouchard, and Noah Dobson.

I left Jordan Staal off my Selke ballot because … minus-14 on a good team? But no one has yet come for me. Whew.