The offseason NHL trade chatter has begun, and today we officially begin using “last season.” The Colorado Avalanche have a bevy of offseason questions and Nathon MacKinnon is a year away from free agency. The Tampa Bay Lightning had a laundry list of injuries. They were more banged up than any of us could have known. After polling scouts across the league, TSN’s Bob MacKenzie released surprising draft ranking with a new consensus No. 1 pick. And the Pittsburgh Penguins announced their prospects and rookie camp dates on the same day they lost a former second-round pick, who packed up and went home.
We had it out on Twitter after Kasper Bjorkqvist bolted for home. No, a player who doesn’t excel at the AHL level will not magically excel at the NHL level “if only he had a chance.”
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: 2016 second-round pick Kasper Bjorkqvist figuratively packed up and signed a two-year deal in Finland. It was Mike Sullivan and Dominik Simon’s fault. Not kidding–that’s what a contingent of Penguins fans on the bluebird of misery genuinely think. Here’s the Bjorkqvist story — Pittsburgh Penguins prospects pool shrinks.
The Penguins announced the dates and the roster for their rookie and development camp a couple of days after the NHL Draft. Penguins rookie camp.
Here are the critical dates, including the buyout window for the Pittsburgh Penguins offseason.
And…the Penguins expect a quality player available with the 21st pick. Dave Molinari spoke with Nick Pryor, the Penguins’ director of amateur scouting. Nick talked about the draft talent and the Penguins’ philosophy for the coming 2022 NHL draft.
SteelersNow.com: So, when will Kenny Pickett be ready for starting duty in the NFL? Pittsburgh Steelers coverage.
NHL Trade Targets, News and National Hockey Now
Sportsnet: Put the top 15 answers on the board. Sportsnet posted the top 15 NHL trade targets this summer.
TSN: I tend to agree with the Bobfather on this one. The scuttle and glowing reports on the big prospect Juarj Slavkovsky have been too good. He was a manimal at the World Championships. And the Olympics. McKenzie says he’s passed Shane Wright as the new No. 1 atop the draft board.
After watching the Stanley Cup Final, taking Logan Cooley at No. 2 would not be insane, either. Give me a center who can score and play with the electricity in his skates.
Montreal Hockey Now: There was some talk after Pierre McGuire poked the 2022 draft and indirectly compared it to the disastrous 1999 draft. TSN’s Craig Button talked with our Montreal boys and disagreed. He sees some talent (including as far back as 21st for the Penguins). Montreal Canadiens draft.
San Jose: I suppose the NHL draft is the order of the day, at least until we see which Colorado Avalanche player gets good and toasty at the parade on Thursday. A peculiar “stat” for this year’s draft — the number of bloodlines from the San Jose Sharks.
Philly Hockey Now: Without Ron Hextall to close the door and bypass Cale Makar (boy, Philly is raging over that this week, but the story remains dubious. Nolan Patrick was easily the consensus No. 2), the Flyers will get a good kid at No. 5. Here’s who the experts attach to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Vancouver Hockey Now: Veering away from the draft, here’s a question that a few Penguins fans asked derisively. What is Tanner Pearson worth? Vancouver Canucks roll call.
Detroit Hockey Now: Perhaps the most amusing story today. Remember Oskar Sundqvist? The Red Wings acquired him at the NHL trade deadline. He hopped on the Cam & Strick podcast — Oskar says Steve Yzerman is “kind of terrifying.” Detroit Red Wings chatter.
Lastly, I am interviewing a baseball writer today. A really, really, really….really good one for PittsburghBaseballNow.com.