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Hornqvist Trade Probably Off; Everything We Know and Don’t Know

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Pittsburgh Penguins trade Patric Hornqvist

It was a day and a trade, unlike any other. Multiple outlets reported the Pittsburgh Penguins trade of Patric Hornqvist to the Florida Panthers for LD Mike Matheson. That was the easy part. It all began with a Tweet from NHL Network analyst Kevin Weekes, and ended, maybe ended, later yesterday when the deal seemed to get bogged down by complicated issues.

While neither team has officially put an end to the media frenzy which ensued, multiple sources told PHN late Wednesday evening they believed the deal to be off.

Rumors were flying, even inside the Penguins organization and among the players, on Wednesday afternoon. It is a fair statement; the Penguins locker room would be incredibly disappointed to lose Patric Hornqvist, perhaps even more so than they were to lose Carl Hagelin in November 2018. To dissect everything, or report everything we were told isn’t possible. The point is, there was a lot of chatter on the inside, and some of it was conflicting.

First, a note: Because of the confusing situation on Wednesday, Pittsburgh Hockey Now will be changing its strategy on reporting trades and trade talks, especially when there is confusion. After internal conversations, we have decided there isn’t a benefit to being first with a report on only part of the process. Like you, I love the game and find the inner workings fascinating, and I know you want to know everything. However, we’re going to “cool it” until actions happen, then we will report everything we know. The “real-time” reporting is just too dangerous. That’s journalism in the Twitter era, but the risks outweigh the rewards, at least to us. 

We excel in hockey analysis, insights, and, yes, inside information, but the “in the moment” reporting has sometimes put us at odds with our subject and sometimes our sources. Most of our readers understand “in the moment” reporting may need to be clarified or expounded. However, as our footprint grows well beyond loyal readers to casual fans across the country, we’re going to adopt a more conservative stance. You’ll still get the story, but after the fog of activity lifts.

To be fully transparent for our readers and the record, here is what we know and what we don’t know.

We can neither confirm nor deny that Patric Hornqvist waived his no-trade clause. Specifically, a source in the Penguins hockey ops told us that reaching Hornqvist for his approval was one of the hold-ups, but we have not been able to confirm if he approved. Then Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported the insurability of Hornqvist’s contract was a major obstacle. And the same source who told us about the Hornqvist delay confirmed the issues were linked, at least in the beginning.

In other words, communication was an issue but not the insurmountable obstacle (we didn’t report that it was, but we fear some interpreted our Tweet in that way).

Unfortunately, our initial reporting took on a life of its own. By the end of the day, it was being reported that we reported Patric Hornqvist wouldn’t take the Penguins calls on Wednesday. We don’t believe that is true.

Believe me, I have never been a part of or chased a story with so much conflicting information from people on the inside. The players were talking amongst themselves, and they too were wondering what was coming next.

Finally, late Wednesday, multiple sources expressed belief the deal was off. However, neither source said the deal is dead. That is an important distinction. Take the nuance for whatever it is worth to you.

Now, how the Penguins, Hornqvist, and the left-side defensemen move forward from this will be an interesting story, too.

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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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BIG B
BIG B
1 year ago

Yesterday the FOG OF WAR today the FOG OF ACTIVITY, Dan you truly are the Robet McNamara of hockey reporting. I think this was a good trade for the Pens as they would get younger faster cheaper and the have the technology to rebuild him but it won’t cost 6 million.It would equate to a Horny cap dump because the Pens would most likely have moved Marcus, Dumo or JJ and ended up in the 10-11 million cap space range.

HarkeyPuck
HarkeyPuck
1 year ago

Way to go Dan. 😐 No seriously, way to be on top of things. Not your fault how Twitter twists EVERYTHING into a mangled mess. Hornqvist while a favorite of mine, is too pricey if he’s going to be bottom 6. I feel 87 plays a better playoff game with 72 on his right side, but if anything is clear it’s that Sid doesn’t want him there. It just makes me wonder if they were going to trade for ANOTHER LHD, why was there a rush to sign Rikkola? Makes me think someone was willing to take JJ or really… Read more »

Frank
Frank
1 year ago

Hopefully everyone grasps that the source of this amateurish fumble of the news had nothing to do with the offices of the Pens and Panthers. Rather just another example of the thoughtless baseless ability of media too quick to publish “news” without bothering to see if it is accurate. That said, I am happy to see the note regarding the future publishing of junk like the Weekes tweet of yesterday. But I also found it funny to see what seemed like an early negative reaction to the deal. Oh . .. it might have been yet another bomb but .… Read more »

Cal
Cal
1 year ago

I’m just happy that Matheson isnt a Penguin.

HarkeyPuck
HarkeyPuck
1 year ago
Reply to  Cal

Yet

HarkeyPuck
HarkeyPuck
1 year ago
Reply to  HarkeyPuck

Ahem…

Last edited 1 year ago by HarkeyPuck
Katz
Katz
1 year ago

Well the whole scenario made little sense. However what made sense is those players with NTC’s probably would only agree to a trade in a low tax State. Florida benefits from their States tax policy. Dan do you believe Murray is a desired commodity given the need to sign a new Contract and the disconnect between his paper resume and current reality ? I do not think anyone is banging on the door for Murray. Also do you trust Rutherford to navigate this critical time in franchise history? I do not.

EJ
EJ
1 year ago

Good form.
Thanks for putting it in writing.

Katz
Katz
1 year ago

Well get your column ready because the deal is done.

Kevin Gundlach
Kevin Gundlach
1 year ago

HI Dan,

It is interesting you mention the insurability of certain contracts. With some being higher than others do you think these amounts are significant enough to hit the operations bottom line? If so do you think this played a role in the selection Hornqvist?

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