It feels like the dead of night in terms of NHL news, but everything begins in just a couple of weeks. We used the weekend to debate the Pittsburgh Penguins’ most overrated and underrated players of the last 30 years. The Dallas Stars could be (or should be) players on the NHL trade market for Noah Hanafin, but have been quiet. Will they part with the prospects to get it done? Philadelphia Flyers coach John Tortorella is firing up his prospects, Joonas Donskoi retired, Alexis Lafreniere signed a two-year extension, and should the Vegas Golden Knights turn over the roster for another superstar in a blockbuster trade?
Oh, let me tell you about my weekend adventure. It was a ho-hum, mundane, and boring ride on the motorcycle down Rt. 40, and I was absolutely regretting my choice to head south until I bumped into a Steelers fan in Cumberland, Md.
The Cumberland main street is torn up, but after a little walk-around, I found my kind of place: Curtis’ Famous Weiners, which uses the original Coney Island sauce. The little joint is run by my new friend Gino, a huge Steelers fan who got an Allen Rossum tattoo on his leg after the guys met in the parking lot over chicken wings. That’s Gino.
It’s a cash-only stand (and of course, I didn’t have cash), so a lovely woman and her sister visiting from Georgia insisted on adding my $2.20 hotdogs to their order with the promise I pay it forward. Deal. Through the little sidewalk window where they serve food on the weekends, Gino asked where I was from. A quick hot dog stop turned into an hour-long conversation inside the 118-year-old diner that opened in 1905 as a soda and candy store. At the original marble counters, we talked about everything from the Steelers to Gino’s grandfather, a chocolatier who started the little business, his father who fought in Okinawa, and Gino’s tattoos commemorating his parents.
My grandfather was wounded in the Pacific, too. Gino and I had lots to talk about as he gave me the private little tour of the shop that became a Coney Island diner in 1918. This place just makes you happy. I never did find a twisty country road to really let loose, but yeah, it’s worth a visit. Tell Gino that Dan Kingerski said hello.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: If it’s Sunday — it’s Dave Molinari’s Penguins Wrap.
OK, this riled up a few, especially one Matt Murray fan. The Top 5 most overrated Penguins players.
And you can’t rank the overrated without the unsung, underrated Pittsburgh Penguins.
Kevin Dotson is now an LA Ram. Get the deets and full analysis of the Steelers trade.
I’m not crazy about giving away the depth, but our Steelers crew likes it a lot.
Former Steelers LB Devin Bush also is bouncing around NFL trade rumors.
Pittsburgh Baseball Now:
It was a rough debut for first-overall pick Paul Skenes in Altoona, but he had a good philosophy, “Why pitch scared?” Our Griffin Floyd covered the big debut in Altoona for the top Pirates prospect.
And Jared Jones fanned 10 for Indianapolis. The latest Pirates prospect watch.
The current Pittsburgh Pirates don’t like the Cubs, who have deed and landlord status in their heads. The Cubbies took three of four and hammered the Pirates 10-1 Sunday. You don’t want the long version, get the quickie Pirates recap.
NHL Trade Talk, News & National Hockey Now:
Vegas Hockey Now: A couple of big contracts are due next summer in the desert. Should the Vegas Golden Knights use their valuable veterans as trade bait to go after another superstar in the making, Elias Pettersson? The Golden Knights trade talk.
TSN: White smoke from the NHL chimney! A new Ottawa Senators owner.
What’s the big deal? We have 100 Senators in the U.S., and most have owners. And full-time-care nurses.
Relax, I kid, I kid.
Sportsnet: Among the Central Division’s unanswered questions is the biggie: Will the Dallas Stars use their prospect pool to go after Noah Hanafin? The NHL trade speculation.
TSN: I thought unsigned Flyers 2018 first-round pick Jay O’Brien might end up in Pittsburgh, but he signed an AHL deal with the Toronto Marlies.
So many in Ron Hextall’s seemingly deep prospects pool have quickly washed out over the last few years. Every part of Hextall’s resume is taking a beating.
NHL.com: Alex Lafreniere signed a two-year extension with the Rangers.
Philly Hockey Now: Cutter Gauthier is one of a few Flyers prospects that the organization is anxiously awaiting. He met John Tortorella for the first time, and the pair got fired up. Philadelphia Flyers prospects news.
Montreal Hockey Now: An early look at the training camp battles for the young (and some old) Montreal Canadiens.