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Dan’s Daily: COVID Penguins Can’t Play in Ottawa, Eichel (Finally) has Surgery

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There seems to be a discrepancy between the United States and Canadian law regarding COVID-positive persons, and the Pittsburgh Penguins will be shorthanded on Saturday night. They could also be shorthanded next week in Montreal. Jack Eichel finally had his artificial disk replacement surgery, and the Chinese hockey team is so bad they may withdraw from the Olympics.

Tell me again why the world is heading to China? It’s not like their government knew of a coming pandemic, lied so they could stock up on supplies, or “disappeared” scientists who sounded the alarm and allowed the world to be caught unprepared. What’s five million deaths when Mao killed 20 million?

I’m old enough to know Communism and fear it. Anyway…

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Marcus Pettersson and Chad Ruhwedel can’t play in Ottawa on Saturday night because it’s been less than 14 days since their positive COVID test. The Penguins emergency recalled Juuso Riikola and Louis Domingue.

It appears head coach Mike Sullivan may not be able to coach in Montreal on Thursday. It also appears Sidney Crosby and Brian Dumoulin should be OK, but we’re not 100% sure. The laws, rules, and NHL exemptions are complicated. We’ll leave the legal work to those responsible and report the results.

Tristan Jarry. He’s already delivered four, maybe five points. His stats are better than his predecessors. It’s time to buck up and respect Jarry as a No. 1 goalie. 

NHL News & National Hockey Now

Vegas: After nearly a year of asking, waiting, fighting, and forcing the issue, Jack Eichel finally, FINALLY, had artificial disk replacement surgery. Successfully, too. 

Sportsnet: Because China hosts the 2022 Winter Olympics, their hockey team gets to play without qualifying. However, they don’t really have enough players remotely on par with the professionals coming. China scoured the world to find a few with professional experience who could qualify as Chinese citizens. They may have to withdraw or get slaughtered by Canada and the US in preliminary rounds. 

20-0? Maybe Disney will make a movie if they score a goal.

Washington Hockey Now: Alex Ovechkin passed Brett Hull on the all-time goals list. 742. Hull sent a fun message, too. 

CP: As if the Ottawa Senators aren’t busted up enough with nine COVID absences, recalled defenseman Erik Brannstrom broke his hand, too.

Now, the Kyle Beach lawsuit, including the high school player molested by Brad Aldrich, is proceeding. Rick Westhead has the update. 

NYI: The New York Islanders are in the bottom of the Metro with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Islanders can’t score. Is Oliver Wahlstrom the answer?

Perhaps the goals are being kept secret in Lou Lamoriello’s top drawer for a few months?

Detroit: Are opponents dismissing or disrespecting the Detroit Red Wings?

Colorado: Terry Frei asked a similar question of Jared Bednar that I did of Mike Sullivan a few weeks ago. Why are some teams so injury-prone?

And last, but certainly, not least. I’ve told the story too many times. Jarome Iginla launched my career. He didn’t mean to; With the Calgary Flames at the height of his popularity, he generously gave a young mic runner in Pittsburgh a few-minute interview after a morning skate. I made him laugh, he made me laugh, and it became one of the best interviews I’ve ever done. That interview propelled my little internet radio show to get radio affiliates, syndication, and nearly 20 years later…here I am.

I’m not sure I’ll ever forget the Pittsburgh Penguins wasting their shot with Iginla in 2013. As a Toronto talk show host (with a Calgary affiliate), I checked my objectivity and actively rooted for him.

Jarome Iginla is going into the Hall of Fame. Damn right.

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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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