It’s been quite the debate from the social media platforms to this writer tangling with Tim Benz and Paul Zeise on WPXI’s Final Word. The Pittsburgh Penguins re-signed Tristan Jarry, and the debate had raged, overshadowing president of hockey operations Kyle Dubas’s work to reshape the roster into a playoff contender. We’ll also have more from the Penguins development camp, too. Also in the Daily, the best UFAs still available, Toronto snagged Max Domi and Tyler Bertuzzi on one-year deals, while Women’s hockey will finally take a step forward with a unified league. And Erik Karlsson and Alex DeBrincat remain on the NHL trade block.
The cool but wow moment of Sunday was Evan Rodrigues, who finally got the huge payday he’s been seeking. Florida bucked up for the versatile forward.
We’ll post the WPXI Final Word show later today because it was almost all hockey talk. I tangled with Paul Zeise and Tim Benz over the Penguins’ moves and Jarry. It was two against me. In other words, they had no chance.
(I kid, I kid).
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The offseason went from a crawl to a dead sprint. Dave Molinari’s weekly Penguins Wrap.
This is a great signing for reasons you may not realize — Welcome back, Radim Zohorna.
And the controversial column on Sunday: Grading Kyle Dubas and the Penguins’ free agent signings, including Tristan Jarry. Yes, they are better. The Penguins are MUCH better, and here’s why. Penguins analysis.
Also, I slipped a little joke into the headline above. Hey, I’ve written more than 350 stories over the past two months. Sometimes, I need to amuse myself with little Easter Eggs. Those of us who watched Night Court (the original) will remember Harry’s father played by John Astin, who lived in an institution with Harry’s mother … but he’s feeling much better now.
He’s still alive (well past 90). I wasn’t crazy about the reboot with Melissa Rauch, but if he’s healthy enough for a quick cameo, that would make a great episode. The same with Richard Moll and Brent Spiner. Cmon!
NHL Trade Talk, UFAs, and National Hockey Now:
Perhaps I should have written a second story detailing what we reported in the Live Blog and on Twitter about the Penguins and Erik Karlsson. Saturday, a source told us the Penguins believed they were one of two teams left standing (Penguins and Seattle). That was Dave Molinari who asked Kyle Dubas for confirmation of talks, which Dubas tacitly gave. The NHL trade rumors were stirring, but a couple of hours after the source said things were hot, the Penguins signed five players, including Jarry and Ryan Graves to long-term deals, and Dubas seemed to indicate that a major trade was unlikely before the start of the season, if at all. I’m not sure why I seemed to be taking so much grief on Twitter for stating what Dubas said, but sorry, facts are facts.
NYI Hocke Now: Alex DeBrincat remains on the block, but no takers can afford him. However, the New York Islanders are trying.
Calgary Hockey Now: Another big name floating out there is Noah Hanafin. Reportedly, the Calgary Flames affixed a high price.
Sportsnet: The 10 best UFAs still available.
Florida Hockey Now: Evan Rodrigues got four years at $3 million per from the Florida Panthers.
The Panthers also quietly signed Dmitry Kulikov for $1 million.
Washington Hockey Now: Including Lars Eller, three exes Washington Capitals landed in the Metro Division.
Boston Hockey Now: GM Don Sweeney confirmed and scolded the media for the Matt Grzelcyzk and Linus Ullmark chatter. Bruins trade rumors.
Montreal Hockey Now; Juraj Slafkovsky was wearing some funky glasses. He is training with a new strobe light technology. It’s … different. More on the Montreal Canadiens training.
Colorado Hockey Now: What to make of that long six-year deal for Miles Wood.
Sportsnet: Bertuzzi and Domi. Two one-year contracts, perhaps a touch below market value. The Toronto Maple Leafs scored big Sunday.
TSN: Women’s hockey will take its biggest step forward in a while as the two leagues become one.