TORONTO — Pittsburgh Penguins president of hockey operations/GM Kyle Dubas has shutdown the clamor or furor over his return to Toronto, where he worked his way up through the Maple Leafs organization to become the general manager. The city is itching for a little bit of friction. We examined if Dubas’s comments last Monday meant he could trade one or any of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang. Sportsnet did an interesting deep dive into Erik Karlsson’s effect on the Penguins. There were a couple of smaller deals on the NHL trade market, and the Ottawa Senators coach is on a red-hot seat.
You know, I’ve been to Toronto dozens of times, probably more than any other city. I’ve vacationed here and worked here, and yet I’ve never found a go-to spot that just checks all the boxes. I’d love to show you pictures of an interesting dinner or quaint dive bar, but I had a couple of slices on Thursday night and spaghetti on Friday.
I did wander into a little flatbread pizza and wine bar on Friday. They serve flatbread pizza. C’mon, how chic could it be, right? Yeah. To be cool, all of the wines were Italian, but they were none of the types of wine you’ve ever heard of. For this pretentious little feat of sommelier brilliance, a glass of very average red wine was $19 CDN. You can imagine the two words that rolled through my head.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Rickard Rakell was a full-go at practice. The power play configurations and new Penguins lines. Let’s start with the big Penguins news.
Rakell talked to us after practice. The injury might have been a saving grace–allowing him to reset. Friday, he admitted that before the injury, he was in “a pretty dark place.” It was an interesting chat with Rickard Rakell.
Kyle Dubas’s press conference on Monday is being parsed for missed details or signals of what will come to be. The significant question is, could the Penguins trade away the core?
Toronto Star: Coach Mike Sullivan admitted Kyle Dubas had this game circled on the calendar. It’s the big Kyle Dubas back to Toronto game. Kevin McGran examined Dubas’ reception with the Penguins and what they think of the boss.
Sportsnet: Interesting advanced stats from carry-ins to carry-outs to Erik Karlsson leading the league in immediate turnovers becoming goals. Ten times this season, the Penguins have given up a goal within 10 seconds of a Karlsson turnover. But he’s also generating more offense than any other defenseman in the league. Here’s the full Karlsson.
NHL Trade Talk, News & National Hockey Now
Colorado Hockey Now: My how Tomas Tatar and his trade value have fallen. His Rocky Mountain high lasted just 94 days before the Colorado Avalanche traded him to Seattle.
San Jose Hockey Now: A known name but not a big splash on the NHL trade market. Jack Studnicka’s time is over with the Vancouver Canucks, as the San Jose Sharks traded for another faded prospect.
TSN: The big debate up here is about Ottawa Senators coach D.J. Smith. As one Canadian colleague put it, “the fans can’t fire him fast enough.” It’s a hot seat, but should Ottawa send their coach packing?
The Athletic: I hesitate to make too big of a deal about this because it has concluded to the satisfaction of the league, and nothing more came of it. The Athletic reports that Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin was investigated for verbal abuse. The investigation concluded, and Guerin did not commit a firable offense.
Washington Post: The potential new arena deal to move the Capitals out of downtown D.C. could get the largest arena subsidy ever. Here’s the full story from the business team at the Post.