Do you miss the offseason drama surrounding the Pittsburgh Penguins, or are you enjoying their relative removal from the headlines? As the Penguins boat drifts quietly down the offseason river, New York Rangers fans bought a billboard to antagonize the Buffalo Sabres over the Jack Eichel-NHL trade standoff, a wild trade tree for Alex Galchenyuk, the WHL will require the vaccine for everyone, and we played Penguins GM within the confines of the current cap trap.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Playing GM with the Penguins cap-strapped, no-trade-asset situation. It isn’t easy, but we did it anyway. Who to trade, when, how, and who would we sign?
We opened up for a mailbag segment, and we’ll do one, but the first submissions had one thing in common–angst over the Penguins’ future, including Evgeni Malkin. It’s going to be a bumpy ride. Will fans turn on the stars?
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The time has come.
Starting today for the next two weeks in honor of our 300th episode:
Blueshirts Breakaway has purchased a billboard on I-190 next to the Buffalo Sabres KeyBank Arena demanding an Eichel trade.
— Ryan Mead (@OhRyanMead) August 16, 2021
Sportsnet: Steve Dangle looks at the Max Domi for Alex Galchenyuk NHL trade tree, which–neither player really performed well for their new team–but is still bearing fruit for both the Montreal Canadiens and Arizona Coyotes. Interesting video.
TSN: The Minnesota Wild and Kevin Fiala avoided arbitration and agreed on a new contract for the Wild star forward.
The Nashville Predators did the same with goalie Juuse Saros and agreed to a four-year, $20 million contract.
Boston: Our boys in Boston have a cup of a story. Remember when Alex Ovechkin mercilessly speared Trent Frederic in the family jewels? Frederic talked more about it and said–it didn’t hurt?!
Philly: The Pittsburgh Penguins have not yet announced a prospect development camp or rookie tournament, but the Philadelphia Flyers announced their camp, with some pretty high-end prospects (some drafted by Ron Hextall), will begin Aug. 28.
Count us as jealous and hopeful the Penguins will announce a camp soon.
NYI: Keeping with the Penguins rivals, NYI Hockey Now isn’t sold on Ilya Sorokin as the No. 1 goalie just yet, or rather, they’re onboard keeping the goalie tandem with Semyon Varlamov.
One wonders how the Islanders can afford it.
Washington: The greatest Pittsburgh Penguins rival, the only other Metro team to win a Stanley Cup in the Crosby era, the Washington Capitals also have blue line questions. Sammi Silber writes–Dmitri Orlov will be the key this season.
What a find Sammi has been. It’s a joy having her on the team. Unfortunately, both the Penguins and Capitals seem paralyzed by age, fading hopes, and lack of options.
Florida: I like the Florida Panthers’ odds to win the Stanley Cup. George Richards laid out the new odds, and the Panthers are still a second or third-tier betting favorite to win the Stanley Cup.
I do not promise anything, but I really like Joe Thornton on that team. Just in case you want to get a head start
Detroit: The Red Wings received howls when they signed Adam Erne to a $2.1 million deal to avoid arbitration. Kevin Allen explained WHY Steve Yzerman did it.
Also in Detroit–another oddity that Penguins fans may find familiar. Check out the Matt Murray and JIM PAEK note in this story: Goalie Alex Nedeljkovic who finished third in the Calder Trophy voting last season–will be eligible again this season.
Didn’t think you’d get a Jimmy Paek reference today, did you?
Colorado: It’s punchout time in the Rockies. Newly acquired Kurtis MacDermid doesn’t mind punching people if they take liberties with teammates. It’s part of the league lurch back to knuckles. Here are the Top 5 Avalanche Enforcers of all time.
San Jose: I really like the Sharks prospect system. They’re coming along quickly, and Sheng Peng is covering it well. The Sharks began their rookie camp and Wookie Brent Burns had some hallway advice for first-round pick William Eklund.
Vancouver: Here’s the story you need to read today–Mark Demontis. Blind hockey player. Skated over 3100 miles from Toronto to Vancouver in 2009. He’s at it again on Sept. 1. He’ll skate from Windsor to Ottawa to raise funds for Canadian Blind Hockey, which specifically helps blind and partially sighted children play hockey.