Tony Esposito was a legendary Chicago Blackhawks goalie who once invented a little webbing between his pads to take away the five-hole. That little invention didn’t last long, but Esposito made his mark on the game. Older Penguins fans will remember Esposito was the Pittsburgh Penguins last GM before Craig Patrick. In his brief 20-month tenure from April 1988 to December 1989, Esposito acquired Tom Barrasso and drafted Mark Recchi.
TSN: He passed away on Tuesday from a brief battle with pancreatic cancer at 78-years-old.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now has begun our “offseason” work on prospects with film study. We’re still efforting to find full games of Filip Hallander rather than five-minute highlight clips. We don’t just pluck highlights to get excited but watch full games, which I believe is why we’ve been very accurate in our assessments of everyone from Daniel Sprong, Marcus Pettersson, Sam Poulin, and Nathan Legare, and others–though we will be doing more on Legare and Poulin, too.
First, some site housecleaning–this is the view from the new Pittsburgh Hockey Now office. I’ve been busy, but not on the keyboard. New digs, you’ll be seeing some new names on the bylines, and hopefully, a LOT more Hockey Nows. My semi-apologies!
NHL New & National Hockey Now
This was a wow moment when my hockey chat boys Tom & Rick sent this over. They keep me honest and up to date on stuff everyone else misses. Yikes:
Kraken announce they have hired Dan Bylsma as an assistant AHL coach with the Charlotte Checkers.
They also announce that Andrew Allen, who was a scout last season, will be their goalie coach. Allen was previously in that same role with the Sabres. #SeaKraken
— Ryan S. Clark (@ryan_s_clark) August 10, 2021
Sportsnet: The Toronto Marlies hired a goalie coach on Sunday. By Tuesday, he was no longer their goalie coach. What did him in? Liking allegedly racist tweets and social media posts supporting the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol and anti-vax sentiments.
We efforted to find the posts in question. But I don’t have the stomach for moderating 9 million comments and fighting in our comments section. Everyone would see what they wanted to see anyway…
Detroit: Pittsburgh Penguins fans may remember Jakub Vrana from way back when and last season, too. The Detroit Red Wings and Vrana agreed to a three-year deal with a healthy paycheck to avoid arbitration.
Boston: There was some confusion or misrepresenting what went down and when it did with David Krejci. Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy tried to clarify.
Philadelphia: Carter Hart got a nice payday on Monday. On Tuesday, he owned up to an awful season and a clean slate going forward.
Just how long will Philadelphia Flyers fans give a struggling goalie before turning on him?
For context, one astute Twitter follower bounced this off me:
Give this man a round of applause: https://t.co/ppKp0SChlK
— Dan Kingerski (@TheDanKingerski) August 10, 2021
NYI: Lou Lamoriello, in addition to hiding contracts so he can exceed the salary cap in the offseason or play poker with GMs on the NHL trade market, also likes stability. Bridgeport may be the Isles
Washington: Nick Jensen is an important piece of the Washington Capitals’ blue line. The 30-year-old had a career year and broke a 165-game goalless drought (?!). Jensen must keep evolving for the Capitals.
Colorado Hockey Now: Michael Jordan changed basketball, but also the culture with shoes. Will we ever see a hockey version?
Crazy times, my friends. It’s not everyone else. It’s us. I found this plaque in DC. I liked it enough to take a picture to share at the appropriate time.