The pot is beginning to be stirred around the league and this weekend, Alberta media is leading the charge. The Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames will be making changes and so the speculations are running wild. A second St. Louis Blues forward has been suspended, PHN advocates a major Pittsburgh Penguins shakeup because of recent player comments, and Jeff Skinner will be in Buffalo for a long time.
This week Kris Letang told the Athletic he doesn’t think the Penguins should hit the panic button and big changes weren’t needed. That’s exactly why the big changes are needed (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
Ivan Barbashev will get the gate for Game 6 after his hit on Marcus Johansson. One game suspension (Boston Hockey Now)
For those who love real hockey analysis–check out Boston Hockey Now’s breakdown of the Bruins rush and how it can be more effective (BHN)
Could the Calgary Flames dish James Neal this summer? The Edmonton Oilers have “kicked the tires” (Edmonton Journal)
Calgary could also dangle good defensemen, too. The funny thing is–I could envision a scenario in which the Pittsburgh Penguins wind up with Neal and a defenseman. I don’t think it’s likely but I do see a scenario where it could happen and thousands of jerseys come out of the mothballs. Remember the backlash on that trade? I think the Penguins did OK with Patric Hornqvist.
More trade talk around Calgary. The defensemen T.J. Brodie and Travis Hamonic may be available (The Athletic)
I found this on Spector’s Hockey–an interesting name: Jesse Puljujarvi. He’s an RFA and hasn’t caught on in Edmonton (Edmonton Journal)
For my money, Puljujarvi is the perfect type of reclamation project for the Penguins. A few shifts beside Crosby or Malkin can do wonders for a kid’s confidence, or worst case scenario, with Teddy Blueger on the fourth line. The Penguins still have one of the best crops of pivots in the league.
Columbus offseason watch—What now? (TSN)
And Jeff Skinner who was a good scoring winger before his breakout in Buffalo–during a contract year–got a FAT new contract (Sportsnet)