The Arizona voters said nope, no thanks to the Arizona Coyotes, and now things get interesting. A report indicates Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan is exerting influence on the organization to put more resources into prospects and the AHL. Vegas Golden Knights coach Bruce Cassidy delivered a clinic, the Washington Capitals are chasing their new coach, there is a gaggle of Philly Flyers in the Conference Finals, and the NHL trade rumors have come for the Edmonton Oilers.
Saturday marks my final day in Las Vegas for at least a week. I’m coming home for TV engagements and to get a pile of mail. I will miss Game 2 and Game 5, which upsets me, but thank you all for helping us grow Vegas Hockey Now and moving the ball forward.
Pittsburgh Penguins / Steelers, Pirates
So much to get to!
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Kyle Dubas’ dubious decision and Nick Bonino is bouncing back. Penguins notebook.
We did a Penguins Q&A, including what to do with Mikael Granlund, would the entire core stay for a rebuild, and a couple of nuggets on the Penguins GM search.
Inside the AHL: Tony Androckitis messaged me last night — he had some scoops from the AHL meetings. Penguins coach Mike Sullivan is really pushing the organization to get more involved with the WBS Penguins and build up that team. The interesting note was, “And Sullivan has the hammer with the FSG guys.” Here’s more.
Maybe some will relent on the “Sullivan hates young players” refrain. Sullivan will play any young player who will help him win, but he’s had too few of those over the last four years.
Here’s the biggie — Cam Heyward used his platform to argue for the reinstatement of a former Steelers wide receiver caught in football purgatory. And he’s right. Here’s the Steelers news.
The XFL’s TD leader signed with the Steelers.
Pittsburgh Baseball Now:
We’ve got the battery covered.
There is a common theme in the development of the Pirates’ catchers, Rodriguez and Davis. Here’s a short and interesting read on the Pirates’ catching prospects.
PBN+: John Perrotto reports — Relax. Pirates pitching prospects slipped down the rankings, but not to worry about the Pirates’ pitching prospects.
NHL Trade Talk, News & National Hockey Now:
Vegas Hockey Now: One thing that I wish Mike Sullivan would do more is to talk about the Xs and Os. Bruce Cassidy served up a plate of hockey goodness yesterday. If you want to know the nuts and bolts of the Western Conference Final and what he thinks each team will do — here you go. The Vegas Golden Knights notebook.
**Detroit Hockey Now: Jaromir Jagr paid tribute to recently passed Petr Klima, “He was better than me.” Here’s the full story on Jagr and the former Detroit Red Wings star.
Edmonton Journal: So what happens to the Edmonton Oilers now? A GM change, putting a few guys on the NHL trade block, and dishing new contracts.
Washington Hockey Now: The coaching search for a couple of teams seems to be landing on one guy. Spencer Carbury. Will the Washington Capitals get him?
AZ Central: It’s over. Voters in Tempe said NO to an arena district and a new barn for the Arizona Coyotes.
It’s a good thing we own Houston Hockey Now… For gosh sake, just make it happen already. A college arena. Fan support is well below acceptable levels. The folks in Arizona are really nice. They were amazingly hospitable when the Penguins contingent rolled through, but it’s just not an NHL market, and no amount of forcing it will change that.
Philly Hockey Now: Ron Brind’Amour is just one of several former Philadelphia Flyers in the conference finals.
Montreal Hockey Now: Yep, including the Pittsburgh Penguins GM search, Marc Bergevin is generating interest.
**Aside from Connor Bedard, the second-best talent in the draft could fall to No. 5 (or worse?) because of fears the NHL can’t get him out of Russia. As Marc Dumont writes, the talent of Matvei Michkov can’t be ignored.
I’ll repeat — this is the Penguins trade-up opportunity. A Jagr 2.0 situation. Malkin has never publicly criticized the Russian dictator (for good reasons. Who needs to wind up dead, framed, or banned), and it could be time to cash in a favor.
Chicago Hockey Now: Sure, Connor Bedard is coming, but there are lessons to be learned from the final four teams. Nate Brown delivers the Chicago Blackhawks analysis.
LA Hockey Now: Let’s grade the GM. Austin Stanovich wades into deep waters to grade the LA Kings boss.
And … I couldn’t help myself.
You don’t **** with the Chuck. pic.twitter.com/6PVERcddj4
— Dan Kingerski (@TheDanKingerski) May 17, 2023