What a contrast over 24 hours. New Chicago Blackhawks goalies Marc-Andre Fleury met the Chicago media and explained his reticence while the San Jose Sharks deal with the Evander Kane fallout. The NHL trade winds have cooled. The Pittsburgh Penguins house cleaning continued, and sources clued us into the current Penguins offseason situation.
By the wave of reaction, you would have thought the Penguins made a huge trade.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: There was no ringing the bell on the NHL trade market, but GM Ron Hextall axed goalie coach Mike Buckley and replaced him with goalie development coach Andy Chiodo.
I’m not a goalie expert, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but the Penguins goalies have regressed since 2017. PHN told you (and told you, and told you…) Matt Murray would have a snapback, but it was far more severe than anyone thought without a rebound. In 2017, the Penguins let Mike Bales go in favor of Buckley–Murray’s guy. Bales went to Carolina where Petr Mrazek had a career resurgence, then to Buffalo where somehow, someway, the Buffalo Sabres got adequate goaltending from career minor leaguers.
Over the last three years, Andy Chiodo has developed a VERY GOOD reputation in the Penguins system. Very, very good. He worked with Jarry and DeSmith in WBS, too.
Pittsburgh: The contrast in Penguins GMs is also stark. Jim Rutherford was the guy in the left lane honking his horn, flashing his lights, and weaving through traffic. Ron Hextall is cruising in the right line…with printed directions. PHN spoke with multiple sources for the good or bad news. Pending a trade, the Penguins offseason is in a holding pattern.
That’s as much NHL trade chatter as there was on Wednesday. Jack Eichel and the Buffalo Sabres cold war continues, and teams like the Penguins are trying to find the money to get active.
NHL News, National Hockey Now:
Sportsnet: A great piece on Sportsnet how bad teammates ruin locker rooms. *Ahem Evander Kane.
NBCsn Chicago: Marc-Andre Fleury met the Chicago media for the first time since his trade last month that became the focal point of the league, and Fleury recoiled in pain after feeling betrayed by the Vegas Golden Knights. Fleury said, “It was nothing against Chicago…”
I always go east-to-west with the National Hockey now, folks. Let’s start out west:
Vancouver: A BIG get for our newest affiliate. Rob Simpson chatted with Vancouver Canucks head coach Travis Green, who reacted to the Canucks trades and coaching Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
San Jose: The San Jose Sharks surprisingly decided Adin Hill would be their starting goalie and inked him on Wednesday. Now the cap math begins before San Jose can hit the NHL trade market again.
Colorado: This series is awesome as subscribers get to write their own columns for CHN. From Philip Grubauer to Brandon Saad, one Avs fan penned an emotional goodbye to the departed players.
Detroit: The Red Wings took a shot with diminutive center Pius Suter. The 5-foot-9 (maybe) center had a solid year with the Chicago Blackhawks and pencils in as the Wings No. 2...but could he be the No. 1 center??
NYI: The Pittsburgh Penguins conquerors could have a new look. Despite the “unofficial” nature of the New York Islanders roster (You’ve signed the players, turn in the contracts, cheater!), is it time for Oliver Wahlstrom to get a shot with Mathew Barzal and the Islanders’ top line?
Boston: For heaven’s sake, some people were put on this planet to whine about other people and live in a perpetual state of outrage. OUTRAGE! Tuukka Rask had the audacity and temerity and the unmitigated gall, gall, I tell you, to attend a Guns-N-Roses concert at Fenway.
…I stopped at a truck stop in the middle of nowhere to fill up my bike last weekend, and they had little wooden clubs on sale. Oh, the thoughts that raced through my mind and the wishful thinking…