It’s a lighter day in the hockey world, there is a little NHL free agent news, not much on the NHL trade front, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t get to watch a little hockey on Tuesday night. The Pittsburgh Penguins and Dicks Sporting invited the media to the Willie O’Ree Academy practice at UPMC Lemieux Complex. The academy’s purpose is to provide opportunity and mentorship to black youth players in the Pittsburgh area. P.O. Joseph was the surprise guest instructor and flew in just for the occasion.
Hockey cannot be a “white” sport. It surely cannot be allowed to become a rich white sport. Good on the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation for taking this initiative and good for the Penguins and Dicks for supporting it. We need more. Lots, lots, more. We also need initiatives to lower the cost of playing hockey for everyone. Hello, USA Hockey? Or perhaps travel teams that cost $20,000 per year for 14-year-olds are a way to weed out competition.
The issues are inexorably linked. Lower the cost, bring more people into hockey. Make it more accessible to everyone. Soapbox over.
Pittsburgh: Only two outlets sent paid reporters (PHN being one). Here’s our story, and watch the end of the video. That little dude did not like P.O. going to the net and gave him a little whack. It was glorious.
On Tuesday, the Penguins dished a two-year deal to Radim Zohorna, an interesting player with good hands, huge frame but still figuring out how to use it.
And our controversial story that riled up New York Islanders fans. In fairness, Islanders fans are not at all sensitive and nor reactionary. From Marcus Pettersson on the NHL trade block to Jim Rutherford’s great folly and the Islanders cheating–5 Penguins one-timers.
NHL News & National Hockey Now network:
San Jose: You thought things couldn’t get messier? Reports say that some teammates don’t want Evander Kane back with the Sharks.
Colorado: Gee, where could a young Nova Scotia boy who used to train on the dunes with Sidney Crosby learn to be such a hard-nosed leader? This sounds like Sid with an edge–Nikita Zadorov told a Russian newspaper how intense Nathan MacKinnon could be with his team.
Sportsnet: Just how tight-lipped was Seattle Kraken general manager Ron Francis before the expansion draft? Angela Price, Carey Price’s wife, revealed they thought for sure they were headed to Seattle in the expansion draft.
Of Sportsnet’s 10 best remaining free agents, the list is getting thin on talent, and Tuuka Rask will be out for months after having surgery. Here’s their top 10, but at least two have secretly signed with the New York Islanders. Allegedly.
The Athletic: John Tortorella is headed to TV. And the heavens smiled. Torts will be an ESPN analyst. Let ‘er rip, John.
Detroit: If Evander Kane bet on hockey, and that’s an IF, he wouldn’t be the first. The NHL’s biggest gambling scandal began in Detroit…
Florida: Have some questions about the Florida Panthers or life in general? Do what we do—Ask George Richards!
Washington: The Pittsburgh Penguins rivals are also in a stasis. From Zdeno Chara, Henrik Lundqvist to Ilya Samsonov, what is happening with the Capitals free agents.
Philly: Carter Hart and Travis Sanheim are RFAs. Hart declined arbitration. So, too, did Sanheim, but the Flyers elected the rare team-ordered arb case for Sanheim. Uh oh.