Even Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan had to poke some fun at the team’s wild ride to start the season as they’ve alternated between brilliant and absent-minded and back again. The Penguins are dealing with a couple of injuries that necessitated lineup and roster changes as the team waived Jansen Harkins. They’ll make a recall today after 2 p.m. when the salary cap space is cleared. Also in the Daily, there are growing fears over the declining attendance of the Winnipeg Jets and the sustainability of the franchise, the Penguins aren’t the only organization feeling early tension to win games, and 42-year-old Craig Anderson finally called it a day.
No, I haven’t mentioned the Evgeni Malkin snub by the network that holds the NHL TV rights but doesn’t spend much effort promoting the game. By the time I found out about it, the “news” was already a day old. With respect to all involved, I can’t fathom a greater reason than the snub to disregard the list. Malkin only scored 82 points last season, played over 18 minutes per game in all 82 games, and remains one of the most dominant players in the league. Why would he outrank a third defenseman on a mediocre team?
If Malkin were from Ontario, he’d be celebrated. Est quod id est. I don’t have enough care to rip the list or pay it more attention than I just did. I do feel somewhat bad for Malkin, as I’m sure the disrespect makes him shake his head. Of course, when Malkin feels disrespected, the score sheet usually fills up quickly, so perhaps Penguins fans should thank ESPN.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Kris Letang is out. Noel Acciari is out. The latest on the Penguins’ injuries.
Since I was driving back from Detroit, I wasn’t at Mike Sullivan’s daily presser. I can’t tell if he poked fun at the media for being fanboys or if he was spinning the pressure that some reporters (me included) are applying. With tongue in cheek, Sullivan poked fun at the rollercoaster Penguins season.
Perhaps this move would have happened anyway, but Acciari’s injury surely helped it along. The Penguins waived Jansen Harkins.
Wednesday night was a rough night for a few depth forwards and defensemen. If Sullivan makes lineup chances, who could be out of the Penguins lineup?
Alan Saunders picked up a wrinkle in the Steelers’ offense and asked OC Matt Canada. You might well see a change in the Steelers offense.
It’s a concerning Steelers injury report.
“It makes no sense.” Nick Farabaugh takes the team to task for benching tackle Broderick Jones.
Pittsburgh Baseball Now
Jack Brannigan goes yard again in the Arizona Fall League. Ks and homers for that kid. Get the latest Pirates prospects update.
Do the Marlins have some starters available, and could they be Pirates trade targets?
John Perrotto writes that the biggest obstacle is out of the way for Ke’Bryan Hayes.
NHL News & National Hockey Now:
TSN: There are growing fears of declining attendance in Winnipeg. It’s reaching “unsustainable” levels for future existence, and that’s worrisome.
It’s just so damned tough to get there. And cold. Winnipeg really is a small city, but they have big city challenges like a homeless epidemic (One man took over a bus shelter, complete with decorations and newspaper over the glass) near the arena. The town is full of incredibly friendly folks, though. I hope they figure it out because the NHL won’t extend the same decades-long stubbornness for Winnipeg that they’ve shown for Arizona.
32 Thoughts: Elliotte Friedman echoed the ramped pressure on teams to win in October, including New Jersey, where players were already benched, and in Vancouver, where Rick Tocchet already called out his team.
NHL.com: Craig Anderson had a great second act to his career. He became a notable goalie and within a goal of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final. At 42, he hung up the pads and joined the Sabres organization.
Boston Hockey Now: The salary cap halts trade talks, but the Bruins do have some chips for the NHL trade market.
Montreal Hockey Hockey Now: The kids are all right, but there’s good and bad news for the young Montreal Canadiens defensemen.
When the time comes, I hope the Penguins rebuild is as interesting as the Montreal teardown and rebuild.
Vegas Hockey Now: Five in a row for the defending Stanley Cup champs. The Vegas Golden Knights are a buzzsaw.
Philly Hockey Now: Statement game for the orange and black. Five takeaways after the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Oilers.
Carolina Hockey Now: It’s a grueling roadie at the beginning of the season for Carolina. Six road games. It hasn’t been great so far for the Carolina Hurricanes.