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Dan’s Daily: Kessel Pitching New Role; Looming Penguins Issues



Pittsburgh Penguins, Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel, NHL trade rumors

The Pittsburgh Penguins made news all summer, from Kyle Dubas to Erik Karlsson, and the calendar’s click to September means the rest of the hockey world returns from the lake house and joins us in looking ahead. Frank Corrado, a former Maple Leafs (and briefly Penguins) defenseman now radio guy in Toronto, thinks the Ottawa Senators are nipping at the Penguins’ heels for a playoff berth. The angst with Lethbridge hiring Bill Peters is growing, and Sportsnet let Peters have it with both barrels. And Phil Kessel is pitching his willingness to accept new roles to land a new job.

Greetings from Elkins, WV. My motorcycle pointed south again, but I had a planned destination this time. A few missed turns led me to a couple of country roads, including one where the pavement just…stopped. For a mile or two, I white-knuckled over rocks and gravel because Google Maps said so, just to get to the Forks Inn.

On one of these country roads, a St. Bernard-type dog in full stride charged from his front porch, narrowly missing me. And I mean narrowly. My heart skipped, and I accelerated after realizing ol’ Cujo wanted a piece of me and was not going to stop.  I could see in the mirrors that he stood in the middle of the road, his chest high, just staring me down. It was a total baller move, even if he almost killed us both.

I’ll tell you about this amazing little spot after the links…

Pittsburgh Penguins:

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: OK, here are the deets. It’s official. The Pirates are NOT involved. AT&T Sportsnet is now Pittsburgh Sportsnet, owned by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

I’m disappointed but not surprised the Pirates didn’t ante up to be a part of it. How much will their payroll drop without AT&T revenue?? Yep.

And Dave Molinari took a peek ahead to October. There are five major questions for the Penguins.

Steelers Now:

Bill Cowher broke down the real keys to the Steelers’ consistency.

Desmond King is bringing some buzz. The CB was picked up after the Texans cut him loose. He’s pretty excited to join the Steelers secondary, too.

The Daily podcast — Afternoon Drive. Alan Saunders and Zachary Smith break it down, react, and go deep on the job Omar Khan has done with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Pittsburgh Baseball Now:

It’s Sept. 1. Who are the potential call-ups for the Pittsburgh Pirates?

The Pirates are going to use an “opener.” How effective will that be for the Pirates pitching staff?

Not a fan of “openers.” Get some starting pitching, or don’t bother. It’s an entirely different mindset. Can’t explain it. It just is.

NHL News & National Hockey Now:

Sportsnet: Phil Kessel wants to play this season. He’s telling teams that he’s OK with being scratched. Wow. Here’s the scoop.

When I caught up with Phil in Vegas before the Second Round vs. Edmonton, he was happy, smiling, and seemed more at peace than at any time I encountered him in Pittsburgh. My nickel’s worth of free advice would be to get in shape and really hit the gym to show teams he’s serious. He’s good for the game but needs to be good for a team, too. He doesn’t get that step on defensemen off the right wing anymore. He needs to get that step back.

Montreal Hockey Now: I think you’ll like this. Ever wonder what it’s like on draft day? Scouts arguing, GMs settling debates. Here’s a behind-the-scenes video from the Montreal Canadiens draft room.

TSN: Frank Corrado likes the Ottawa Senators. He says they will nip at the Penguins’ heels for a wild-card spot.

Philly Hockey Now: Shayne Gostibehere was a Flyers fan favorite and sometimes a scourge. After he was gone, fans and the team realized what they lost. “Ghost” reflected on what’s to come with Detroit and his time with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Sportsnet: There is a real issue with Lethbridge hiring Bill Peters. Did he ever make amends for racial epithets in the locker room and blackballing Akim Aliu? After a couple of years out of the game, Peters will be behind the bench of a WHL team and Sportsnet’s Sonny Sachdeva didn’t mince words.

To the bike ride!

After some friends told me about this amazing little place in Elkins, the Forks Inn, I had to try it. It’s a little mountain hideaway with a handful of guest rooms upstairs. Think Newhart but without Larry, Darryl, and Darryl (80s TV reference). This is not for casual tourists, and there are no signs until you come upon it; you have to know this place is here. For my fellow foodies, the chef comes from Michelin Star restaurants and a few stops in Paris. Make reservations and get the six-course tasting menu — Trust me.

(The first picture is about a mile past Cujo. Yeah, I was just south of Nowhere. The second picture is the view from my table).