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Dan’s Daily: Nonsense KHL Rumor, Penguins’ Flaw, & Jagr Bobbleheads Returned



Pittsburgh Penguins, Jaromir Jagr, Mario Lemieux

The Pittsburgh Penguins chose not to tell the full story but alluded to dramatic communication. Authorities negotiated the return of the stolen Jaromir Jagr bobbleheads, and they have arrived. Pittsburgh Hockey Now filled the off-day void with a pair of columns, including the Penguins’ short-term goals and the needed changes to reverse course. Elsewhere in the Daily, ridiculous reports from the KHL, the Bruins coach bag skated the boys then ripped them afterward, Alex Ovechkin’s Gretzky goal chase is back on, and the Vegas Golden Knights escaped with a wild overtime win over their nearest playoff competitors, the St. Louis Blues.

The next couple of weeks will be tough for all of us but for different reasons. I know you love the Penguins. Despite the constant pessimism and social media’s promotion of the worst, ultimately, I’m pretty sure all of you would choose a successful Penguins team over the fading version.

Let me help you out of a few stubborn bumper sticker arguments that I keep getting pelted with on X that are fact-resistant. 1) The Penguins have already called up all but one of their prospects who can play in the NHL. Hockey isn’t like baseball, and teams don’t just call up everyone to “see what they can do.” There’s a large gap between the AHL talent and NHL prospects. 2) Mike Sullivan is already playing the young players. See also: Valtteri Puustinen, P.O Joseph, John Ludvig, etc…

But — they found Jagr!

Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The big news, albeit a cryptic press release — authorities negotiated the release of the Jaromir Jagr bobbleheads.

It’s not the conversation anyone prefers, but there are things to accomplish before now and the end of the season. Dave Molinari puts it into print: Three things the Penguins can still accomplish.

I took a different train. The Penguins’ core needs to make changes, and president of hockey operations/GM Kyle Dubas built a good analytics team that was obviously missing one key ingredient. Penguins analysis.

NHL News & National Hockey Now

Sportsnet: After a few goals over the weekend, the buzz is back, and the chase is on. The renewed Alex Ovechkin chase of Wayne Gretzky’s goal record.

TSN: The Vancouver Canucks could have clinched a playoff spot with a win, but the LA Kings won’t go quietly. They won their fourth in a row, beat Casey DeSmith, and prevented the Canucks’ clinch.

Philly Hockey Now: We didn’t know how much credence to give it, but there is a report from Russia that the KHL is ready to give the players charged in the alleged 2018 Hockey Canada sexual assault contracts to play in Russia while they await trial. As Jon Bailey writes, no, this doesn’t pass the smell test, and no, Carter Hart can’t go to the KHL before the trial.

Boston Hockey Now: I know the comments that will arise from this one. Coach Jim Montgomery bag-skated his team. He ripped them on the ice, then ripped them off the ice. The coach sent a loud and clear message to the Boston Bruins.

Vegas Hockey Now: It was a showdown of the two teams battling for the final Western Conference wild card, and it was a wild overtime featuring a penalty shot and a game-winner 19 seconds later. The Vegas Golden Knights beat escaped the St. Louis Blues.