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Dan’s Daily: Penguins Important Hire, Gretzky Becomes High-Tech Collectible

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Pittsburgh Penguins, Wayne Gretzky NFT

Ads on NHL jerseys are coming in 2022-23. While PHN and this keyboard warrior simply shrugged, there is some pushback in the fandom world. We’re more interested in taking bets whether UPMC or Highmark will get the jersey ad for the Pittsburgh Penguins, who made a subtle but important hire on Tuesday. Wayne Gretzky is becoming a high-tech collectible in yet another new technology platform, and there is a San Jose Shark wearing No. 66.

You almost want to yell for more NHL trade rumors, don’t you? The good news is September, and camp prep begins in a couple of weeks. The bad news is you have to read about people spending ridiculous sums of money on a picture for their phone.

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The Penguins hired a new Director of Hockey Operations, Alex Schall, responsible for contract negotiations, salary cap management, and other important issues beneath GM Ron Hextall. Schall and Hextall have been on opposite sides of the bargaining table in the last few years. 

NHL News & National Hockey Now network…

TSN: The debate over ads on NHL jerseys. It’s probably a done deal and will be forever, but even TSN had some pushback. 

Sportsnet: I’m sorry that I missed this story a few days ago. In addition to a statue, the Winnipeg Jets have applied to rename the street in front of the arena for Dale Hawerchuk.

DraftKings sent PHN the story, hoping we would write it. We didn’t. I don’t get it. Wayne Gretzky is now an NFT on the DraftKings platform, which essentially means for $15-$2000, you can buy a Gretzky trading card for your phone. 

If overage guys chasing Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby for autographs to sell on eBay didn’t ruin the collectibles world, this surely will. What fun is a picture on your phone? Kids will never again know the excitement of opening a new pack of hockey cards. Or the torture of sitting with a pile of baseball cards trying to trade with your friend for your favorite player. Cmon, Andy van Slyke for Barry Bonds was a totally reasonable offer.

San Jose: Ozzy Wiesblatt is beginning his quest to make the Sharks. The Big Teal also has a prospect who wants to wear No. 66. How do we feel about that?

If it’s essentially retired, shouldn’t the NHL make it officially retired? I think I feel a column coming on…

Washington: Anthony Mantha’s sister isn’t quite the goal scorer that he is. Instead, she’s a referee, and she’s preparing to work the 2021 IIHF Women’s Hockey Worlds.

Vancouver: The Toronto Maple Leafs announced that all fans must show proof of vaccination to get into the building. Are the Vancouver Canucks next?

I think, by now, my support for getting the vaccine is pretty well known. It’s a hard choice to exclude people, but this thing will keep circling the globe like a tornado taking lives with it. Eventually, it could mutate into something REALLY evil if we don’t get ahold of it now.

Florida: Is Sasha Barkov going to sign a hefty new contract when he returns from Florida? Our George Richards surely hinted at it.