You’re welcome. I didn’t put one of the biggest stories of Thursday’s NHL media day in the headline. According to the league, 98% of the NHL players will be fully vaccinated by the opening puck drop, and only 15 have refused. Also in the Daily, Evander Kane was properly grilled by ESPN’s Linda Cohn over gambling and bad behavior allegations. The Pittsburgh Penguins will have 12 national TV games, but three are online-only, and Sportsnet updated the latest RFA news and rumors.
Sorry, no juicy NHL trade chatter. Now that Vladimir Tarasenko is officially unwanted, that probably puts an end to summer drama…at least until the first 10 games of the NHL regular season.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The Pittsburgh Penguins have 12 national games, including both Penguins vs. Edmonton Oilers games. Three will be online exclusives. I hope you like Hulu or ESPN+.
It’s a shame the Sidney Crosby-Connor McDavid games won’t be Hockey Night in Canada, where the games would be appropriately revered, and Sidney Crosby honored. Instead, the American networks will likely hype the games in all of the wrong ways as player vs. player. But I digress.
NHL News & National Hockey Now:
Vegas: Yuck. Double yuck. As part of the media day, Marc-Andre Fleury appeared in full Chicago Blackhawks gear. Fans in Pittsburgh and Vegas weren’t digging it.
NHL: The Heritage Classic will feature an American team. This March, the Toronto Maple Leafs will “host” the Buffalo Sabres in Hamilton.
If you’ve ever been to Hamilton–January was NOT the time to hold that game.
Sportsnet: The top-8 remaining RFAs are reaching that critical moment to sign a contract and get into camp. The NHL rumors and reports on the big eight.
San Jose: Evander Kane had to go one-on-one with ESPN’s Linda Cohn, who asked the tough questions, and circled back to ask them again bluntly. She asked the right questions about gambling. Kane answered them, for the most part, too.
What Kane didn’t answer well were the teammate questions. Huge SWING AND A MISS.
ESPN: It’s pretty shocking–Even Tony DeAngelo got the pokes. There are about 15 holdouts, but the NHL says 98% of players will be vaccinated before the start of the season.
Historians and anthropologists are going to study this moment in history forever. Last weekend, 6000 Raiders fans got the jab to attend the Las Vegas Raiders game. We’ve given away a few free subscriptions for those who got tired of my nagging, too.
Get PHN+ for just $19.99 before the start of the season.
We had our best day of the year, on Thursday–32 new subscribers. To answer our critics and haters, yep, people pay for this ad-free, hockey-loving, 24/7-365 hockey reporting experience.
PTOs: Former Pittsburgh Penguins Scott Wilson and Colton Sceviour got PTOs. Wilson will be in the Seattle Kraken’s camp. Sceviour signed with Edmonton.
Detroit: Ever heard of Kirill Tyutyayev? The Belarus “mystery man” made a pretty big impression at the Red Wings prospect tournament last night.
Washington: Here are the names to watch for the Washington Capitals rookie camp, too.
I really like a few of Washington’s prospects, including Hendrix Lapierre. I like to follow kids who fall in the draft because of a noted deficiency but then aggressively work to prove people wrong. Does anyone else feel a kinship for that?
Vancouver: Rob Simpson looked at the remaining free agents, UFA and RFA–the top Euro player without a contract is…
NYI: Pittsburgh Penguins fans may not be so keen on Barry Trotz and the New York Islanders. I’m no fan of how the org conducted itself this offseason, but here are the three burning questions heading into Islanders training camp.
PHN note: Our original headline on the story which detailed the Pittsburgh Penguins TV schedule indicated there were 11 national games. We listed all of the games accurately but miscounted. There are 13. We regret the error.