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Dan’s Daily: Murray vs. Fleury, Penguins Make Changes

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Pittsburgh Penguins, Marc-Andre Fleury, Matt Murray

Who would have thought it just a few years ago? Marc-Andre Fleury faced Matt Murray, both backstopping teams not in playoff contention and neither with the Pittsburgh Penguins. It’s an interesting note for one of the biggest decisions in franchise history. The NHLPA will be hiring an independent investigator to investigate the NHLPA’s handling of the Chicago Blackhawks sexual assault scandal. The New York Rangers splashed significant cash on Adam Fox, and the Penguins made several lineup changes at practice.

Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan did some experimenting and some tough love message sending.

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: As Mike Sullivan spoke, Kris Letang was cleared from protocol and began his cardio tests to return to the lineup. PHN raced out to get video (which you may have seen on WTAE). Letang could rejoin the team on Wednesday. Maybe. 

“He’s getting better….,” Sullivan said. P.O. Joseph was on the second pairing with John Marino at practice. Brian Dumoulin was playing the right side. Joseph, 22, didn’t make the team out of training camp and was a bit bland in camp, but fate is giving the young man a second chance. Can he force his way into the lineup for good?

PHN+: After three straight losses, Sullivan demoted Kasperi Kapanen to the fourth line. And he moved Brian Dumoulin to the right side–which would open a door for Joseph long term. Sullivan was just tinkering. And Sullivan was setting the table for big changes. There is much to discuss from the Pittsburgh Penguins practice.

NHL News & National Hockey Now:

NHL.com: The Fleury vs. Murray angle was far more interesting to us than Ottawa or Chicago. In the end, the reeling Chicago Blackhawks hung five on Murray for a big team win. 

Chicago Sun-Times: I was remiss in publishing Marc-Andre Fleury’s dispirited comments yesterday. Fleury reflected on a brutal October, “it’s hard to smile…”

Sportsnet: Gary Bettman is being roundly criticized for his comments on the Blackhawks coverup. There weren’t many happy campers after Bettman’s first presser since Chicago cleaned house and Joel Quenneville resigned in Florida.

Following the Kyle Beach thread–the NHLPA head Don Fehr is recommending an independent counsel to investigate the NHLPA directors and their handling of Beach’s complaint. 

So, wait, Don Fehr wants an independent investigation of himself? Or, he could just be forthright and honest in the first place and let his membership decide if he should keep his job.

Former Penguins defenseman Ian Moran put the boots to youth hockey parents. Moran is involved in scouting and training players trying to reach the college and pro ranks, so he sees a lot:

 

Boston: Halloween is a big thing in hockey. The Boston Bruins were Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs for Halloween.

NYI: The Islanders are off to a sputtering 3-2-2 start. Head coach Barry Trotz ain’t so happy–he wants a lot more from his team. 

Washington: Conor Sheary at the netfront on a power play? (Thanks to my hockey chat group Tom and Rick for the spot). The Capitals jumped on Tampa Bay early but couldn’t beat the Bolts as Vasilevskiy shut the door, 3-2. 

Florida: It’s a big week for the Florida Panthers and interim coach Andrew Brunette. They have lots to do in the wake of Quenneville’s resignation.

Detroit: Interesting take from Kevin Allen — The Detroit Red Wings have no right to view the Montreal Canadiens as struggling. 

Vancouver: Travis Hamonic has reported to the Vancouver Canucks after a “sensitive personal matter.” It’s been speculated he was an anti-vaxxer, but Hamonic had one shot and will soon be fully vaccinated. Rob Simpson has the Hamonic tale and some praise for those who held their criticism of Hamonic. 

Montreal: The Montreal Canadiens are in a bad way. Like the Pittsburgh Penguins, they did some shuffling at practice, including Jonathan Drouin at center. 

NY Post: The New York Rangers locked up Adam Fox for the next seven years, and it wasn’t cheap…

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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