The Pittsburgh Penguins added some Finnish to their lineup by signing Jesse Puljujarvi to a two-year NHL contract. Sidney Crosby scoffed at taking a day off. John Ludvig and coach Mike Sullivan don’t want him to dial back the physicality even with the inherent risks. The NHL trade rumors are whirring as recent trades are spurring some GMs to move quickly. Does Alex Ovechkin have enough gas in the tank to catch Wayne Gretzkey’s goal record? And the Vancouver Canucks are pumped to add Elias Lindholm.
It seems Lindholm isn’t being picky about his role or pouting that he might be behind a star player or two. That’s what makes Stanley Cup winners.
We had a blast on WPXI’s Final Word Sunday night. I don’t know what was in my cornflakes. From the Jake Guentzel trade talk to asking if I was excited by the Super Bowl, I had some things to get off my chest. Even at our typical unofficial watch party at Leo Public House, I couldn’t turn off the sardonicism.
I do occasionally get asked about Jenna Harner because she’s still a newer personality in Pittsburgh (easy does it, fellas; Mike DeFabo already put a ring on it). I will tell you confidently that she’s one of the best at her job; she knows her hockey inside and out, and she’s good to work with. If Jenna spouts a hockey opinion, take it to the bank.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: This story oddly aroused some anger in people. Some vitriol flowed after Dave Molinari put forth the six reasons to believe the Penguins will make the playoffs.
If you get angry that the Penguins might succeed, you’re either from Philadelphia or need to re-examine your priorities.
PHN+: John Ludvig knocked himself out while delivering a big hit in his first NHL game. Then, he was injured in a fight on Dec. 31 against the Islanders’ Matt Martin. I asked Sullivan, and Dave asked Ludvig. Does he need to dial it down? Both answered firmly, NO. Go inside the Penguins’ locker room.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: I thought my foreshadowing was pretty clear on Sunday morning, but I guess not. His road back to the NHL is complete — The Penguins put pen to paper for a two-year contract for Jesse Puljujarvi.
Valtteri Puustinen did not get recalled after the bye week, but Ludvig returned to practice Sunday, as did Reilly Smith, who had a spot on what I would consider the top power-play unit. Here are the new lines with Puljujarvi and power play units from Penguins practice.
NHL Trade Rumors, News & National Hockey Now
TSN video: Will the recent trades spur GMs to make moves earlier than the NHL trade deadline? That’s the hot topic being discussed in hockey circles.
Sportsnet video: The boys up north didn’t sugarcoat it. A thorough review — Can Ovechkin still catch Gretzky?
Boston Hockey Now: The Canucks won the sweepstakes for Lindholm, but did his lack of contract extension cause the Boston Bruins to back out?
Philly Hockey Now (+): You can read this with your PHN+ subscription. How should the Philadelphia Flyers line up after the All-Star break?
New Jersey Hockey Now: The Devils are getting healthy. There are encouraging injury updates in the swamp that have the New Jersey Devils optimistic.
Colorado Hockey Now: The mailbag was open. The Avs are a genuine Stanley Cup contender, but they’re still searching for a second-line center. Ryan Johansen hasn’t cut it. A deep dive on the Colorado Avalanche.