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Dan’s Daily: Evgeni Malkin Goes Full Contact-ish, NHL’s COVID Fight



PIttsburgh Penguins, Evgeni Malkin

The NHL trade chatter has taken a back seat to the NHL’s COVID discussions. It hasn’t yet reached a fight, but there are disagreements, and we’re awaiting the NHL’s decisions. The Pittsburgh Penguins resident newsman Kris Letang discussed the situation on the same day that Evgeni Malkin wore a regular practice sweater for the first time. More teams received shutdown notices due to COVID outbreaks, and if this latest COVID surge costs players the Olympic trip, the NHL will not replace it with their own tournament.

The number of people who think they’re outsmarting professionals, experts, and doctors remains staggering. Honest to goodness, let the smart people do what they’re trained to do, and listen to them even when they tell you what you don’t want to hear. They’ll be the ones to save your life and the lives of others. Unless you’re an epidemiologist or medical professional who has published peer-reviewed work on COVID, it’s best to listen and let them figure it out.

The comments will remain off. I won’t give a platform for the insanity of conspiracy theories, denial, and attacking the large majority of people doing the best they can to protect themselves and others while the world figures out what we’re dealing with.

To hockey…

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Shelly Anderson had practice on Saturday. Kris Letang was pretty blunt on the COVID situation. “This thing’s not going anywhere,” Letang said of the NHL COVID battle. 

On the ice, Evgeni Malkin wore a full-participation jersey, BUT…head coach Mike Sullivan pumped the breaks slightly. Still, it was a big step forward for Evgeni Malkin. 

It’s a Steelers Sunday. Get some great promos to bet on the action, including 100-1 odds today. John Perrotto has the Steelers betting preview and predictions. 

NHL News & National Hockey Now:

Boston: The Hockey Now network is plugged into the growing situation. A couple of NHL execs expressed a STRONG desire to pause the season. Some players are behind it, too. But it’s not unanimous. James P. Murphy has some inside dirt on the potential NHL COVID pause. 

Sportsnet: We thought a pause announcement could come last night, but Sportsnet has more info on the potential stop to the NHL season. 

Florida: It would affect several Pittsburgh Penguins, but Colby Guy opines COVID should force the NHL players OUT of the Olympics. 

A week-long pause to figure things out would not be the worst thing. Right now, we’re all reacting instead of following a plan. Of course, a deep breath to Jan. 1 might close the book on the Olympics.

**NYI: MY favorite story today. Robin Lehner has pushed the status quo to destigmatize mental illness. Lehner sent a note to Islanders fans in advance of the Golden Knights visit to UBS Arena, including admitting they saved his life, and he often thinks of them. The bond between Lehner and the New York Islanders is strong.

Washington: Daniel Sprong and Conor Sheary are on heaters, and winning is following the Washington Capitals. 

Detroit: Check it out. The latest to pull off the Trevor Zegras type lacrosse goal is a Detroit Red Wings prospect.

I’m with Torts. I hate them, too. Playing the puck above the ice will lead to all kinds of unintended consequences.

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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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