NHL training camps began, and the news cycle flew into a dizzying array of Jack Eichel, the NHL trade chatter, Evander Kane, and vaccinations. The Pittsburgh Penguins training camp Day 1 was illuminating, even as big Brian Boyle took away all light in front of Casey DeSmith. The Jack Eichel drama is getting tiresome, but Buffalo Sabres are digging their heels into the sand. And a few rival teams ripped Buffalo for their ask on the NHL trade market.
Matt Murray gained weight. And GM Ron Hextall gave an Evgeni Malkin update, Mike Sullivan explained the camp lines, and I analyzed the Penguins scrimmage…with kid gloves, of course.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Full coverage of the Pittsburgh Penguins on Day 1. From the practice drills to the scrimmage. Who looked good, what do you need to know, and why.
The Ron Hextall and Mike Sullivan wrap: Evgeni Malkin out at least two months. One player isn’t vaccinated but will be, and how Mike Sullivan built the training camp lines. What should we read into Sam Poulin with Brian Boyle and Bryan Rust?
Speaking of Brian Boyle– PHN+: Dude is massive. We asked him about bringing physicality to the Penguins. “My body is still there.” He had a good Day 1, and Ron Hextall noticed.
Also PHN+: Our latest “Off the Record.” The NHL trade market is still Jack Eichel, but everyone–EVERYONE–is getting frustrated. Rival execs who have engaged in trade talks with Buffalo blasted the Sabres handling and their asking price as “insane.”
Yeah, Dan was a busy boy. We also hired Terry Frei for Colorado Hockey Now to join Adrian Dater. We’re adding a 12th National Hockey Now site in a great market and meeting with some heavyweights today and tomorrow to really add some rocket fuel to our growth.
Oh, and I have plenty more from camp, including some insights on Tristan Jarry and Jeff Carter. For my Letterkenny friends, I present–Jeff Carter or McMurray?
It took me a while…
Jeff Carter or McMurray. pic.twitter.com/q8UVwHGTDc
— Dan Kingerski 🇺🇦 (@TheDanKingerski) September 23, 2021
NHL News & National Hockey Now:
AP: Yeah–this quieted the NHL trade chatter–Eichel failed his physical (as expected) and was stripped of his captaincy (as expected). But Buffalo GM Kevyn Adams sure made both dramatic.
Of course, Eichel is no longer the captain. He needs surgery and has shredded the Sabres org. It’s like watching a waiter throw their apron to the ground, curse the manager and storm out–then the manager says, “you’re fired!” I’ve seen that in person, too.
San Jose: The NHL cleared Evander Kane of gambling on hockey, but the org told him to stay away from San Jose Sharks training camp until the NHL clears up further allegations.
NYI: Prospect Bode Wilde won’t get the vaccine (Wait, didn’t the Islanders say they were 100%?). He surely had a few things to say about it, and the Islanders sent him home.
Detroit: Fellow anti-vaxxer Tyler Bertuzzi, who refused the vaccine and cannot play in Canada, should probably not read the social media comments from Red Wings faithful.
“I just think it’s better to have an idea. You can change an idea; changing a belief is trickier. People die for it. People kill for it…” -Rufus. Dogma, 1999.
Sportsnet: Matt Murray gained weight–he’s up to 190 pounds on 7500 calories a day to bulk up and be more reliable.
7500?! He must have a platinum card at Whole Foods.
Johnny Gaudreau will be a UFA next summer. His last two seasons have been downers, so Calgary may go back to the old Gaudreau-Monahan pair…or trade them both.
Boston: The Boston Bruins welcomed media back to the rink with a pretty hilarious troll video just for them.
Philly: Predicting the Pittsburgh Penguins rivals’ opening night lineup…
Washington: The Penguins other rivals have a similar situation. Nick Backstrom will be out through training camp and maybe more. The Capitals Day 1 takeaways, including Conor Sheary.
Florida: I’m telling ya–the Florida Panthers are the team with the best chance to stop the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference. Here is the Panthers Day 1 camp report.
Colorado: The Avalanche have one pretty, pretty good line. Maybe you’ve heard of Nathan MacKinnon? New CHN scribe Terry Frei writers–Coach, leave it alone!
Vegas: No Marc-Andre Fleury, no problem. It’s business as usual for the Vegas Golden Knights in a “normal camp.”
Vancouver: Alex Chiasson, who some Pittsburgh Penguins fans and (this) writer advocated for–is in Canucks camp on a PTO. Rob Simpson has the story.