There is not a truckload full of NHL news on Thursday, but now we are into the important news. The LA Kings took Kevin Fiala off the NHL trade block as the Minnesota Wild unloaded a salary they could not afford. Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Raivis Ansons was part of the Memorial Cup-winning Saint John Sea Dogs. Penguins president of hockey operations Brian Burke seemed to draw distinct lines in the sand regarding negotiations for Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin, and Penguins assistant coach Mike Vellucci is up for the Boston Bruins head coaching gig.
And Hockey Canada is in real trouble as sponsors are leaving in droves after their handling of a sexual assault at the World Juniors several years ago. Tim Horton was the latest to “pause” support.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Dave Molinari spoke with Brian Burke shortly after Burkie did a national radio interview. Burke clarified and clearly laid out the situations for Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang. Pittsburgh Penguins negotiations.
While Dave did his thing, I did mine.
The Penguins development camp is in two weeks. There are some interesting names and stories to follow and some players who have a lot of gain in the camp. Joel Blomqvist, Ansons, and a couple of speedy players without contracts will be in camp. Here’s who to watch and who must show well in the Pittsburgh Penguins development camp.
SteelersNow.com: The NHL is fighting to keep the information private in the Brian Flores lawsuit. Pittsburgh Steelers news.
A few have been comparing the Steelers’ first-round pick, Kenny Pickett, to Cincinnatti Bengals QB Joe Burrow. Here’s Chris Carter’s latest Pittsburgh Steelers podcast.
For my UFC peeps, DraftKings is giving 20-1 odds on either fighter this weekend. Click here to get the DraftKings promo.
NHL Trade News & National Hockey Now
Sportsnet: The LA Kings made the first splash of the NHL offseason. They acquired Kevin Fiala from the Minnesota Wild for a first-rounder and prospect. Full details.
NYI: A lot of folks circled the Islanders for Fiala. Stefen Rosner asks the critical question–Could the New York Islanders offer more?
***Boston Hockey Now: Look who is on the shortlist for the Bruins head coaching gig. Penguins assistant Mike Vellucci. Boston Bruins news.
Colorado: Here’s one free agent center that you just know the Penguins would love to get their hands on if Evgeni Malkin leaves–Nazem Kadri. However, Colorado ownership told Kadri they intend to re-sign him. Colorado Avalanche free agents.
I’d re-sign Kadri, too. That’s been the scuttle, though he could become THE most overpaid UFA on the market on July 13. His price just keeps going up.
Philly: Here’s some quiet NHL trade chatter. The Flyers could trade down in the draft, per GM Chuck Fletcher. Is the pick for sale? Philadelphia Flyers coverage.
**San Jose Hockey Now: Is the Sharks’ job among the least appealing in the league? That’s what some insiders are saying. San Jose Sharks trouble.
Florida Hockey Now: The Panthers have lost Anthony Duclair to Achillies tendon surgery. He’ll be out for several months. Florida Panthers news.
Montreal Hockey Now: The draft odds are even between Shane Wright and Juraj Slavkovsky. This is the most intriguing top pick in years. Montreal Canadiens news.
Washington: The Pittsburgh Penguins’ arch-rival Capitals are not having a good offseason yet. A couple of years ago, Washington dumped Jakub Vrana and picks on Detroit for Anthony Mantha. It hasn’t been a great trade … Mantha says he’s getting faster and wants a bigger role. Washington Capitals offseason.
Vegas: And some NHL trade discussion in Vegas. Trading Nicolas Hague may not be such a bad idea? Owen Krepps writes it up. Vegas Golden Knights.