The days following the carnage of the NHL trade deadline are always as interesting as the day itself, though not nearly as chaotic. We often get a glimpse of deals that didn’t get done and this year is no different, including a big center linked to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Also, the Philadelphia Flyers were despondent on the ice, Patrik Laine’s contract sitch, and could the Boston Bruins keep Taylor Hall well past this season?
And the Florida Panthers may have been the big trade deadline winners. Yeah, the Florida Panthers.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: First, the Penguins injury situation. One step forward. One step back. It’s unbelievable. Kasperi Kapanen started skating, but Frederick Gaudreau is out week to week. The full Penguins injury update.
Jeff Carter’s career has come full circle. He and Sidney Crosby were laughing at their battles when they were NHL youngsters. It also appears the Penguins will slot Carter as a center, for now.
PHN+: Mike Sullivan and Ron Hextall are forging a new path and relationship.
The Boston Bruins, New York Islanders, and Washington Capitals made a splash. Did the Penguins do enough at the NHL trade deadline?
League News & Stuff to Watch
Sportsnet: In Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts, he rattled off several trades that didn’t happen and players who were the subject of interest, but nothing happened. PHN linked the Penguins to Ryan Getzlaf, but Friedman added two more teams, including the surprise Montreal Canadiens. He also linked the Penguins trade interests to Travis Zajac.
What should the Columbus Blue Jackets do, or offer, Patrik Laine who is due a new contract?
TSN: The disastrous Detroit Red Wings traded Anthony Mantha but would they consider Dylan Larkin, too? They’re going to wait until after the season to evaluate coach Jeff Blashill (who has a worse record than the Washington Generals), and just how deep this rebuild goes.
NHL.com: The Seattle Kraken are taking a wait-and-see approach on choosing a head coach.
Rather odd? A coach will shape some of the players selected. We’re getting down to the time when backroom deals are being made, teams are scheming to keep or dump players, and a coach’s style would affect GM Ron Francis’ moves. Or, at least, I think they would.
National Hockey Now
Florida: The Florida Panthers trade deadline recap should make Brian Burke jealous. Florida added youth, grit, sandpaper, and good hockey players. The under-the-radar but successful Florida Panthers deadline.
Write this down. Florida is going to give Tampa Bay all they can handle in the Central Division–if Bob holds up in goal.
Philly: Anthony Mantha scored a pair and the Washington Capitals waxed the Philadelphia Flyers, who were absolutely lifeless in the loss.
With every loss or missed point, the Penguins are a point closer to their 15th consecutive playoff appearance. In January, who would have thought the Penguins would be cruising to a playoff spot? The Penguins’ magic number is 18/19 points because the New York Rangers won on Tuesday.
But the Flyers look like they’re done with this season.
Boston: Taylor Hall has a rare chance to change perception with the Boston Bruins.
And Kevan Miller absolutely threw fists with Tage Thompson, who didn’t do so well at punching back.
New York: In a shocker, it’s not Kyle Palmieri on the New York Islanders top line, but Travis Zajac who’s taking the top-line LW spot. Here’s the Islanders’ thinking and analysis.
San Jose: The Sharks held a team meeting. Expect big changes on Wednesday?
Colorado: Like the Penguins, the Colorado Avalanche got vaccinated this week.
Vegas: Max Pacioretty scored his 300th goal and Vegas came back to beat LA.
Life is back to normal after a tense trade deadline, vaccination, and a few Penguins’ off days. After 14 games in 23 days, which seemed like 50 in 50, these last two weeks have been weird. We’ll have full coverage of the Penguins practice on Wednesday, including where Jeff Carter slots in the Pittsburgh Penguins lineup. Will he take second-line center with Zucker on the left? Will he take third-line center with…McCann on the left? Or will Mark Jankowski get a seat because McCann stays in the middle?
You’ll have things you want to talk about. I will, too…