The Pittsburgh Penguins had a full boat. For the first time this season, all of the expected NHL regulars and starters were present and accounted. However, there is one crucial roster decision to be made. Elliotte Friedman stirred more than a few NHL trade rumors on his latest 32 Thoughts podcast, including Jakob Chychrun to the Florida Panthers. And the Carolina Hurricanes social media folks took a little poke at Brad Marchand, who returned fire with a social media body slam.
To the ice, we go…
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: It was the party of the season. Everyone was there. Zach Aston-Reese, Danton Heinen, Casey DeSmith were back, though not all were activated yet. Not even in training camp have the Penguins had everyone healthy. On Wednesday, they did. So, we also got our first look at the Penguins lines.
I’m curious if Brian Boyle holds onto the fourth-line role. He has provided more offense than Aston-Reese this season.
The Penguins have an interesting roster decision coming. Casey DeSmith or Louis Domingue? DeSmith hasn’t yet been activated and can linger on the COVID protocol for a little while until he regains game conditioning. Still, a decision should be forthcoming–here’s the whole situation. Who is the Pittsburgh Penguins backup goalie?
The NHL released the updated schedule to fill the Olympic break and make up those postponed games. Here is the Penguins schedule.
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NHL Trade Chatter
Sportsnet: Elliotte Friedman did his thing. From the new Montreal GM to the NHL trade chatter around the league. Lots to chew on in the latest 32 Thoughts.
Florida: Specifically, Friedman echoed one thing our George Richards reported last week. Yes, the Florida Panthers are in on purebred defenseman Jakob Chychrun.
San Jose: If Tomas Hertl doesn’t re-sign, and he hits the NHL trade block. What could the San Jose Sharks get?
News & National Hockey Now:
Colorado: The Penguins aren’t the only one with a goalie controversy. In Colorado, a backup is pushing the starter. Who is the No. 1 goalie–Pavel Fancouz or Darcy Kuemper? Colorado Avalanche drama.
Boston: On Tuesday, Brad Marchand and Vincent Trocheck had a little unfriendly back-and-forth on social media. All done, right? Wrong. The Carolina Hurricanes thumped Boston on Tuesday night, so the Hurricanes social media folks trolled Marchand–who responded on Wednesday afternoon with flying elbow from the top rope about Carolina necessitating the dreaded NHPA escrow fund. Game, set, and match, Brad Marchand.
Because of Marchand’s escrow slam, our old story about “what is escrow” again went semi-viral. So, if you don’t know what the escrow fund is or why players hate it, here it is. Explaining Escrow and why NHLPA hates it.
Montreal: The Canadiens introduced Kent Hughes as their next GM. The public is a bit split on the choice. Montreal media painted a narrative that the process was rigged and Hughes was Jeff Gorton’s best friend. The two men slew that dragon, even as multiple questions about their (non-existent) relationship rolled in. Hughes held firm. Interesting times for the Montreal Canadiens.
Just to mess with you, Kent Hughes was, until this week, Kris Letang’s agent. No, don’t cue the NHL trade rumors to Montreal.
Philly: The Flyer traded Jakub Voracek to Columbus last summer. He’s putting up points, but on Thursday night, he’ll miss his Philadelphia Flyers homecoming.
Capitals: Dmitri Orlov received a two-game suspension for kneeing. It’s a hot topic in Washington, but here’s the full explanation of the two-game bad: Washington Capitals news.
ESPN: Ryan Reaves said the New York Rangers are on a mission. They rallied from a two-goal deficit to expose and embarrass the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Canadian media are crushing the Leafs today. Here’s the Rangers’ side.