The contrast was stark. The Dallas Stars owner took another poke at his star players while the Pittsburgh Penguins committed to their coach for another three years. Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan was introspective and honest about tough conversations and building relationships to remain a successful head coach where most others have a limited shelf life. In NHL trade chatter, the Carolina Hurricanes and New Jersey Devils have emerged as contenders for J.T. Miller, and the Buffalo Sabres splashed their first major contract of the rebuild.
Our Washington colleague has an update on Carl Hagelin’s eye injury, too.
Sullivan spoke for nearly 20 minutes on Tuesday. This reporter asked him if he consciously attempts to keep his message fresh and what he does to avoid being stale. The answer was both informative and a few minutes long. Sullivan remains a case study for coaches at all levels.
Pittsburgh Penguins / Sports Now Group PGH
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The end-of-summer Metro Division power rankings. The top three remain the same, and Philadelphia is last, but there may have been a shuffle at the top, including the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Penguins signed Mike Sullivan to a three-year extension that begins in two years. Yes, they believe in him. Sullivan opened the vault about heated discussions behind closed doors, having hard conversations with players, and how it all comes together in the end. Mike Sullivan.
Steelers NOW: Yes, the defense really needs help at inside linebacker, but one injury to OLB edge rusher T.J. Watt and the season could be lost. Perhaps watching Watt hobble off on Sunday was a little wake-up call. The Steelers made a trade on Tuesday for an OLB from Denver. Full story — Pittsburgh Steelers.
And it was cutdown day. “The coach wants to see you and bring your playbook.” A couple of surprise cuts. Here is the final 53-man Steelers roster.
Pittsburgh Baseball Now: MLB suspended farmhand Francisco Acuna for 80 games, and Nick Gonzalez had a big night in Altoona. The daily Pirates Prospect watch.
NHL Trade Talk, News & National Hockey Now:
The Dallas Stars owner probably shouldn’t say this. Not a good way to build team bonding.
Stars owner Tom Gaglardi isn’t a fan of paying kids out of entry level big money…says veteran players are getting squeezed because star players are being paid all the money. 👇👇👇 🤔 @CamandStrick #Hockeytwitter pic.twitter.com/UgSOAzS9sM
— Andy Strickland (@andystrickland) August 30, 2022
Vancouver Hockey Now: Rob Simpson has been chewing the ears of NHL GMs this week. Given his 40 years in the business and a few untold personal exploits with the crew, he got some good intel. Watch the Devils and Hurricanes regarding J.T. Miller.
Washington Hockey Now: Carl Hagelin almost lost an eye last March in practice. He’s suffered a loss of depth perception and vision but is undergoing eye training to continue his hockey career. He has changed his visor and is practicing with the team in hopes of continuing his NHL career. Washington Capitals.
Sportsnet: The Buffalo Sabres signed Tage Thompson to a tall contract (see what I did there?). The 6-foot-7 forward switched to center and exploded for 38 goals. Now he’s worth $50 million.
Montreal Hockey Now: Jonathan Drouin has left a bit of meat on the bone over the last couple of seasons. He’s got a lot to prove this season, and it seems he knows it. Montreal Canadiens.
Boston Hockey Now: How about Keith Yandle? Better yet, what about P.K. Subban to bolster the thin blue line? Jimmy Murphy dropped some big names, which could help the Boston Bruins.
Florida Hockey Now: Cornering the Staal brothers market. Three Staal brothers are finally united in one organization. Poor Jordan is the outpost in Carolina, but the other three are now with the Florida Panthers.
Detroit: The NHL network rankings are an annual right of passage from the offseason to the preseason. Everyone gets a little bent out of shape by the player ratings. But finally … FINALLY … the network has some love for the Detroit Red Wings.
I’m a little jealous of Kevin Allen and Bob Duff, who will get to cover the Red Wings’ growth. It will be a fun ride over the next couple of years, and I can’t think of two better writers with perspective, experience, and writing talent to cover it.
Vegas Hockey Now: With Phil Kessel in the mix, Owen Krepps takes a stab at the Vegas Golden Knights lines.
Calgary Hockey Now: Before Brad Treliving finalized the trade of Matthew Tkachuk for Jonathan Huberdeau and Mackenzie Weegar, he wanted more info on Huberdeau’s character. So he called his starting goalie in the middle of the night. Here’s the whole story — Calgary Flames.