It was a hazy, lazy Sunday except in the hockey universe. Evander Kane denied serious gambling allegations that his soon-to-be ex-wife posted on social media. Pittsburgh Penguins winger Zach Aston-Reese filed for arbitration along with 16 other players. But Marc-Andre Fleury stole the show, as he always does, with a quick four-second video announcing the news that sent Chicago Blackhawks fans soaring over the Willis (Sears) Tower.
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) August 1, 2021
I wonder how soon Fleury will sing at Wrigley?
This was how it was always going to play out. The Pittsburgh Penguins weren’t interested in overhauling their team to accommodate him (some of you weren’t so nice when we tried to tell you). Vegas couldn’t keep two goalies, and McCrimmon clearly preferred Robin Lehner. Fleury landed in a good spot. He makes Chicago a playoff team. Chicago is a great city…except for deep dish pizzas.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Is this it? What will the Penguins lines look like next month? We laid them out–Hextall probably has some work to do because here’s what Mike Sullivan has to work with.
Zach Aston-Reese filed for arbitration on Sunday, one of 17 players, but sources with knowledge of the situation tell us talks are progressing.
NHL Trade Chatter, Free Agency, and National Hockey Now network:
San Jose: The Evander Kane situation is getting MESSY. He responded to the allegations that his soon-to-be ex-wife posted on Instagram, alleging he bet on San Jose Sharks games. THEN his wife responded again with some intensely personal stuff. Here’s the full story.
Life was better before social media. Period.
NY Post: Yep, Jack Eichel is STILL a Buffalo Sabres commodity and the reigning king of the NHL trade rumors. Larry Brooks believes the Vegas Golden Knights are still in and thinks the Rangers could be in–if Buffalo eats some salary.
Sportsnet: In addition to Aston-Reese, 16 others filed for arbitration. Arb hearings can get UGLY–not as ugly as the Kane divorce–but ugly. Vince Dunn and Jakub Vrana are among those who filed.
Philly: Both former Flyers goalies quickly found new homes in free agency, and both landed squarely in the Eastern Conference. Brian Elliott’s new contract was the most surprising.
Washington: The Capitals found themselves in a similar situation as the Pittsburgh Penguins. Blow it up, start the rebuild, or hold on tight. Like the Penguins, the Capitals are going to hold on tight. As Sammi Silber writes, that’s the correct call.
Florida: Carter Verhaeghe was a steal in free agency last year. Florida pushed Tampa Bay all season and in the playoffs. Now it’s time for the next step. Verhaeghe got a new contract and is juiced.
Colorado: Adrian Dater is doing a cool thing. Subscribers are getting to write their opinions about the state of the Colorado Avalanche.
Detroit: The Red Wings were bad last season. And the year before that. Really, really bad. But Steve Yzerman hit the NHL trade market, signed a few free agents, and–take a look at what the Red Wings lines look like now.