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Dan’s Daily: *Ahem, Montreal Wants UFA Splash, Penguins Trouble Grows



Pittsburgh Penguins, Kris Letang

Next time, send a bouquet of roses with a note, “Thinking of you.” Through leaks and whispers, the Montreal Canadiens are letting it known they will not only begin to rebuild in the summer, but they also want a big-name free agent or two. They want a veteran free agent splash. Does that sound like anyone you may know? Zdeno Chara may be on the NHL Trade market soon because he broke the games-played record for defensemen on Thursday night. The Washington Capitals weakly lost to the New York Rangers, and the Pittsburgh Penguins stunk, again, on Thursday night against the New Jersey Devils.

I was shocked to see the Penguins fired almost 40 shots on New Jersey. Excluding a couple of point-blank chances by Brock McGinn and the goal by Evgeni Malkin, the shots were soft.

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: A healthy dose of sarcasm accompanied the postgame. The New Jersey Devils beat the Pittsburgh Penguins, 6-1.

I skipped the report card and made the analysis free for everyone. Did you need a bunch of Fs? Marcus Pettersson was benched, Tristan Jarry was pulled, and those two got off lucky. After weeks of declining play, the flailing Pens self-inflicted another bad loss. The Penguins need to make changes.

NHL Trade Chatter, News & National Hockey Now:

TSN: The Montreal Canadiens might as well have sent flowers and a card. They will be aggressive in free agency, and they want a big-name veteran or two. I firmly believed Penguins defenseman Kris Letang and the Canadiens were a terrible fit, and there was no reason to consider the talk. But Montreal is signaling they want a splash on the free-agent market.

Also, it sounds like the Seattle Kraken and Mark Giordano have decided to part ways before the deadline.

Detroit: One of the underrated names on the NHL trade block will be Vladislav Namestnikov. Our Hall of Famer Kevin Allen looked at the five teams, including the Penguins, who should call the Detroit Red Wings.

To this day, I still can’t pronounce his name. I know how it’s pronounced, but I butcher it every blessed time. At least I can spell it.

Vancouver: Brock Boeser, J.T. Miller… More NHL trade rumors in Vancouver and the Vancouver Canucks swatted them down again.

Metro Division:

Washington: The New York Rangers leapfrogged the Penguins for second place in the Metro Division. They ripped the lackluster Washington Capitals, 4-1.

NYI: Zdeno Chara has now played more NHL games than any defenseman in NHL history. He broke Chris Chelios’s record, and the New York Islanders celebrated.

Chara is now likely on the NHL trade block. He surely would add a different dimension for the Penguins, wouldn’t he?

The Islanders also put another nail in their own coffin. The San Jose Sharks spoiled the big night.

Philly: Carter Hart, Joel Farabee, and Derick Brassard could return to Philadelphia Flyers lineup this weekend.


Florida: The Columbus Blue Jackets stumped one of the best teams in the East and thumped the Florida Panthers.

Calgary: The 10-game winning streak is over. The Canucks ended the Calgary Flames streak with a thud, 7-1.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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9 months ago

I wondered this for a while. I do think Letang wants to go to Montreal and get paid. I think Hex knows Letang, Rust, and maybe even Malkin are good sports with the Media; however they may be leaving to go elsewhere following the season. I do question if Hex knows something and he knows the negotiations aren’t going to work to sign the player. He better have a good plan in place to replace the production of 1 or all 3 of them. I do believe if someone like Letang were to walk. It wouldn’t make sense how we… Read more »

9 months ago
Reply to  Fredrick

The “plan” will be to try and get a middling bunch that may turn out to be something…same as every other nhl team.

They’ll be borderline playoffs if they are only worried about Crosby and his wings. They get shut down in the playoffs when teams have had to deal with other lines…let alone without.

It will be like the 1996-2002 pens. We can win the cup, right? No…not after the games are played.

But go ahead…give a 35 year old defenseman with a history of brain farting away games a $10 contract…that’ll work.

9 months ago

Dan I do not agree with your assessment about “soft shots”. Rust clanked a post early on after a slick move that could have helped settle game (operative words could have) and Malkin rang the post later from the slot and was then robbed on his own subsequent rebound–reminded me of basketball where if you follow your own jump shot to the hole you often get an easy put in. Not saying there was much else, but both plays were memorable scoring chances entailing 3 quality shots that were every bit as juicy as McGinn’s (which was blocked before ever… Read more »

9 months ago

Nah-MESS-nic-kov is how I’ve heard it.

9 months ago

You read it hear first: Letang AND Fleury to Montreal next season. #BookIt

Last edited 9 months ago by Paul