It is now the quiet, the placid calm before the storm. We have not seen an 82-game schedule in two years, and nasal swabs that hit brain have become a thing in the NHL. But we’re on the edge of training camp and the Pittsburgh Penguins season. PHN laid out the Penguins’ lines without Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and looked at three RFAs the Penguins could target. Should the Vegas Golden Knights get aggressive on the NHL trade market for Jack Eichel?
Also today in the links, the Nashville Predators became the 14th NHL team to require fans to be vaccinated or have a negative test. A large advocacy group is pushing USA Hockey to dump Stan Bowman and three up and three down teams from Sportsnet.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: You know…the Pittsburgh Penguins could afford to steal a player away from the Vegas Golden Knights–one that Ron Hextall and Chris Pryor drafted. One that would help the team in the short term and possibly the long term. There are three RFAs to steal.
The Penguins lines without Crosby and Malkin. I nearly forgot Brian Boyle, and there’s no guarantee he makes it. But these Penguins lines ain’t pretty.
NHL Trade Talk, News & National Hockey Now
Vegas: Our new man on the scene in Vegas–the original Golden Knights beat writer Steve Carp made a bold proclamation–Go for it. The Vegas Golden Knights should roll the dice on the NHL trade market and go for Jack Eichel.
Tennessean: Even in Tennessee–the Nashville Predators and Bridgestone Arena will require fans to be vaccinated if they want to attend hockey games, at least through November 15.
Sportsnet: The Columbus Blue Jackets had no choice–Assistant coach Sylvain Lefebvre refused the vaccine. They let him go.
Colorado: Ex-Avalanche player and current Colorado Eagles coach Brent Clark resigned over the vaccine requirement.
I’m speechless–giving up a career. Onward…
Seattle Times: The Kraken signed free agent Ryan Donato–it was a cheap deal, and Donato may be on borrowed time.
Washington: Who is the Washington Capitals starting goalie? Sammi Silber writes that the Capitals won’t gift the job to Ilya Samsonov. Vitek Vanecek could make a strong case to elbow past Samsonov.
NYI: The New York Islanders somehow made waves in what would have been the Eastern Conference playoffs last season without Anders Lee, who suffered a season-ending injury in March. Guess what–the Islanders have the band back together, including Lee…
Detroit: I loved this piece in Detroit. You may not, but it’s worth a look–10 facts about the Detroit Red Wings that will make you feel old. No. 2: Chris Chelios is 60?!
TSN: An advocacy group is unhappy that Stan Bowman is the Team USA GM and has asked USA Hockey to make a change. The group is unhappy that Bowman is currently being investigated for his part in an alleged coverup of a sexual assault against one or two players by a video coach in 2010.
Vancouver: The Vancouver Canucks announced their rookie camp–look for the Canucks to be a bubble playoff team and take a step forward. It always starts with the rookies…
San Jose: Sharks prospect Jesper Weatherby was headed back to North Dakota for his senior season. But the Sharks lured him away with a contract. He’s 6-foot-4, 222 pounds, and under 10% body fat. Damn kid--he could make an impact.
So—Delta is raging, and what comes next may not be as kind. This new strain is starting to attack kids, too. That worries me for my little buddy Leo, who isn’t old enough for a vaccine. I don’t yet know what the Pittsburgh Penguins will do about fans and vaccinations, but–I will happily give you a FREE PHN+ subscription if you begin the vaccine process today or tomorrow. You can pop into any CVS. Just send me a photo of you and your new vax card, and I’ll hook you up out of my own pocket. You don’t have to tell your friends, but you could save someone else’s life who is immuno-compromised, or even your own. No joke, no catch. It’s on me.
**Comments have been turned off. PHN will not moderate, not sift through mountains of COVID vaccine arguing. We’re happy to extend the free offer for getting vaccinated.