Part of me worries we are obsessing over officiating, which diminishes the hockey we are witnessing. The NHL game is too fast. There is too much for two men among the chaos to efficiently police. But the other half witnesses a pair of blown calls on Tuesday night that led to goals, and one of which wasn’t a judgment call but an easy whistle. In the Daily, the Philadelphia Flyers are big game hunting defensemen on the NHL trade market, and Pittsburgh Penguins assistant coach Mike Vellucci interviewed–twice–for the Columbus Blue Jackets head coach position.
And what if some big names were to come available who would fit the Penguins perfectly?
PHN+: If those big names, literally and figuratively, come available, should Penguins general manager Ron Hextall clean house to make room?
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Teddy Blueger is an RFA. What will his next contract look like, and can the Penguins afford it?
Sportsnet: Vellucci would have been a great choice, but Columbus went with Brad Larsen. As part of Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts, he revealed Penguins assistant Vellucci was a top candidate.
Kudos to the Penguins for permitting Vellucci to speak to Columbus. The stingy Ottawa Senators refused Jack Capuano the same courtesy to chat with the Buffalo Sabres. Now there are hard feelings.
The Pittsburgh Penguins organization usually gets it right. Whatever “it” is, they do it right.
NHL Trade chatter, Playoffs & National Hockey Now
Philly: The Flyers have “a lot of balls in the air,” but it doesn’t appear chasing Dougie Hamilton on the NHL trade front is a top priority. Matt Dumba and Seth Jones appear higher on their food chain.
Also–WELL DESERVING–Oskar Lindblom won the Masterton Trophy for perseverance.
NYI: Here’s the synopsis of the Islanders’ Game 2 loss. Tampa Bay cracked New York’s cool demeanor and pulled away for a 4-2 win.
Sportsnet: For once, it was the Islanders who snapped after officials blew an easy call, and the other team scored. Tampa Bay scored with seemingly half its roster on the ice. Of course, early in the game, New York scored a goal on a dubious power play… Officials are under fire for Game 2.
Boy, the NHL misses Jim Rutherford. The NHL trade chatter is a solid 50% less without him around.
Boston: The rumor mill may not have Taylor Hall and David Krejci. It appears both will be back with the Boston Bruins, though neither is yet signed.
Colorado: Gabriel Landeskog says the Avs have to find a way to get this done.
Detroit: The 10 things the Detroit Red Wings need to improve for next season…to not suck.
San Jose: I don’t know who found this video, but the San Jose Sharks 1990s TV opening is pure cheeseball gold. Gold, Jerry! Oh, it’s awful, but I couldn’t take my eyes off it.
Florida: Lucas Wallmark left the Florida Panthers (again). This time for Russia.
Honest to god, I would love to cover the KHL for a season. A few years ago, someone promised to hook me up because the KHL needed some English speakers, but I was apparently talking to the wrong person. I see such awful stories, and it would seem to be a challenge just to live in Russia. I’d love it. (And to beat the trolls, yes, you’d love me to go to Russia, too). But cmon, what would you and 400,000 Pittsburgh Penguins readers do without me? Wait, don’t answer that either.
RMNB: Speaking of the KHL, their MVP Dmitrij Jaskin is bolting for the Arizona Coyotes.