The Pittsburgh Penguins signed their last RFA on Thursday, a few hours after general manager Ron Hextall explained why they fired goalie coach Mike Buckley and replaced him with Andy Chiodo. PHN slipped a little question about free agency or trades into the presser, too. We also kind of broke the news that Zach Aston-Reese signed a one-year deal, though it looks like our buddy Frank Seravalli at Daily Faceoff beat us to Twitter–anyway, we were hours before anyone else locally. A wild Penguins fight at practice that spilled over into the locker room with Evgeni Malkin came to light via a national podcast, and the Boston Bruins are churning the NHL trade market.
PHN hosted over one million readers in July. That’s a big deal. In August, we’re ahead of that pace. In August?! Yinz are killing me, and I love it. Also, I was goofing around on Twitter with template Steeler tweets and received a request for Penguins templates, so you can more easily just cut and paste. Here ya go!
(Insert goalie) has to make that stop. He sucks!
Letang is terrible. He always turns the puck over!
Malkin sucks. Giveaway machine!
I’ve been saying they should have kept Fleury.
(Insert player) is no good at hockey
I’ll wait until Yohe reports it, Kingerski is an idiot. https://t.co/HcV7AzSNWJ
— Dan Kingerski (@TheDanKingerski) August 6, 2021
PHN: The Pittsburgh Penguins dished a one-year contract to RFA Zach Aston-Reese. A bit below market value, but isn’t everything? The Penguins inked their last RFA.
I thought Ron Hextall eventually gave excellent insight into why he hired Andy Chiodo as the goalie coach and what he wants Andy to help Tristan Jarry improve.
Cam & Strick Podcast: Here’s the story you want. Grab a cup of coffee. Settle in. And listen to the podcast. Beau Bennett was a guest, and the stories he dished about Malkin, Phil Kessel chirping Sid, and more were awesome.
NHL Trade Chatter, News & National Hockey Now
Boston: While we broke the little story, the boys in Boston were doing the heavy lifting. The Bruins are adding names to the NHL trade market, including Jake DeBrusk again, and sources confirmed the name at the top of their list is Arizona Coyotes center, Christian Dvorak.
NY Post: The New Jersey Devils took one of the best UFA scorers off the market. After signing Dougie Hamilton to a massive $63 million contract, GM Tom Fitzgerald (or his analytics staff who LOVED Hamilton) popped open the wallet for Tomas Tatar, too.
Philly: While one Pittsburgh Penguins rival is trying to rebuild quickly, their cross-state rival has done pretty well this offseason, too. As Ryan Gilbert of Philly Hockey Now writes, Chuck Fletcher has improved the Flyers in ALL areas.
Florida: Ask George! Sam Bennett, Sasha Barkov, Sam Reinhart–ya, the Florida Panthers are getting a LOT better, and they were already pretty good. Panthers fans have questions–and George Richards was spitting answers.
Vegas: What is going on in the desert?? Fleury-gone. Reaves-gone. Reilly Smith–on the NHL trade block. And now, the CMO of the organization, who built a perfect, fun, and beautiful marketing strategy–GONE, too.
San Jose: Assistant coach John Madden was one of many people close to Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Mattis Kivlenieks, who passed away last month in a fireworks accident. He died a hero as he made one more save–getting between a stray firework launch and a teammate’s family. John Madden fondly remembered Kivlenieks.
Detroit: If you’re into prospects, Detroit is LOADED. Stevie Y knows what he’s doing, and another under-the-radar prospect is popping up for Team Sweden and making waves.
Vancouver: Big get for our new guy Rob Simpson in Vancouver! He chatted with Canucks head coach Travis Green about COVID, the short summer, and GM Jim Benning’s work on the NHL trade fronts. COVID really knocked Green out.