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Dan’s Daily: Weak Penguins Trade Market; Closing LTIR Loophole



Pittsburgh Penguins, Reilly Smith, Evgeni Malkin

The Pittsburgh Penguins weren’t thinking, or perhaps feeling, in the first period of their win over the San Jose Sharks. With a murderer’s row of teams on deck, the Penguins found a way to beat the hapless San Jose Sharks even as the room chided itself for a genuinely awful first period. The Penguins slim playoff hopes got a boost with several teams losing, and the latest 32 Thoughts extensively covered the Penguins and NHL trade chatter extensively. Elsewhere in the Daily, GMs will discuss closing LTIR loopholes, three cities are competently battling for an NHL expansion, and the Coyotes were cleared to bid on an Arizona patch of land.

And again, I can only shake my head and wonder. When the Penguins lose, readers can’t get enough of the Penguins coverage.

When the Penguins win — which hasn’t been often — tumbleweeds blow through. It’s like fans really don’t want the Penguins to win. Let me explain something: until players want to lose, the team is actually going to try to win. They’re going through some complex emotions and are in their own heads, but the door has not been closed on making the playoffs. That’s all they want to talk about.

Maybe a win will finally get them out of this funk. They’ve not been fun to watch or talk to.

Pittsburgh Penguins

On stolen Jagr bobblehead night…

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Somehow, they did it. The quality of the opponent helped, too. Dave Molinari’s pointed Penguins recap.

PHN+: Oh that was an awful, ugly, if not thoroughly unacceptable first period, followed by a game of catch in the second period and ultimately a real effort in the third. The Penguins grinders did the big jobs and we give you the inside nuggets on the rest in the Penguins report card.

From John Ludvig ripping the first-period effort as, “We weren’t thinking,” to the apathetic attendance, it’s in Dave Molinari’s Penguins six-pack.

PHN Video: Five points. That’s it. The Penguins are actually just five points out of a playoff spot. Is it really possible? From the press box, the Penguins postgame.

NHL Trade Talk, News, & National Hockey Now

Sportsnet: The latest 32 Thoughts went deeper into the Penguins and the NHL trade deadline. I think Elliotte Friedman encapsulated the Penguins situation well, including a “thin” market, but he did name one team that was very interested in Reilly Smith but couldn’t make the cap hit work.

NYI Hockey Now: Let’s move to the faltering Islanders. They suddenly can’t score a goal or win a game and have opened the door to the Penguins and Capitals to catch them. They were awful against Buffalo on Thursday. The New York Islanders embarrassment.

Philly Hockey Now: The Flyers suddenly stink, too. They’re getting blown out lately. As Sam Carchidi writes, there’s real trouble with the Philadelphia Flyers.

You start to wonder if the Penguins should have handled their deadline differently.

New Jersey Hockey Now: One problem with the Penguins’ quest for the impossible is the number of teams between them and the playoffs. One team might start to look pretty good? The Dallas Stars were no match for the New Jersey Devils.

TSN: The expansion battle is heating up. Gary Bettman is a sly dog as Atlanta has competing factions and other cities are stepping forward to create an expansion battle royal. However, Pierre LeBrun reports Salt Lake City is ahead of the rest.

AZ Sports: While the league is shopping for new cities, the Arizona Coyotes remain hockey’s version of couch surfers. The org was cleared to bid on a tract of land that will go up for auction in late June.

Could fans tell the league and the team with any more force that they’re not wanted? It’s not like the arena is filled with rabid Coyotes fans. TV ratings and attendance all scream one unified and apparently ignored message.

And just for fun.