General managers are wrapping up their offseasons as we media types begin to speculate on the coming NHL trade market. What will happen with Patrick Kane and where will he wind up? A few teams, including the Montreal Canadiens, can get aggressive with the LTIR and scoop up the late remaining deals. Winter Classic tickets are on sale and we’re looking at the Pittsburgh Penguins prospects pool.
I don’t think the Penguins prospect pool is as shallow some believe. It’s not great, but with a couple of good bounces, we’re going to see more prospects hit the NHL ice than the national folks think.
The Patrick Kane entry in the NHL trade rumors is going to fun, maddening, tiring, and interesting. I think this week was the first lap of a long race.
Pittsburgh Penguins / Sports Now PGH
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Get your Winter Classic tickets starting Wedensday morning… Pittsburgh Penguins.
After he was a finalist for at least two head coaching jobs this summer, the Penguins gave a new two-year contract to assistant coach Mike Vellucci.
What about the prospects pool? I saw The Athletic ranked it 30th, and I know there’s always some media that treat every player as a legit NHL player-in-waiting. Somewhere between the doom and hype, I hope you’ve come to trust an old hockey media guy who watches them in person (that’s me) and has a pretty good track record. Nathan Legare fell out of our top five, but not top-10. Nos. 6-10, the Pittsburgh Penguins prospects.
Steelers Now: The Steelers are picking through the scrap heap for help on the OL. And scrap heap is the proper term as they signed a free agent tackle. Pittsburgh Steelers.
The QB derby got a bit warmer. Head coach Mike Tomlin isn’t getting set for Week 1 by giving Mitch Tribisky more work, instead he put all of the chips on the table. The Steelers QB competition will come down to the final game. Who ever plays better gets the start. Steelers QB.
PIttsburgh Baseball Now: There are a few MLB prospect pitchers in the PIrates system. Not many, but a few. Danny Demillo gives the daily Pirates Prospects update.
NHL Trade Speculation, News & National Hockey Now
Edmonton Journal: Let the Patrick Kane talk begin. Getting an early jump, the Edmonton Oilers media is churning the NHL trade rumors.
Montreal Hockey Now: Carey Price has not yet officially gone on LTIR, nor has he retired. However, those seem like foregone conclusions now, and the Canadiens can get aggressive with that LTIR space. Look out. Montreal Canadiens.
Washington Hockey Now: Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov did a podcast back in Russia. He was pretty honest. He was surprised by the Capitals’ goalie overhaul, but also took a little poke at Matt Murray, too. Washignton Capitals.
Sportsnet: Dishing grades for the Canadian market GMs. Who wins, and who loses?
NYI Hockey Now: Lou Lamoriello finally spoke to the media. He brushed off any disappointment in the offseason. He also dangled a carrot, or put the boots to Noah Dobson, depending on your point of view. New York Islanders.
Philly Hockey Now: The Flyers won’t be at full strength on opening night. Probbaly not. No. 1 defenseman Ryan Ellis’ pelvic injury remains a question mark. No one seems to know when he’ll be back. Philadelphia Flyers.
Detroit Hockey Now: Remember Ollie Maatta? He think the Red Wings can take a very Kings-like step forward this season. Detroit Red Wings.
San Jose Hockey Now: Jonathan Dahlen remains a free agent. Probably one of the more intriguing yet risky players still on the market. Sheng Peng reports he’s prioritizing the NHL over taking a Swiss or Euro offer. He’s trying to stick in the NHL. San Jose Sharks.
Calgary Hockey Now: How many times did we put Sean Monahan on the NHL trade block and ponder his fit with the Pittsburgh Penguins? We did it several times over the years. He was finally traded last week but he left a lasting legacy in the Calgary Flames community.