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Dan’s Daily: 2018 Team Canada Charges Rock NHL; What Are Penguins’ Problems?



NHL trade talk, Carter Hart, Pittsburgh Penguins

The hockey world is braced for impact as the Globe and Mail reported that five players from the 2018 Team Canada World Juniors team have been told to surrender to London, Ont. police to face sexual assault charges. Five professional players, including four in the NHL, have taken personal leaves from their teams. In much lesser news, the Pittsburgh Penguins made changes at practice while we tried to identify the team’s real problems. Nathan MacKinnon went off against the Capitals, scoring four goals. Jakob Chychrun doesn’t believe the NHL trade chatter surrounding him again. And a Utah group has asked the NHL to initiate the expansion process.

I’m writing from the luxurious five-star Motel 6 and Royal Gardens in Wilkes-Barre. At least the vending machine sold Combos for just 50 cents. Anyway, Last night, I put eyes on Jesse Puljujarvi to see how close the big forward is to being ready for the NHL. I was able to draw some definite conclusions.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Coach Mike Sullivan made a little tweak at practice, giving Evgeni Malkin a new winger. The coach is pushing buttons, trying to find something to jumpstart the middle of the Penguins lineup.

Dave Molinari and Kris Letang had a conversation. Letang pushed back against any assertion that the team lacks motivation or commitment to winning. Go inside the Penguins locker room.

Before we talk about changes, we have to know what the real Penguins’ problems are. Not the knee-jerk reactions, but what’s really going on — so, here’s the truest dissection I can provide, no holds barred. Before we talk about Penguins’ trades, firings, or blowing it up, I think it is necessary to understand the Penguins’ situation.

PHN+: And the main course. It’s fun to get back to my “scouting” and analysis roots and really take a good look at a player. I came to some firm conclusions about the status of Jesse Puljujarvi.

Join PHN+. I’ve got more analysis on the way, including Sam Poulin and a defenseman we need to start watching. Use code Dan10, and that will save you 10 bucks (or you can really help the cause and skip the code). Join here.

NHL Trade Talk, News & National Hockey Now

Globe and Mail: We’re in a delicate spot. Five players from the 2018 Team Canada squad stepped away from their respective teams, but police have not yet announced the names of those who will face charges. Here’s the full report from the Globe and Mail.

Philly Hockey Now: Carter Hart stepped away from the team on Tuesday night. The Flyers and GM Daniel Briere are in the dark like the rest of us. Here’s what the Flyers GM said.

New Jersey Hockey Now: Michael McLeod and Cal Foote, both members of the 2018 team, also took a leave of absence from the New Jersey Devils.

The Athletic: Back to some of the fun things. Chychrun doesn’t buy those NHL trade rumors floating around with him included. However, Ottawa already has two young left-side defensemen who are top-four worthy signed to long deals. So, what gives?

NYI Hockey Now: Zach Parise is close to signing an NHL contract, but … it doesn’t sound like it will be with the New York Islanders.

Colorado Hockey Now: The Nova Scotia boys are dominating the NHL. Nathan MacKinnon (the likely Hart winner, in my humble opinion) sprung for four goals, and the Denver crowd chanted MVP! MacKinnon heard those chants. Here’s the locker room aftermath for the Colorado Avalanche.

Nashville Hockey Now: Some NHL trade talk–Canucks forward Andrei Kuzmenko has been on the outs. Is he a worthwhile target for the Nashville Predators?

Gee, how could Nashville trade for Kuzmenko when he’s been promised to the Penguins for Jake Guentzel? (I kid, I kid).