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Dan’s Daily: Finalists for Utah Nickname; Penguins Patience or Urgency?



PIttsburgh Penguins, Evgeni Malkin, Reilly Smith

The Pittsburgh Penguins should get a move on to fix roster problems, or president of hockey operations/GM Kyle Dubas should remain patient and methodically look for a top-six winger. The Pittsburgh Hockey Now staff is divided between patience and urgency. The Florida Panthers got the clutch goal and silenced the Madison Square Garden Crowd by winning Game 5 and earning a chance to end the Eastern Conference Final at home in Game 6. Elsewhere in the Daily, the NHL trade rumors are percolating in Vancouver, the Utah hockey franchise is down to its four nickname finalists, and the trade cost to get a goalie to New Jersey is high.

In fairness, have you been to Newark?

Welcome to the Daily from the comfort of my home. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the grand wallpaper and gold-colored lighting fixtures in my hotel room, but I did need to return home from Saginaw eventually. I have one more story to write—I asked Brayden Yager’s teammates what kind of player and guy he is. Of course, both sides had some fun with the question, but I’ll get that written up today.

And since I’ve been gone for most of the week, I stumbled out for dinner. My buddies at Leo Public House on the North Side know their food, but owner Mike outdid himself with The Stoner Bowl. You can pretty easily imagine how he invented it. It’s a base of flavored mashers, chilled and cured beef, and …wait for it … Cheetos.

Pretty amazing, actually. I paired it with a lovely red wine because of the beef. A beer was probably a better choice.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: I’ll go first. It’s hours from June. The Metro Division has undergone a bit of a shakeup. The roster has significant flaws but significant potential because Sidney Crosby is still at the top of the hockey world. We’re closer to free agency than the end of the regular season, so where are the Penguins changes?

Counterpoint from Dave Molinari: Patience. The Penguins should prioritize a top-six winger above all else but also exercise restraint and patience. There’s no need for urgency to fix the Penguins roster.

So, read both, tell me who’s right.

NHL Trade Talk, News & National Hockey Now

Florida Hockey Now: The playoff version of Sam Bennett returned, and New York Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin couldn’t steal Game 5, but he surely tried. The Florida Panthers won and now have a chance to advance back to the Stanley Cup Final with one more win. Hello and welcome back, Sam Bennett.

New Jersey Hockey Now: The New Jersey Devils are still stalking goalies. General manager Tom Fitzgerald has been working hard and has been connected to a pair of big names. Yet Fitzgerald is finding out that the cost is high to complete a Devils trade.

Our James Nichols has been at press conferences. Talked to the principals, and here’s why success will happen for the Devils and Sheldon Keefe.

The Athletic ($): Thomas Drance took a big swing and thinks the Vancouver Canucks will do the same. Martin Necas? Yep. Nikolaj Ehlers? Sure. Vancouver is on the verge of being a great team and needs to go big on the trade block this offseason.

Well, we know Jim Rutherford isn’t shy. Let’s see how high Patrik Allvin’s risk tolerance goes.

Sportsnet: It happened on the Pat McAfee show (but ESPN didn’t do a story?!). Utah hockey club owner Ryan Smith revealed there are four finalists for the club’s nickname: Yeti, Mammoth, and others. But they won’t have a nickname jersey for a year?

Wanna bet they get those jerseys out before Christmas with a helping hand from the NHL?

ESPN: Artemi Panarin has been a blessing for the Rangers. Sergei Bobrovsky has been essential for the Florida Panthers. So, how did the Columbus Blue Jackets have both at the same time and win nothing?

Philly Hockey Now: Oh boy. He won’t score too many goals, but he’ll help. It’s too perfect and fits too well into the Philadelphia Flyers culture. A banger is emerging as a Flyers trade target.