Russia escalated its invasion of Ukraine on Tuesday by bombing administration buildings, and there are accusations the Russians used a banned vacuum bomb. The NHL reacted as strongly as it could, and so did the IIHF. Which teams are scouting the Pittsburgh Penguins ahead of the NHL trade deadline, and how can those teams help the Penguins? The Washington Capitals are in a freefall, the Montreal Canadiens are red hot, and Jake DeBrusk netted the hatty.
The world will need to stop Putin. Walking out of a UN speech isn’t going to save any lives or protect sovereign nations. The folks who run Taekwondo also took away Putin’s black belt. F1 canceled the Russian Grand Prix and may ban the Russian drivers. The NY Post has a running thread of updates.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The NHL and IIHF united with Ukraine. The NHL cut ties with Russia and related businesses. The IIHF banned Russia.
Ok, to hockey, eh.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Two teams are scouting the Pittsburgh Penguins, causing a bit of chatter. We looked at what those teams have available in the NHL trade rumors.
I struggled with adding or excluding Nicolas Deslauriers. We know the Penguins chased him at the 2021 NHL trade deadline (recall that Elliotte Friedman reported a trade went down but amended the report to only talks).
Also, we can confirm a women’s hockey gold-medal rematch in Pittsburgh. The PPG Paints Arena staff has been informed Team Canada and Team USA will square up on March 12 at 4 p.m. We’ll do a complete story as soon as the Penguins announce it and make the details official. That game should be fun. Stick tap to my friends at the arena.
NHL Trade Chatter, News & National Hockey Now:
Toronto Sun: I didn’t lead with it or make a biggie because I think this is a bit out there–but Steve Simmons believes the Toronto Maple Leafs must get Marc-Andre Fleury.
Sportsnet: Angst is growing in Toronto (that’s always fun). Who should the Toronto Maple Leafs chase at the NHL trade deadline?
NY Post: Larry Brooks is glad Zdeno Chara is being recognized among the greats and wants the New York Rangers to go after Colin Miller on the NHL trade market.
Philly: Whenever someone says to bring up (insert player), give him a chance, I cringe. There are pros to that strategy, but there are also massive cons. Morgan Frost’s game fell apart, and the Philadelphia Flyers demoted him.
Washington: Toronto beat Washington, which has just four wins in its last 10 games. The Pittsburgh Penguins rival has lost three of four. However, look at this “no goal.” Did the refs job the Washington Capitals?
Boston: At this rate, the Boston Bruins will leave Jake DeBrusk dangling on the NHL trade block forever. The winger is on fire and netted the hat trick in the Boston Bruins win over LA.
Vegas: The Golden Knights are going sideways lately. They’re not getting enough production from several spots in their lineup (sound familiar?). Vegas needs more from William Karlsson.
And, as much as we don’t like the Russian invasion, keep things in proper perspective. Athletes aren’t making decisions, and I don’t believe most support it, either.
I just spoke with @HockeyAgent1. He has raised concerns of “real threats” to his Russian based clients both in-person and on Social media to the NHLPA and NHL clubs with Russian born players. Milstein is asking for additional security for his players in North America.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 28, 2022
On a high note, a little Amazon Prime Video recommendation. A Bit of Fry and Laurie. Hugh Laurie and Steven Fry had a comedy sketch show in the 1980s and early 90s. And I never knew. It’s really good: