Let the chase for Penguins scouts begin. Thursday night the Pittsburgh Penguins had a pair of scouts in attendance for the Dallas Stars-Philadelphia Flyers game in Dallas. Philadelphia won 2-1. Rookie goalie Carter Hart stopped 37 of 38 shots and was the No. 1 star of the game.
The general rule of watching the flow of scouts is to take it with a grain of salt. Scouts pop up everywhere. When scouts begin to frequent a team, multiple scouts show up, or management (including the director of scouting) takes a seat, then it becomes something to monitor, nothing more. For example, the Penguins director of scouting was watching Anaheim a week before the Daniel Sprong-Marcus Pettersson deal. Most often, nothing comes of it–just like GM talks–but it’s another meter to the weather.
The scouting info first came via tweet by NHL.com’s Adam Kimmelman.
Scouts in the house for Stars-Flyers tonight: Penguins (2), Avalanche, Canucks, Bruins
— Adam Kimelman (@NHLAdamK) January 10, 2019
Dallas is known to need defensive help. The Penguins will have more than a stocked cupboard very shortly when Justin Schultz returns. Schultz will give the Penguins nine NHL defensemen.
And perhaps Dallas has their eyes on an intense, serious player who wants a greater role in Pittsburgh but could upgrade the Dallas second line. Current stars second line center Jason Spezza, 35, has only 21 points in 42 games and his advanced stats are slipping. Spezza will be a UFA at the end of this season.
Dallas also has a very capable third line center Radek Faksa and some high-end top-six talent including Alexander Radulov. Radulov is signed for three more years at an AAV of $6.25 million. He has 39 points (14g, 25a) this season in 35 games played.
Perhaps we shouldn’t sleep on the Philadelphia Flyers need for sweeping changes, too. However, it is difficult to see where the Penguins and Philadelphia would line up, though a few of us old school types may enjoy a physical force like Wayne Simmonds. Unfortunately, Simmonds is in the midst of more struggles. He has just 19 points (13g, 6a) in 44 games. He also played through a serious lower body injury last season which rendered him ineffective.
Dan’s Daily Links
The New York Islanders had only one shot on goal in the third period. Josh Bailey scored to beat the New York Rangers (Lighthouse Hockey).
Is your fantasy hockey team struggling? Here are some waiver wire pickups for the second half (NHL.com)
Big names who will be free agents including Erik Karlsson–Latest rumors and reports (Sportsnet)
The Penguins will be without a pair of right wings for a while–Patric Hornqvist and Zach Aston-Reese (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
Follow the CBA negotiations–Players want the Olympics, to be able to skip the All-Star Game and most importantly, they want to end the escrow withholding (Sportsnet)
And some are upset at Gary Bettman’s tactic to link negotiations to the World Cup. Bettman is as shrewd as he is shameless. (TSN)
The Columbus Blue Jackets have a real problem–their two-time Vezina winning goaltender isn’t a happy camper. CBJ told him to go away yesterday (The Athletic)