OTTAWA, ON — Which Pittsburgh Penguins story to put in the headlines? We had three interesting headlines from the gathering momentum to retire No. 68 for Jaromir Jagr, Kris Letang back on the ice, and Sidney Crosby agrees with Connor McDavid to bag the shootout. NHL trade chatter links the Carolina Hurricanes to Bo Horvat, but Carolina doesn’t like the price tag. There is uncomfortable controversy in Philadelphia over Pride night. And just for fun, Florida Panthers coach Paul Maurice might get a call from the league.
He really let the refs have it.
I am all about retiring Jagr’s 68. In the linked story below, Phil Bourque also spoke about Jagr’s idea for the Penguins to come to Czechia for a game, and he would retire then. Jagr was vastly underappreciated. I think many fans wanted him to remain the toothy-grinning kid who was fun-loving and a party animal (and who used to drive over 100mph on the parkway).
The lesson and fear that remains with me were learned with Jagr. After Mario Lemieux retired, a lot of fans went with him. The Penguins made the playoffs but couldn’t fill the barn on many nights. So, until I see the Pittsburgh Penguins fanbase thrive without a superstar, I will remain worried about the future here (then again, the league insists on keeping teams in Arizona and Florida, so perhaps I shouldn’t worry too much).
Pittsburgh Penguins / Steelers, Pirates (Sports Now Group)
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Phil Bourque told the 32 Thoughts podcast that things are in place for the Penguins to retire No. 68 for Jaromir Jagr.
Shelly Anderson had a swift idea. Check it out — A day after Connor McDavid blasted the shootout, Shells put the question to fellow superstar Sidney Crosby.
I was a little surprised Crosby answered so directly, but it was for Shelly.
At practice, there were a lot of returning faces (five), including Kris Letang.
So, what is the hold up here? Matt Canada remains in limbo as the Steelers’ offensive coordinator.
Hey, if he’s healthy — Titans OT Taylor Lewan hinted at interest in the Steelers.
Pittsburgh Baseball Now:
What does it mean? There’s not much love in the national publications for the Pirates’ prospects.
PBN+: The secrets to success for Mitch Keller.
NHL Trade Rumors, News & National Hockey Now:
If you’re a newb, just tap on the link to read the story…
TSN: Interested? Yep. Able to afford it? Nope. The Carolina Hurricanes are interested but hate the price tag for Bo Horvat.
Detroit Hockey Now: The Yzer-Plan! Which Detroit Red Wings could be out by the NHL trade deadline?
Florida Hockey Now: Hey, ref! Paul Maurice ripped the officials after a 5-4 OT loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Florida was shorthanded seven times in the first 40 minutes, and the Florida Panthers coach let rip.
Philly Hockey Now: It was the Flyers’ Pride night, but Ivan Provorov skipped the warmups to avoid wearing the Pride jersey. He cited his devout Russian Orthodox faith. Philadelphia Flyers controversy ensued.
By the way, Kevin Hayes had a hat trick, and Philly beat the Anaheim Ducks.
Sportsnet: A scout’s view — how the Edmonton Oilers should approach the NHL trade deadline.
Washington Hockey Now: Whenever the Capitals lose, that’s good for the Penguins, who trail them by four points with FOUR games in hand for the top wild card. The Minnesota Wild beat the Capitals Tuesday, and coach Peter Laviolette had to explain why he scratched Anthony Mantha (again) and scrambled the Washington Capitals lines.
NYI Hockey Now: Lack of finishing is a problem on Long Island. Coach Lane Lambert pushed back on calls for GM Lou Lamoriello to acquire offensive talent by the NHL trade deadline. The New York Islanders think they have enough.
They are close, but the longer they deny they need top-six help, the stronger the Penguins’ playoff position will be.
Calgary Hockey Now: Johnny Gaudreau is girding himself for the cascade of boos upon his return to Alberta to face the Calgary Flames.