While Pittsburgh Hockey Now has recently praised Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ron Hextall for his measured approach, we must confess it does make for a much less exciting offseason. The Penguins trade for Kasperi Kapanen had already happened by this point last offseason, and there were rumblings and tumblings of more. I suppose we’ll have to make do with extrapolating what’s to come, the NHL playoffs, Seattle rumors, and our Round Three betting guide.
I have an increasing gut feeling, there will be a significant trade in the Penguins future, but we’re not there yet. Such things usually start to send murmurs through the rumor mill, and as you’ve seen with the PHN “Off the Record” (OTR) columns, our network has a pretty good beat on hockey murmurs. Nothing yet.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: There is one BIG commonality amongst the four remaining teams in the NHL playoffs. Big being the keyword. It’s a trait the Pittsburgh Penguins front office must address.
Want to have a little more fun with the NHL playoffs? Whatever you want to call it, here is the PHN NHL Semi-Final, Final Four, or Round Three betting guide, free bets, and predictions.
NHL Playoffs & National Hockey Now Network
NYI: Three things the Islanders can do, MUST do, to beat Tampa Bay, this time.
Say this for the Islanders–there is no fear or shortage of swagger. They got past the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins in six games each. Fourth line banger Matt Martin said he expected the Islanders would make it this far, and this time he wants “to finish the job.”
NY Post: Did Tampa Bay cheat the salary cap with Nikita Kucherov and perhaps Steve Stamkos? Carolina Hurricanes D-man Dougie Hamilton sure thinks so (and so does PHN). What did Tampa Bay GM Julien BriseBois and the Islanders have to say…
The NHL cleared Tampa of holding Kucherov back. Here’s the counterpoint–they cleared Tampa because the Kucherov’s return was within acceptable and normal time frames for the injury. That doesn’t account for a player being ready early, as it seems Kucherov was. By holding him out, Tampa Bay could spend to the cap at the trade deadline… Acquiring David Savard was the prize. That’s a pretty good prize.
The rule needs to change. Immediately following the season. Imagine an NFL team blowing past the cap just because it’s the playoffs.
Sportsnet: The Montreal Canadiens are within shouting distance of the Stanley Cup, and GM Marc Bergevin looks invigorated.
Bergevin looks like a Jeff Lebowski and Santa Claus had a love child, complete with a red suit. But that’s like my opinion, man. Ho ho ho.
Seattle Times: Now–this is something PHN’s OTR reported about a month ago. Hockey folks have known it was possible despite public posturing. Yes, Rod Brind’Amour and the Carolina Hurricanes could part ways. And Ron Francis in Seattle is waiting with open arms.
Colorado Hockey Now: The heartbreak is real. The sour taste is like curdled milk on stale Captain Crunch (peanut butter, of course). Leftover thoughts from the Avalanche’s wasted season.
Boston: David Krejci really doesn’t know. He just doesn’t know what his future holds or if he’ll be back with the Boston Bruins.
San Jose: It’s Free Agent talk! The San Jose Sharks need middle-six centers. Which ones on the free-agent market fit, and who will they target?
Detroit: Maybe it’s time for Detroit to take a European vacation–Stop with the Euro-free agents who are gambles at best.