A Happy Memorial Day to everyone. Hopefully, you’ve had some grilled hamburgers or hot dogs by now. If not, today already looks pretty good. We’ve analyzed the Pittsburgh Penguins UFAs. There are some NHL trade possibles mixed into the Daily, today. The National Hockey Now network is gearing up for the clash of the titans, Connor McDavid vs. Nathan MacKinnon in the Western Conference Final. And tonight is Game 7, Carolina Hurricanes vs. New York Rangers.
Having watched enough of the Rangers-‘Canes series, I will tell you this–I think the Penguins would have beaten either one with Tristan Jarry in net. I think the Penguins believe it, too. That’s gotta be frustrating to level 10. However, I don’t think any Eastern Conference team is going to touch Tampa Bay. They flipped that switch and…wow.
My colleague and I came to the same conclusion on E-Rod…
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Dave Molinari took a look at the Swiss Army Knife. Should they, will they, and what is Evan Rodrigues worth?
My story about Kris Letang and inverting the Penguins paradigm is still echoing off corners of the internet. Apparently, Mark Madden gave it some props, which exposed it to a new audience, too. Thanks, Mark. If you haven’t– The Penguins shouldn’t be worried about replacing Letang–move heaven and earth for a deal there–it’s the rest of the blue line (except Mike Matheson) that should be replaced. Pittsburgh Penguins analysis.
And yes, I’d sign Evan Rodrigues in the $2 million range. I was on the fence after his brutal second half, but he answered the bell in the final weeks and in the playoffs. I think he needed to feel important and challenged. His dip coincided with Malkin’s return but probably wasn’t a coincidence. Will some team pay more? I also didn’t think that was much of a penalty he took in Game 6.
If you want to add some spice to Game 7 tonight, the latest Caesars promo is a risk-free bet up to $1100. Click here.
NHL Trade Speculation, News & National Hockey Now:
NHL.com: And here we go… I’ve come to enjoy the Storm Surge, now that’s become a tradition, not a gimmick. I also appreciate that Carolina fans stuck around after playoff runs for the regular season. The Rangers…good team on paper. Some real chicken sh*t tactics in this postseason. It’s been an episode of Shoresey, at times. Game 7, tonight.
Btw–Shoresey (Letterkenny spinoff) dropped on Hulu. It’s…nice. It’s only six episodes and the twist is that Shoresey is the protagonist, so the character becomes human. Not as funny as Letterkenny, but the hockey realism is pretty good. Former Penguins farmhand and Buffalo Sabre Jordan Nolan is also in it.
Colorado Hockey Now:
Terry Frei: It’s Nathan MacKinnon vs. Connor McDavid, and so much more… Colorado Avalanche preview.
Former Avs defenseman Tyson Barrie, now with Edmonton, poked the bear with his old buddy MacKinnon, “Nothing we can’t handle,” he said of Nathan MacKinnon.
Nazem Kadri might be the preeminent UFA center on the market this July, but right now the gritty pivot wants a Stanley Cup. He’s ready to move on, including the Western Conference Final.
Ok, to some indirect NHL trade talk…
Detroit: I really think this is a name to watch for the Penguins this offseason. Filip Hronek could easily find himself on the NHL trade block. A mobile, talented defenseman who led the team in scoring, but Bob Duff reports his nose seemed a bit bent out of shape as Moritz Seider emerged. What is his future with the Detroit Red Wings?
Boston: GM Don Sweeney has been fishing on the trade market for two years. He got one big fish with Taylor Hall, but others have gotten away. Joe Haggerty writes that he’s become the most polarizing figure in the organization. What becomes of the Boston Bruins management this summer?
Washington: So…is Kadri an option for the Washington Capitals this summer?
I’ve learned not to telegraph too many of my ideas because a formerly great national magazine has bloggers who swipe ideas and turn out 400-word “columns” but Kadri is a very interesting name about whom I’ve been checking in with scouts…
Sportsnet: Jason Spezza retired after 19 seasons and immediately joined the Toronto Maple Leafs’ front office.
Philly: Claude Giroux will be in demand this July. Florida? How about Ottawa? That seems to be the consensus. The former Philadelphia Flyers C may go home.