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Penguins Excitement, Carey Price and What Comes Next for NHL



Pittsburgh Penguins Game vs. Montreal Canadiens

It’s been an amazing weekend in the NHL, and for two countries. North America will get the NHL hockey and the 2020 Stanley Cup presentation. The dates and locations are still to be determined. Still, the NHLPA voted to accept the 24-team playoff proposal on Friday night in which the Pittsburgh Penguins will face the Montreal Canadiens, and logistics planning is well underway.

Pittsburgh Hockey Now became part of the conversation as we broke two stories on Friday night, including the confirmation of an affirmative vote. Near 5:30 p.m., one of the NHLPA reps confirmed to us that it passed. Unless something changes or logistics become untenable, we will have hockey this summer. The second story was retracted and made us part of the national story, but we’ll get to that.

The National Hockey Now Family spoke with sources who were part of the vote on Friday night. The final tally was overwhelming, but that wasn’t the sentiment or tone of the conversations leading up to the vote. Players thought it would be close.

However, in wonderful, classic hockey fashion, teams which were on the fence or in the negative column understood there was positive support, and the players rallied around the final vote. Dissent or concern faded, and players came together for an overwhelming vote.

“We have a union for everyone to express our views. Whatever the format is, some agree, some don’t,” Penguins NHLPA rep Kris Letang told Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet. “As a union, we want to make the best decisions over time, the greater good for everyone.”

The greater good is a powerful phrase.

“At the end of the day, nobody gets exactly what they want, but we all want what is best for hockey and to continue to grow the game.”

Friday night, Pittsburgh Hockey Now retracted our report the Penguins and Letang voted “No” on the proposal. Our original team source was adamant. In fact, he spoke with the National Hockey Now family three times. Our source was mistaken. We got it wrong.

I personally and publicly apologize to you, and the Pittsburgh Penguins for the error. I’ll make in-person apologies when that’s possible. All we can do is correct the record and move on to the next story.

Silver Linings and Excitement

A silver lining to our report on was the number of other sources who contacted us Friday night and on Saturday.

Pittsburgh Hockey Now received an avalanche of positive sentiments regarding the upcoming playoffs. The players are ready to go. They, too, have quarantined for 10 or 11 weeks and want desperately to chase the Stanley Cup.

“Drop the puck,” was the lead-in to one chat.

Pittsburgh Hockey Now and multiple national reports leading up to the vote cited Montreal goalie Carey Price as a human fear factor in a short series. Sportsnet, TSN, and even the NY Post had stories.

“Fear of Carey Price Complicates Return,” read the NY Post headline. It was out there.

As part of the wave of fresh conversations, let us put that to rest, too. NO, the Pittsburgh Penguins players do not fear Price. Not even a little bit.

Sure, they respect him as a great goalie, a six-time All-Star, a Vezina Trophy winner, and a Hart Trophy winner. However, the Penguins players see their team advantages over the Montreal Canadiens, who were 10 points out of a playoff spot in March. From every conversation, the Penguins excitement and optimism were palpable.

One source made sure to slay the dragon that was “fear” of Carey Price.

The Penguins are loaded, and they’re amped. I know you can’t wait. Nor can I.

Hurdles Yet to Come

Now, the hard work begins. The NHL must confirm venues for hub cities, logistics for players, and, most importantly, testing. Testing emerged as a central concern among the NHLPA, and that concern has been communicated to the NHL.

Adequate and consistent testing will be a part of the NHL return to play; this won’t be like Nascar, which simply made participants sign a waiver. Of course, Nascar competitors have 3300 pounds of steel between each other, too.

As part of the hub cities, the NHL must procure a testing facility that does not interfere with national testing for sick or potentially sick citizens. The NBA has done it, so this doesn’t figure to be an impossible task, but it is a vital one.

There are still more details to be worked out about the tournament, too. Will it be seven-game series after the play-in series? That is assumed but not necessarily on paper. Time constraints could force changes, too.

But those are details. The big picture is the NHL and NHLPA have agreed to play hockey this summer.

Drop the puck.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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1 year ago

I think one of the issues teams will face is the need for short shifts due to ‘wind’ and game conditioning.

An advantage can be had for the team that acquires oxygen and makes it widely available on the bench for rapid recovery.

IDK the league rules on this though. But I would look into it as the NHL to my knowledge does not use oxygen in the bench

1 year ago

I know you hate me, but I expect professional writing if I’m paying for it. Could you just, once, proofread your articles or have someone else do it? I think Price won the HART trophy.

Cal Reid
Cal Reid
1 year ago

Good job keeping integrity of the site by making wrongs right. Pit vs Mtl ? If Pens remember last year’s lesson handed to them and don’t come out of the gate half asleep they should absolutely walk on the Habs. It wont even be close.

Ronald Chess
Ronald Chess
1 year ago

You never have to apologize for any. Article you put out ,this is the classiest and most insiteful reporting of Penguins news anywhere.

Scott Baron
Scott Baron(@slbmd)
1 year ago

He won the Hart and Verona. Dorothy, if you are going to indignant at least be correct.

Scott Baron
Scott Baron(@slbmd)
1 year ago

Sorry spelling error

1 year ago

Flyers fan and 2nd time in a row this site is in my feed! I hope u get ANNIHILATED!

Dorothy Tecklenburg
Dorothy Tecklenburg(@dtecklenburg)
1 year ago

Let me explain. For the past year, I have been asking Dan on numerous occasions via the comments to proofread his articles. I have told him that I greatly value his hockey knowledge, but if he wants to be taken seriously as a writer, and to charge for his writing, he has to be more careful of his posts. This is not being indignant. This is trying to help him if he has any aspirations to becoming a national writer. I am a writer. (Don’t google my name- all my credits are under my maiden name, but I do have… Read more »

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