Kasperi Kapanen signed a two-year deal, and the reaction among Pittsburgh Penguins fans was decidedly not good. Can’t say the media gave it two thumbs up, either. If you read yesterday’s Dan’s Daily, I put a cryptic note at the end that the San Jose Sharks head coaching search could affect the Penguins. We weren’t entirely confident to report it without one more source chiming in, but we believed assistant coach Mike Vellucci had a shot at the Sharks job. He almost had it. Also in the Daily, possible NHL trade destinations for Matthew Tkachuk and the Montreal Canadiens GM discussed Shane Wright’s “stare down.”
I still love “the stare.” Wright has to back it up. He can’t flop, or that stare becomes a laughing stock. If he succeeds, that becomes legendary.
Pittsburgh Penguins / Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Kapanen signs. Two-year deal. $3.2 million AAV. Wowsers. Full Kasperi Kapanen details.
Dave Molinari didn’t take the Penguins to the woodshed, but he added some context and insight into the contract offer. And maybe he subtly took them out back. Have a read — Pittsburgh Penguins analysis.
SteelersNow.com: Franco Harris will be the honorary captain for the Steelers’ Run and Walk. Pittsburgh Steelers news.
PittsburghBaseballNow.com: How about that hire? We snagged the country’s most dangerous baseball writer: John Perrotto. The rebel commander set up a national-quality baseball reporting outpost for two decades in Beaver County. Now, he’s ours. Now your subscription gets you exclusive Penguins, Pirates, and Steelers coverage!
(PHN+ subscribers, you’ll receive an email today with your coupon code to subscribe to PBN. When the full platform launches — we’re in the final stages — your logins will merge. Sorry for the delay. Programmers certainly overpromised on the timeline WAY overpromised).
John Perrotto: State of the Pirates — Hey, they don’t stink. That’s progress. Pittsburgh Pirates breakdown.
NHL Trade Talk, News & National Hockey Now:
Calgary Hockey Now: Ok, Matthew Tkachuk is out of Calgary. The bags are packed. The car is gassed. Fans are dealing with double heartbreak. Here are the most likely landing spots for Tkachuk on the NHL trade market. Calgary Flames trade.
It’s a cold, and it’s a broken Hallelujah.
Sportsnet: The year of sexual assault scandals in hockey. The owner of the Edmonton Oilers is denying claims he paid an underage ballerina.
Philly: Carter Hart was part of the 2018 Team Canada and, as such, has to answer for the ongoing scandal. It’s still unknown if an assault occurred or just something sordid. The London, ON, police closed the investigation without charges, though they have reopened it under public pressure. However, lots of people have to answer questions about just what the hell happened. Included in those people is Hart, who denied involvement. The Flyers are mum. Hart’s attorneys did the talking. Philadelphia Flyers news.
TSN: It’s not a good look in the face of the Penguins paying Kapanen $3.2 million, but the Nashville Predators snagged Nino Niederreiter for two years at $8 million.
Montreal: No NHL trade rumors or retirement questions from Montreal today. Instead, Canadiens VP Jeff Gorton addressed a few topics, including that awesome Shane Wright stare down at the Draft. Montreal Canadiens news.
Washington: So, are the Capitals done? Toast. -Fin-? Our burgeoning rock star in DC answers that question, and some NHL trade chatter around the Caps, too. Washington Capitals mailbag.
San Jose: Pittsburgh Penguins assistant coach Mike Vellucci was a finalist for the Sharks head coaching job. With some serendipity, I think if Vellucci got it, the other finalist could have become a Penguins assistant coach. However, the Sharks hired David Quinn. Sheng Peng was all over the story. San Jose Sharks breaking news.