November 25, 2022

Fleury meets Chicago Media; Cleaning of the penguin house continues

What a contrast over 24 hours. New Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has met Chicago media and explained his reluctance as the San Jose Sharks face the fallout from Evander Kane. The NHL trade winds have cooled. The cleanup of the Pittsburgh Penguins house continued and sources have informed us of the current situation of the Penguins’ offseason.

By the wave of reaction, you would have thought the Penguins had made a huge trade.

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: There was no doorbell in the NHL commercial market, but general manager Ron Hextall fired goalie coach Mike Buckley and replaced him with goalie development coach Andy Chiodo .

I’m no goalie expert, and I haven’t stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but the Penguins’ goalies have regressed since 2017. PHN told you (and told you, and told you …) Matt Murray would have a snapback, but it was way more serious than anyone thought without a rebound. In 2017, the Penguins let Mike Bales go in favor of the Buckley-Murray guy. Bales went to Carolina where Petr Mrazek had a career resurgence, then to Buffalo where somehow the Buffalo Sabers got adequate goaltenders from career minor leagues.

Over the past three years, Andy Chiodo has developed a VERY GOOD reputation in the Penguin system. Very very good. He also worked with Jarry and DeSmith in WBS.

Pittsburgh: The contrast between the general managers of the Penguins is also stark. Jim Rutherford was the guy in the left lane honking his horn, flashing his lights and weaving through traffic. Ron Hextall is sailing in the right direction… with printed instructions. PHN has spoken with several sources for good or bad news. While waiting for a trade, the Penguins’ offseason is on hold.

That’s as many NHL trade talks as there were on Wednesday. The Cold War of Jack Eichel and the Buffalo Sabers continues, and teams like the Penguins are trying to find the money to get active.

NHL News, National Hockey Now:

Sportsnet: A great article on Sportsnet on how bad teammates ruin locker rooms. * Ahem Evander Kane.

NBCsn Chicago: Marc-André Fleury met the Chicago media for the first time since his trade last month which became the league’s focal point, and Fleury backed down in pain after feeling betrayed by the Golden Knights of Vegas. Fleury said: “It was nothing against Chicago …”

I’m still going east to west with National Hockey now, folks. Let’s start from the west:

Vancouver: a BIG profit for our newest affiliate. Rob Simpson chatted with Vancouver Canucks head coach Travis Green, who reacted to the Canucks trade and coached Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

San Jose: The San Jose Sharks surprisingly decided Adin Hill would be their starting goalie and inked him on Wednesday. Now the cap calculation begins before San Jose can hit the NHL commercial market again.

Colorado: This series is great because subscribers can write their own columns for CHN. From Philip Grubauer to Brandon Saad, an Avs fan has written an emotional goodbye to the deceased players.

Detroit: The Red Wings shot with small center Pius Suter. The 5-foot-9 center (maybe) had a solid year with the Chicago Blackhawks and the Pencils as the Wings’ No.2… but could he be the No.1 center ??

JNI: The Conquerors of the Pittsburgh Penguins could have a new look. Despite the ‘unofficial’ nature of the New York Islanders roster (you signed the players, surrendered the contracts, cheater!), Is it time for Oliver Wahlstrom to take his chances with Mathew Barzal and the top three? Islanders?

Boston: For heaven’s sake, some people have been put on this planet to complain about other people and live in a perpetual state of outrage. OUTRAGE! Tuukka Rask had the audacity, the temerity and the absolute nerve, I tell you, to attend a Guns-N-Roses concert at Fenway.

… I stopped at a truck stop in the middle of nowhere to refuel my bike last weekend, and they had little wooden sticks for sale. Oh, the thoughts that crossed my mind and the wishful thinking …