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Posted by Hooks Orpik

The Pittsburgh Penguins trade down in the draft to get Ryan Reaves. Probably not a good idea...But could it somehow be? Keep an open mind and read on

OK, let's get this out of the way: I'm not a fan that the Pittsburgh Penguins traded out of the first round when Conor Timmons and Nicolas Hague (among others) were still on the board. The Pens rarely have the chance for talent like that and they elected to pass it up, that's a blow for the future.

However let's take a look at what Friday's trade really did: the Pens dropped down 20 spots from 31st overall in the draft to 51st overall. That's a hit. But, given how different teams rate different players in that range, it's not unfathomable of a step down in many regards.. (Even if, for fans who follow potential first round prospects like Timmons and Hague, that's understandably tough to rectify). But it's still valid, the Pens dropped 20 spots, just a fact and a price that the elected to pay.

And for what? Well, the most impactful (literally and figuratively) piece of the trade is Pittsburgh gets Ryan Reaves. A surefire 4th liner for next year at a 4th liner rate of $1.125 million that at least makes sense. They didn't grab an overpriced guy.

Is there any upside? Well, not if you already proclaimed this the worst thing to happen...But keep an open mind and look at what Reaves adds to the mix that Pittsburgh doesn't have.

And look at these quotes from coach Mike Sullivan:

"Ryan is a guy that, when he's in your lineup, people take notice. One of the tactics that teams deploy against us is they try to be physical, they try to bang us, slow us down.

"I think Ryan can help us with a little bit of pushback in that regard."

"He's a guy that brings a physical dimension to our team, which is something that I think can help us moving forward," Sullivan said. "He's good on the forecheck. He's a sound two-way player that we can put on the ice."

Maybe you believe this is spin from a coach. Maybe you believe it's an appeal to authority to take his word for it and think that you think you know more facts about running an NHL team than Mike Sullivan, which, hey maybe you do. (I'm guessing not though, in this instance).

I don't think it was a great idea to trade out of the first round. I would rather have a puck moving defenseman prospect, if it were up to me. But, the die has been cast and like it or not there is value in a guy like Reaves . He's a player who did score 7 goals and 13 points last season, which would put him well above some Penguins 4th liners of the recent past.

Add in some forechecking, physicality and willingness to stand up for the boys and I don't see how anyone could be mad. The Pens might just lose Chris Kunitz to free agency this summer. Other than Patric Hornqvist they have about 0 physical forwards. Reaves brings an element that's needed for the long haul of a season. I could buy that doesn't add a lot of meaningful attributes to winning games, but at the same time I don't believe it should be totally dismissed either.

Granted, Reaves will not stop anyone from taking a run at a star player, but I do believe that it will be better for the Penguins to have a "big brother" to stand up for them and answer the bell, rather than continually turn the other cheek and keep getting shot at...

..Remember it was only a few months ago when Winnipeg kept running Pens that eventually Evgeni Malkin took matters into his own hands, which ended up resulting in him throwing a bad hit on a player...Then having to drop the gloves and fight to "live up to the code" his next time out, because no one else could or would. That will be different now.

And while there's no guarantee Ryan Reaves stops a situation from escalating. and he certainly won't prevent or deter anything, but when you go into an 82 game season, as back-to-back champs, with star players like Malkin and Sidney Crosby who tend to get under people's skin....Well, if you don't want them to have some backup, that's pretty easy to say from behind a keyboard when you're not suffering the unchecked abuse.

Oskar Sundqvist seemed like a great prospect with his size and reach (and, laughably the PIttsburgh paywall site was preaching for months that the Pens would protect him in the expansion draft, which your money would have been not well spent since they didn't)....Anyways, Sundqvist is what he is; young and with potential to be a rangy 4C with a RH shot, but certainly doesn't look like any kind of difference maker to this point at the NHL level.

Which means this trade was about moving down 20 spots to pick up one mean man. It's easy to criticize but after seeing Pens players get run over, beat up and have no response....It's tough to blame Pittsburgh for adding a missing element.

You don't (and shouldn't) have to be pleased at paying a high price for it, and perhaps it was too much and will be an ill-founded move. But when you go into the season, it's a good idea to have a big brother there that's willing and able to stand up for you. The Penguins got that at the draft. We'll see if it proves to be a big help or not.

And, it's true he did beat up Tom Wilson which is always is a plus:

Which, I mean, let's not get it twisted and make this clear - trading down 20 spots in the draft (especially when it's from the late 1st to 2nd) to get Ryan Reaves seems very excessive. If you want to say that's not wise, I would agree with you.

But, all I'm saying is - think about the 2017-18 Penguins. They are a team built on skill. They are generally a smaller and non-physcial team (especially with Kunitz's status currently unknown). The Pens are a team that's been pushed around, and have star players who take abuse, more abuse than they should.

Let's hold no allusions, Ryan Reaves isn't going to stop Brandon Dubinsky or Cal Clutterbuck or Tom Wilson or anyone else from being the dirtbags that they are....But when those guy do what they do, if you ask any hockey player, you want a guy like Ryan Reaves on your side to at least settle the score rather than let it go unchecked and encourage further shots.

Call it barbaric, call it unnecessary, call it what you will. You won't be wrong. But the NHL is still a violent, physical sport. A team doesn't need 12 skill forwards to be successful. But you just might need one tough customer to help you along. The Penguins probably did pay too heavy a price and in a few years this might look bad -- especially if a prospect like Timmons or Hague that they could have drafted at #31 turns into a stud. But in this current window the Penguins do need a fearless type of muscle to have their back. And they acquired it at the draft.

All in all, I'd rather have the Penguins carry on and build with skill. But I certainly can understand and see why they added a forward who's legitimately an NHL player that is also ready, willing and able to stand up for his teammates.

(NSFW audio)

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Posted by Greg Wyshynski

 

CHICAGO – Gone is Marian Hossa, who will sit out next season and may never play in the NHL again due to an allergy condition.

“Teammates in the locker room knew he was dealing with issues, that he was considering that [they] weren’t worth to play through after a while,” said Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews.

Gone is Artemi Panarin, traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Brandon Saad after two years of offensive dominance. Gone is Niklas Hjalmarsson, the defenseman who contributed to three Stanley Cup championships, traded to the Arizona Coyotes.

“Everyone’s kind of shocked,” said Toews, speaking at the NHL Draft at United Center, after a week of staggering changes for the Blackhawks.

“I could sit here and go on and on about Hammer and Hoss, and just the character and personality they brought to our team. What they’ve proven in the hockey world. But what matters most is what they’ve proven to their teammates,” he said. “To see Bread Man go hurts as well. Even though there’s a language barrier there, he wanted to learn. It’s tough to see a guy like that go after only two seasons with him.”

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You could feel the conflict in Toews has he spoke about these changes. On the one hand, the Chicago Blackhawks made aggressive moves that could make them a better team in the short term and, fiscally, in the long run.

On the other hand, it meant saying goodbye to some valued teammates and friends.

“It’s definitely a lot to process right now,” said Toews.

Softening the blow for Toews a bit is the return of Saad, his former linemate in Chicago who was traded to Columbus two years ago due to salary considerations.

“There’s no doubt that getting an old friend and an old teammate back, a friend that you’ve shared that bond with … there’s some reconciliation, if that’s the proper word, in that. That’s the type of guy that’s going to fit into the locker room. In that sense, it’s a win,” said Toews, who appeared at the Draft with Patrick Kane to the delight of home fans.

Bowman said the reacquisition of Saad will benefit Toews, who had his lowest goals per game average in his career last season. “They played together well. You don’t lose that,” said Bowman. “And Brandon’s an even better player now than he was. We’re excited to get him here and reunite him with his teammates.”

Saad’s departure in 2015 was one of many changes Toews and his teammates have seen through the years. Like losing his supporting cast after their 2010 Stanley Cup win or seeing a veteran player like Patrick Sharp dealt or the events of Friday, with two of the team’s biggest contributors traded ahead of the NHL Draft.

“We’ve hit a few road bumps in the last few seasons. Things obviously change. We’ve seen a lot of them over the last five or six years, and those are changes not a lot of us expected. So we’ve learned that things aren’t always going to stay the same in our locker room in Chicago,” said the captain.

What Bowman did through these moves was get younger in flipping Hjalmarsson for defenseman Connor Murphy. He created some cost certainty by dealing Panarin, who will be a free agent in two years, for Saad, who is signed for the next four seasons. He may still find a way to get Hossa’s money off the books rather than stash it on long-term injured reserve next season and beyond.

One could argue he made the Blackhawks better than they were heading into the offseason. But Toews isn’t about to make that argument.

“It’s hard to sit there and say that without sounding like you’re being disrespectful to two teammates that you care for and you know were huge parts of the team. So you can’t really say that,” he said.

“You heard what Stan said in the media. That he felt changes needed to be made. You trust that that he knows what he’s doing.”

Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

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Posted by Sean Leahy

ST PAUL, MN – MARCH 07: Ryan Reaves #75 of the St. Louis Blues talks to Ryan Suter #20 of the Minnesota Wild before a face-off during the third period of the game on March 07, 2017 at Xcel Energy Center in St Paul, Minnesota. The Blues defeated the Wild 2-1. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

CHICAGO – St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong was active during the opening round of the 2017 draft making two trades and drafting Kilm Kostin with the 31st and final pick of the night.

Armstrong’s first deal sent Jori Lehtera, the 27th pick in the first round and a conditional 2018 selection to the Philadelphia Flyers for Brayden Schenn. The Flyers ended up taking Sault Ste. Marie forward Morgan Frost at that spot.

That was one win for Armstrong. The second came not long after when the Pittsburgh Penguins dealt that No. 31 overall pick and Oskar Sundqvist to St. Louis for Ryan Reaves and the 51st pick.

It was likely that the Penguins were going to trade out of that spot, but why the focus on adding a bottom-liner in Reaves? General manager Jim Rutherford wanted to add toughness to his lineup to protect his stars.

“We won the Cup and teams played us even harder than they usually do,” Rutherford said via the Tribune Review. “Now we expect them to come again this (coming season), so it was important to get him.”

“He can play. He skates very well for a big guy. He gets in on the forecheck, which is what we like. He can certainly fit into our system and play.”

The 30-year-old Reaves had a career best seven goals and 13 points this season while also reaching triple digits in penalty minutes for the fourth time in his career. He’s also entering the final year of his deal and is set to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2018.

It’s a steep price to pay, and the Penguins probably could have found some protection for Sid and Geno in free agency for cheaper; but Reaves’ play, not just his toughness, was worth the package in Rutherford’s mind to keep his best players in the lineup.

– – – – – – –

Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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Posted by Greg Wyshynski

CHICAGO – Cale Makar is humble.

He’s an explosive offensive force, to the tune of 75 points in 54 games last season with the Brooks Bandits of Canadian Jr. A. He calls his game a mix of Erik Karlsson and Shayne Gostisbehere – not exactly a bad pair of role models, if lofty comparisons.

There are some scouts that believe the defenseman could end up being the best player in the 2017 NHL Draft, despite having gone fourth overall to the Colorado Avalanche.

“It’s just a prediction, I guess,” he said. “The way I see this draft, it doesn’t matter where you get picked. They’re going to look at what you do after the draft. They don’t care what you did before. That’s how I’m looking at it.”

Then there was that ESPN.com story. Oh man, that story. While the rest of the hockey world was waiting to see if centers Nolan Patrick or Nico Hischier were going to go first overall, insider Corey Pronman had the New Jersey Devils taking Makar at No. 1.

“In the past few weeks, it has been indicated to me from several NHL sources that the Devils are leaning toward selecting Makar first overall. Moreover, GM Ray Shero has been following Makar around to get a closer look during the final weeks of his season,” he wrote.

Did anyone send that article to Makar?

“Quite a few. I’m not a guy who goes out and tries to find that stuff, but all my buddies told me about it,” he said.

He didn’t go No. 1, but there’s no question that the Avalanche got an extraordinary talent. And, asking around at the draft, an extraordinary person off the ice.

Cale Makar is loyal.

In 2015, he committed to UMass, bringing his talents to a struggling NCAA program. “At the time, I didn’t have those big, big options, but I had options from other schools. It was just a feeling that I had. The personal touch of UMass. I went to the campus and I really liked it there. And you know what you’re going to get there. With some of the bigger schools, you kind of get suck in the lineup. With UMass, my goal is to be a No. 1 defenseman there,” he said.

Except something fairly significant changed for him in 2016: UMass fired coach John Micheletto, the guy who recruited him to the school.

Yet Makar remained committed to being a Minuteman. He made his choice, He was sticking with it.

“Yeah, 100 percent. That’s my plan for next year, and I couldn’t be more excited to do that,” he said. “I think they brought in the new coaches with [Greg] Carvel, [Jared] DeMichiel and [Ben] Barr there, and they’re going to be exceptional. I think we’re bringing in pretty much 11 new freshmen, and it’s going to be a whole new culture there, and I’m just excited for the challenge and to get started with something new.”

Carvel, in particular, was a lure. He was an assistant coach with the Ottawa Senators, coaching defensemen the likes of Zdeno Chara … and Erik Karlsson. Makar’s ready to learn from him, and ready to be patient about it.

“Yeah, it’s going to obviously depend on how I develop. My intention is to play in the NHL when I’m ready, and whenever I feel I’m ready and whenever the organization feels I’m ready. Hopefully I can make that jump,” he said.

Cale Makar is honored.

While he didn’t end up going first overall, he was still a lofty draft pick. And thanks to the advice of some friends, he remembered to cherish the moment.

“I was told by guys like Tyson Jost and Jake Bean and others to just take it all in,” he said. “That you’re not going to get a chance to experience this ever again.”

Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

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Posted by Sean Leahy

CHICAGO, IL – JUNE 23: Cody Glass poses for photos after being selected sixth overall by the Vegas Golden Knights during the 2017 NHL Draft at the United Center on June 23, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

CHICAGO – No matter how Cody Glass’s NHL career plays out, he’ll be forever known as the answer to a Vegas sports trivia question.

The Vegas Golden Knights used the sixth overall pick in the 2017 NHL draft, their first-ever selection, on Glass, a 6-foot-2 forward from the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League.

“It’s an honor and I think they believe in me a lot,” he said. “That’s something that I appreciate. For me, I just want to really prove them right with their pick.”

When Glass heads to development camp next week it won’t serve as his first trip to Vegas. When he was 10, his youth team played in a tournament in Sin City. This was around 2009, many years before the idea of an NHL team in the city was close to reality. While his team finished second, it was the bright lights of the strip that’s stuck with him to this day.

“Don’t get too much of that in Winnipeg,” he joked.

Glass spent Wednesday night watching the expansion draft knowing the possibility that he could be joining the names announced by owner Bill Foley and general manager George McPhee. Despite the Golden Knights being a new team in the league, there’s no concern about a bumpy beginning for the franchise.

“I think Vegas holds a lot of opportunity,” said Glass, who notes he patterns his game after Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele. “I know they’re going to be a great team in the future. I’m just really looking forward to getting started.”

It may be some time before Glass actually gets his chance to help improve the Golden Knights franchise. But taking a glance at his numbers with Portland this season (32-62—94, 69 GP), and there’s plenty for McPhee and head coach Gerard Gallant to look forward to down the line.

Soon, the hype of being Vegas’ first ever draft pick will die down and it’ll then be time for Glass to get to work.

“I think there’s a lot pressure to it, but then again, I know what I can do on the ice,” he said. “They believe in me, so I’m just going to prove them right. It’s going to be really awesome getting started in Vegas.”

Glass was cut from Canada’s Ivan Hlinka roster last August, and long after his grandmother passed away. It wasn’t an easy time for him, but the snub served as fuel during his outstanding junior season.

“I think that’s what made me have such a great start to the season,” he said. “I think just wanting to prove people wrong was a big thing. I just wanted to be more consistent throughout the year and I think that’s what I did.”

Glass sat in disbelief while meeting the media inside United Center after the pick. Two days ago he was watching the expansion draft as Vegas began forming its roster. Now he was wearing a Golden Knights’ hat and jersey as the newest member of the franchise.

“It’s kind of unbelievable. Sorry, words can’t describe how I feel right now,” he said. “One day I know I’m going to put on this jersey. It’s just unbelievable.”

– – – – – – –

Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

[syndicated profile] pensburgh_feed

Posted by dps2002

After a rather boring draft devoid of trades until very late, the Penguins step to the line and...drive a schism into the fanbase.

Welp. There goes the neighborhood.

I thought Oskar Sundqvist made some much-needed offensive strides this past season in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He improved from 5-12-17 in 45 games during 2015-16 to 20-26-46 in 65 games during 2016-17, highlighted by a stellar four-goal game against Hershey on December 10. He only recorded one assist during WBS’s five-game elimination to Providence, but for my money, that was some welcome offensive improvement for an already-solid defensive center prospect.

And now, he’s gone.

Not just gone...gone along with Pittsburgh’s first-round pick in this year’s draft (remember the name Klim Kostin) for a second round pick this year and Ryan Reaves.

Ryan Reaves. He of 27 goals, 24 assists, and 695 career penalty minutes over a 419-game NHL career, all spent with the St. Louis Blues to this point.

Maybe there’s more to this, as head coach Mike Sullivan and general manager Jim Rutherford alluded to in post-round-1 comments...

That second quote in particular is a continuation of comments made by Rutherford to the Hockey News before the most recent Stanley Cup Final commenced...

“I hear year after year how the league and everyone loves how the Penguins play,” said Penguins GM Jim Rutherford. “ ‘They play pure hockey and they skate.’ Well, now it’s going to have to change and I feel bad about it, but it’s the only way we can do it. We’re going to have to get one or two guys…and some of these games that should be just good hockey games will turn into a sh—show. We’ll go right back to where we were in the ’70s and it’s really a shame.”

“The league has got to fix it,” Rutherford said. “In other leagues, they protect star players. In basketball, they don’t let their top players get abused. And in our league, well the thing I keep hearing is, ‘That’s hockey. That’s hockey,’ No, it’s not.”

Read that again.

“The league has got to fix it.”

Let that echo around in your heads for a bit. The league DOES have a problem on its hands, where superstar players are brought back to the pack of the rest of the league through “liberties”, and the truly elite can’t excel as they are fully capable of excelling.

However, the league does not fix it. Nor do I believe the league even thinks it’s a problem.

So, rather than wait around for the league to fix its star treatment problem, the Penguins shipped out a promising center prospect and dropped 20 draft picks for a highly respected, physical winger out of St. Louis.

I understand it.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean I have to like it.

And make no mistake...95% of the fans on my Twitter timeline were downright outraged at this. Maybe you are too.

Maybe we’ll get to camp, and the Sullivan Whisperer can coach and train Reaves into something more than what he has shown to be thus far in his career. Maybe not, and this will turn into a one-year experiment that doesn’t go any further (per CapFriendly, Reaves has one year left on his contract for $1.125M).

Or maybe, just maybe, this leads to opposing players like Tom Wilson and Brandon Dubinsky starting to lay off the best players in the world and their talented young wingers, and the Penguins make a huge run at a third straight Cup that turns their success into a dynasty.

One thing’s for sure: There’s at least one coach who likes this.

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Posted by By Sam Werner / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

CHICAGO — Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said last week he felt the Penguins needed to bulk up and add some physicality as they prepare to defend the Stanley Cup for a second consecutive season. At the NHL draft Friday night, Rutherford did just that.

Captain America, Undone

Jun. 24th, 2017 01:33 am
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Posted by laireshi

Title: Captain America, Undone
Rating: Mature
Universe: 616
Word count: 2819
Warnings: none



Summary:

Steve thinks he can seduce Tony before Tony seduces him.

He's very, very wrong.


A/N: Thanks for beta to Comicsohwhyohwhy :) This one is for Faite and Navaan!
Also a fill for the love/lust square on my bingo card.

read on ao3
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Posted by Sean Leahy

Nolan Patrick, center, wears a Philadelphia Flyers jersey after being selected by the team in the first round of the NHL hockey draft, Friday, June 23, 2017, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

CHICAGO – There was one thing running through Nolan Patrick’s mind as he watched New Jersey Devils general manager Ray Shero announce Nico Hischier as the No. 1 overall pick Friday night.

“I hope I go second,” he said.

Patrick did, and now he’s a member of the Philadelphia Flyers.

The top two picks have formed a friendship over the last month as they traveled to various events like the NHL combine and Stanley Cup Final. Both obviously wanted to go first overall, but Patrick is fine with where he ended up.

“I wasn’t sitting there rattled,” he said. [Hischier] went. I was happy for him. He’s an awesome guy. I’m happy how things played out.”

It’s tough to rattle the 18-year-old center, who posted 20 goals and 46 points in 33 games this past season with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League. The months of projections and speculation are now over and Patrick isn’t feeling any bitterness at the Devils for passing him over.

“I think me and Nico are completely different players. I think he might a little more offensively dynamic than me. I think I might be a little more defensively than him,” Patrick said. “They wanted him. It’s not like I’m sitting here mad wishing I went to Jersey. They didn’t want me, so it doesn’t matter too much to me.”

A lot of focus as draft approached was placed on a sports hernia injury that cost Patrick 35 games this season. He underwent two surgeries, and with the weight of owning the No. 2 pick the Flyers had him visit their own doctors just to get reassurance of his health.

“You never want to be injured, especially in your draft year,” Patrick said. “Obviously that was a tough year for me, but I think it makes me stronger as player and adversity at this age doesn’t hurt. I’m just going to move on from there and get ready for next season.”

Like all of the prospects drafted this weekend, Patrick’s goal this summer is to get bigger and stronger to help improve his chances of making the NHL roster training camp. He’ll get his shot to stick past the nine-game mark of the regular season which, to Patrick, will be the first step toward his ultimate goal.

“I think every hockey player wants to win a Cup. It’s my main goal is to win a Cup in my NHL career,” he said. “If I have a chance to do that that’d be unbelievable.”

– – – – – – –

Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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Posted by Ciaran Breen

Cory Schneider (left) and Florida Panthers draft pick Owen Tippett do bear a resemblance.

When his Twitter game is running red hot, there’s certainly no mistaking Roberto Luongo. The veteran Florida Panthers goaltender has built a reputation for dropping comedy gems online at the most opportune moments.

However, during Friday night’s NHL Draft, fans could be forgiven for confusing one of the class of 2017 for, well, Luongo’s former teammate in Vancouver, Cory Schneider.

With the 10th overall pick, the Panthers selected winger Owen Tippett, and as the 18-year-old took the stage to receive his new colours, his neatly groomed bright red hair sent Luongo into nostalgia mode.

He tweeted a picture of a youthful Schneider alongside his doppelganger Tippett, who scored 44 goals and 75 points in 60 games with the Mississauga Steelheads this season.

Back in 2011, Luongo and Schneider combined in the Canucks net to win the William M. Jennings Trophy with a league-low 2.20 goals-against average.

But each was too good to compete with the other for a starting spot. Luongo stayed and Schneider was eventually traded to the Devils.

Now in Florida, preparing to welcome new teammate Tippett, the 38-year-old’s memory is as strong as ever.


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Posted by Greg Wyshynski

CHICAGO – Nico Hischier didn’t know he was going to be the first player selected in the 2017 NHL Draft by the New Jersey Devils. The team didn’t inform him until they were on the stage, announcing his name, which made Friday in Chicago an exhilarating and harrowing day for the Swiss centerman.

“This morning, I was fine. Then as soon as I stepped here in the ice rink my pulse went up and stayed there,” he said. “It was a lot of emotions, from one second to the other.”

Hischier’s heart was pumping so hard as he made his way to the stage that he actually grabbed his chest. His mother was crying. His adrenaline was pumping. He could barely speak.

“I’m really speechless. I find no words. I love to hockey,” he said on NBCSN.


Maybe he should have seen this coming. There’s this old photo card, you see, of Nico Hischier as a 10-year-old hockey player in Naters, Switzerland. His hair was blonder then.

And he was wearing a red New Jersey Devils sweater, like the one he slipped on after they selected him first overall.

“I was really young. There’s a tournament in Switzerland, where you wear an NHL team. It was always random. That year, I wore the New Jersey Devils,” he said.

History isn’t lost on Nico Hischier. A star with the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL, where he had 86 points in 57 games last season, he’s the first Swiss-born player to go first overall and, in the process, the highest-drafted Swiss player in NHL history.

“It means a lot. There a lot of guys in Switzerland supporting me in this way,” he said.

There was a time when he supported a Swiss player with the Devils: Damien Brunner, a winger he knew that played two seasons in New Jersey. Hischier joins a recent acquisition, defenseman Mirco Mueller, as the lone Swiss players on the team. (Hischier said Mueller, whose acquisition from the Sharks telegraphed this pick a bit, was friends with his older brother. Small world.)

“It’s great to join such an amazing team, with so much history. I’m really happy to be part of this organization,” he said.

Now comes the hard part: Refining his game, bulking up a bit, and becoming the kind of player that’s ready to make an NHL impact.

“I’m going to do everything I can,” he said.

Of course he will.

He loves to hockey.

Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

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Posted by Greg Wyshynski

It’s the 2017 NHL Draft from Chicago, as the New Jersey Devils pick first and 30 others teams shall follow!

But while you’ll spend some time looking up obscure junior hockey players that your teams draft, you’re really here for the blockbuster trades that may or may not happen.

So follow along with our live blog, won’t you?

We have the Twitter feeds of the NHL’s top insiders so you can follow along with the picks and the trades throughout Friday’s first round. Check back to the Puck Daddy blog for stories on all the big news of the night.

Live Blog NHL Draft 2017 live blog

[syndicated profile] puck_daddy_feed

Posted by Sean Leahy

TORONTO,ON – APRIL 23: T.J. Oshie #77 of the Washington Capitals passes against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Air Canada Centre on April 23, 2017 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

Scratch T.J. Oshie off of your summer unrestricted free agent list. The 30-year-old forward has re-signed with the Washington Capitals for the next eight years.

Oshie’s new deal carries a $5.75 million per year cap hit, totaling $46 million over the life of the contract, which runs through the 2024-25 season.

Here’s the contract breakdown, via Mike Vogel:

“T.J. is an invaluable member of our team and we felt it was imperative for us to re-sign him in a competitive free agent market,” said Capitals GM Brian MacLellan. “T.J. is a highly competitive player with a tremendous skill set; he epitomizes the kind of player our team must have in order for us to continue to put ourselves in a position to compete in this League.”

According to Cap Friendly, Oshie’s deal carries a modified no-trade clause throughout the full term.

Oshie had one of his best offensive seasons in 2016-17, his second in Washington. He tied Alex Ovechkin for the team lead in goals with a career-best 33 and was fifth on the Capitals in points with 56. In two rounds this postseason, he put up four goals and 12 points.

The numbers were real strong, sure, but they were aided by a 23.1 percent shooting percentage. Oshie was a 10-14 percent shooter over his first eight NHL seasons before the big jump in 2016-17. So, eight years, huh?

There was some thought that Oshie made sense for the Chicago Blackhawks after they spent Friday shedding some cap space as they look to fill the void left by Marian Hossa’s absence. With the draft at United Center this weekend, will Stan Bowman have another surprise to drop on the hometown fans?

More from Yahoo Sports:

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

[syndicated profile] puck_daddy_feed

Posted by Greg Wyshynski

CHICAGO – It’s been an eventful last week for Arizona Coyotes GM John Chayka.

It was revealed on Monday that Shane Doan, the team captain and a 21-year member of the franchise, would not be extended a contract offer as a free agent. That was after the team traded starting goalie and six-year Coyote Mike Smith to the Calgary Flames.

It was revealed on Thursday that Dave Tippett, the team’s coach since 2009 and also their executive vice president of hockey operations, mutually agreed to part ways with the team, an agreement that included a $3-million contract buyout. The relationship between Tippett and owner Andrew Barroway, who bought out the team’s minority owners on June 12, had reached its breaking point.

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On Friday, the Coyotes made two significant deals, landing Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson for defenseman Connor Murphy and center Laurent Dauphin, a move to give Oliver Ekman-Larsson a defense partner; and landing center Derek Stepan and goalie Antti Raanta from the New York Rangers in exchange for defenseman Anthony DeAngelo and the seventh-overall pick in Friday’s draft.

Then there was the talk that the Coyotes would do further business with the Blackhawks, taking on the contract of Marian Hossa in the way they did the contracts of Pavel Datsyuk and Chris Pronger to help reach the salary cap floor. Hossa may have played his last NHL game due to an allergy to his equipment. His $5.275 cap hit is on the books until 2021, but he’s only due $1 million in salary each of those seasons.

Any interest from the Coyotes?

“I look at everything. Marian came up of late. It’s not something we talked about,” Chayka said. “I just say in general that I’m just looking to improve my club, and I’ll use every asset I can to do that. So, I could say no, and then I get offered three firsts to do it, and then I wouldn’t say no.”

Is that the ask?

“It’s a good start,” he said, with a laugh.

From the awkward, clunky parting of ways with two franchise standard-bearers to the acquisition of a top-pairing defenseman, starting goalie and top two center.

Quite the whirlwind.

“That’s quite a bit in 24 hours,” said Chayka.

The Tippett news wasn’t a total surprise, he said, but he still hoped the veteran coach could return.

“I was certainly hoping he was coming back for another season. Having said that, it wasn’t out of the blue necessarily. But you think that things can kinda work moving forward, but that’s life,” he said. “Sometimes they don’t work. It doesn’t mean I don’t love Tip and everything he brought to the organization. All his blood, sweat and tears he put into it. It was appreciated. And we’re trying to build off of that.”

From the outside, it would appear that Barroway wielded an incredible amount of influence on these decisions.

“He’s 100 percent owner. Usually those guys have some influence,” said Chayka.

“I work well with him. I respect him. I think he’s trying to do what’s right with the organization in his mind, moving forward. He’s all-in, right? He wants what’s best. Wants to help find us an arena and keep us there long-term. He wants to help us build a team. He’s invested emotionally, financially, everything. I respect that about him. “

Was he disappointed that Tippett and Barroway couldn’t find a way to work together?

“It’s not my relationship to really comment on. I think when you’ve endured what we have in Arizona, which has been difficult, it wears on you. It’s tough. It’s difficult. It isn’t easy on anybody. I think over the years, it’s difficult. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t,” he said.

So now, as John Chayka attempts to build a winning roster in Arizona, he needs to find someone new to coach them. All in due time.

“The next coach? I’m 24 hours past Dave Tippett,” said Chayka. “He’s a tough guy to get over.”

Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

MORE FROM YAHOO SPORTS


Friday Fanwork Recs: Marriage & Food

Jun. 23rd, 2017 09:56 pm
[syndicated profile] cap_ironman_feed

Posted by cap_im_daily



It’s Friday, which means rec time! Each week, we're offering you the chance to submit your favourite fics and other fanworks for our two themes. Self-recs are welcome and of course you can still make new recs once Friday has passed!

This week, theme #1 is ‘MARRIAGE’ -- In the spirit of this community's recent union, give us your favourite marriage-themed fanworks. Steve and Tony getting married on a dare in Vegas? Officiated by Thor during battle? Grand reception in matching tuxedos?

Theme #2 is 'FOOD & COOKING' -- Chef AU? Steve and Tony attending cooking class together because neither of them can fry an egg without setting something on fire? Do you maybe have a recipe to share that just screams Steve or Tony?

Come share your recs over on Dreamwidth!
[syndicated profile] pensburgh_feed

Posted by Hooks Orpik

A rare first round pick in recent years for the Pittsburgh Penguins, but we'll have to wait for the end of the night for them to make it

The offseason madness continues with the second draft of the week for the NHL, but this time it will be a lot friendlier for the Pittsburgh Penguins. They don't have to lose a franchise staple and tonight they hope to find a player who can contribute in the future.

Here's the basics to know with a nod to Habs EOTP who sum it up well:

How to Watch

Round One

Date: Friday June 23
Start time: 7:00 PM EDT
Venue: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
TV Channel: Sportsnet (Canada), NBCSN (USA)
Online stream: Sportsnet Now



Rounds Two to Seven

Date: Saturday, June 24
Start time: 10:00 AM EDT
TV Channel: Sportsnet (Canada), NHL Network (USA)
Online stream: Sportsnet Now


Feel free to chat about the draft here in this thread, we'll have to wait until the end of the show to see the Pens pick, being as they go last at #31 overall (perk of winning the Stanley Cup!). But at least Pittsburgh has a draft pick in the first round, as they haven't in recent years due to trades to acquire Phil Kessel and David Perron have kept the Pens on the outside looking in for the chance to stock up on the best young players. Not so tonight, boys and girls! Hopefully Jim Rutherford and the scouts pick a good one for the future.

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