LATEST NHL BUZZ With Saturday’s Trade Freeze looming, the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning kicked things off on Thursday with a blockbuster deal that sent Jonathan Drouin to the Canadiens and Drouin hours later signing a 6 year deal worth $33 million. How many more big names will be on the move by Saturday’s deadline? Edmonton’s Jordan Eberle, Montreal’s Alex Galchenyuk, Minnesota’s Jonas Brodin among the notable names in play who have a strong chance to get moved in the next 24 hours. Two other impact players who could be traded by Saturday: Expectations are Travis Hamonic is on the move and it will happen by tomorrow or the latest draft weekend. Anaheim is set to land a haul for Sami Vatanen with a trade expected in the next week. Colorado’s Matt Duchene is getting traded. This could very well live up to the busiest trade period ever. —Read More »
Latest Pirates Rumors A Scott Boras client, the clock has always been ticking on Gerrit Cole in a Pirates uniform. Has the unlikelihood of being a contender in 2017 to go with Jameson Taillon’s ascend and Ivan Nova giving the Pirates top of the rotation results, moved the timetable to trade Cole up?
Latest NHL Buzz The first domino fell on the goaltending market Friday when the Carolina Hurricanes acquired Scott Darling this week from the Chicago Blackhawks for a 2017 third-round pick. Many teams are looking for the next Cam Talbot and three teams had Darling as their No. 1 target. Carolina, Las Vegas and the Dallas Stars. Darling has had Carolina Hurricanes written all over him for months as GM Ron Francis is not a believer in having $5 to $6 million a season tied into one goaltender after the Cam Ward contract hamstrung the Hurricanes for many years.. It’s anticipated a deal will come together between the Hurricanes and Darling in the $3-$3.5 million range. Many teams between now and the expansion draft are looking to get a leg up as the Blackhawks did and move goaltending assets before losing them for nothing. Multiple clubs are eyeing Washington’s Philipp GrubauerRead More »
Bill Guerin emerges on Sabres short-list Since becoming owner of the Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bills, Terry Pegula is widely known to let his close friends influence hirings that have back fired. This time around Pegula is taking a different approach. He’s begun relying on other NHL owners and long-time establish NHL folks to do a proper landscape of the NHL GM scene. While there’s lots of talk Pegula will go the re-tread veteran GM route and Pegula himself admitted he’s looking for experience, Penguins assistant GM Bill Guerin has emerged on Pegula’s short-list and was one of the first interviews conducted by the Sabres. NHL sources say Pegula’s short-list of GM candidates is coming from a wide net of NHL executives he has reached out to. Guerin whose stock has been rising throughout the NHL as a top GM candidate due to a reputation developing of being a greatRead More »
Latest Pirates Buzz The Pittsburgh Pirates are a ball club at a cross-roads already in a young season that’s only 2 games in. The starting rotation has been a surprising strength as they boast the 2nd best quality start percentage in baseball, yet, they sit 4 games under .500 with an 8-12 record. The Pirates are missing two key cogs in Starling Marte and Jung Ho Kang because of stupidity from both that gives the Pirates a built in excuse already for not contending in 2017 but why is this team such a bad fundamentally sound ball club and whose shoulders does it eventually fall on? They can’t field and it’s a bad group running the bases. This is an atrocious fielding team and it’s not like it’s just one guy as the Pirates issues defensively have long been focused on Andrew McCutchen in center field. It’s almost at every position.Read More »
Latest Penguins Buzz The Pittsburgh Penguins have had more than just exploratory talks with the Colorado Avalanche in recent weeks, NHL sources tell TIOPS. Talks have been serious enough where the Avalanche have begun identifying key pieces in talks they would seek to move Matt Duchene who the Penguins have significant interest in and Gabriel Landeskog who the Penguins have also discussed. Penguins GM Jim Rutherford has looked into both players in an attempt to land a long-term impact forward. Pittsburgh has not ruled out runs at either player, but Duchene interests the Penguins more. The Penguins believe Duchene could easily play on Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin’s wing and boost the top-6 for this season and also give the Penguins an option of a Duchene-Kessel third line beyond this season. Penguin officials continue to be believers the team has a key three to four year window to win multipleRead More »
Latest Penguins Buzz The Penguins entered the bye break believing that Matt Murray’s injury was very short-term. However, the million dollar question with the Penguins goaltending situation now is whether this little strong run from Marc Andre Fleury of late, named player of the week for 12/26 – 1/1, and another minor injury from Matt Murray has Penguins’ GM Jim Rutherford eventually going back to his initial plan A (before the season started) of keeping both goaltenders this season and let it settle out in the summer. It’s been no secret the Penguins in early December began signaling to teams they were open for business on Fleury but have been met with a limited market for now. Has things really changed in just a matter of days? “It’s getting awkward,”
TIOPS Inside Buzz *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* 1. More Leadership needed from Wideouts? Antonio Brown’s work ethic outside of game days to fine his craft is rarely matched by others. It’s what has made him into one of the NFL’s best receivers and saw him become the fastest receiver in NFL history to 600 receptions, doing it Sunday in his 96th career game. But is Brown doing a good enough job in leading by example for an inexperienced wide receiver group? Emerging is more and more talk in Steelers circles that Brown has been a bad apple at times and a bad influence on Sammie Coates, Eli Rodgers in critical areas such as attention to details and these inexperienced receivers learning to play the position the right away. While Brown looks to the media and fan base as someone whose top priority is his stats, that’s how he’s also looked atRead More »