Can NHL manage Covid outbreak?

The worst fear the NHL had prior to the season starting has been a belief among their team of medical advisers and consultants that team to team transmission from the benches being a much higher probability for NHL players than the rarity it’s been for football, basketball.

Airborne transmission is a high concern in hockey arenas and the NHL is seeing some early evidence of it being problematic in the latest spread among multiple teams. That will have the NHL making immediate changes to their covid protocols such as installing portable air cleaners behind the benches to try to help decrease the chance of airborne transmission. As expected, the league is going to be forced to adjust covid protocols on a week to week basis.

The ability to make bench changes in trying to space players out better like the NBA can isn’t an option for the NHL.

— Defenseman John Marino was officially added to the covid-protocol list on Wednesday. The Penguins were off on Wednesday and practice today.

5 vs 5 Goals

Brandon Tanev – 3
Jason Zucker – 3
Jake Guentzel – 2
Kasperi Kapanen – 2
Colton Sceviour – 2
Bryan Rust – 2
Mark Jankowski – 1
Evan Rodrigues – 1
Teddy Blueger – 1
Cody Ceci – 1
Jared McCann – 1
Marcus Pettersson – 1
Sidney Crosby – 0
Evgeni Malkin – 0

— Through 10 games Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have combined for zero goals during 5 vs 5 play. Again the Penguins are extremely fortunate not to be 3-7 or 3-6-1 through 10 games. Crosby having no 5 vs 5 goals deserves some criticism his way but Crosby’s performance through 10 games is night and day compared to Evgeni Malkin who has shown so little flashes. There’s no reason to be concerned with Crosby. He is still having a great impact without lighting up the scoreboard.

Rising Star Assistant GM’s have stayed away from Pens opening

A GM search at this time of the year will have a number of twists and turns and the Penguins search has lived up to that.

Within 24-48 hours of the Penguins opening, word had already gotten out that the job was not looked at as a favorable one from some of the rising star top assistant GM candidates. That’s lived up to the billing as Habs AGM Scott Mellanby who was going to get a serious look dropped out quickly and then Rangers AGM Chris Drury informing the Penguins Wednesday morning he was also dropping out of the mix when an interview was scheduled to place on Thursday afternoon between the two.

There is serious disappointment in the Penguins organization on Drury. The Penguins made it no secret in putting it out there that Drury was going to be a top 1-2 candidate for the job and the pursuit of him was a bit of a roller coaster.

The Penguins last Friday got intel that permission was unlikely to be granted by the Rangers. Then the team received word late Sunday the Rangers were going to accommodate their request and the Penguins were told by those close to the situation that Drury was intrigued and interested in interviewing. Something, though, changed 48 hours later as Drury via email informed To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!

The Penguins went into this search viewing in this order — Chris Drury, Scott Mellanby and Avalanche GM Chris MacFarland as the three rising stars among assistant General Managers they wanted to take serious looks at.—-

Of the three, MacFarland is the only one that hasn’t pulled himself out of consideration yet, and indications from the start of the search is that MacFarland was one of those that didn’t see the job as a great one and would more To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!

— Broadcaster Kevin Weekes interviewed with David Morehouse on Wednesday and Weekes has a reputation among executives as being a very good interviewer. Still, this job is viewed by some as a tough undertaking for someone like Weekes with no managerial experience.

— One rumor flying around the last day — Former Pens coach To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”! has privately expressed significant interest in being considered for a prominent front office role to Penguins’ To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!

— Seattle was not expected to prevent permission from the Penguins interviewing Jason Botterill, but word is whether they would or not grant permission at the appropriate time frame of the Penguins search being pretty much a moot point as Jason Botterill has made it known to [hide] those running the Penguins search that he’s happy where he is. [/hide]

One consistent theme on the Botterill front for the last week:

Botterill who has a four year contract with Seattle, [hide] has not been keen on pursuing the Penguins job since the start of the search and has told those close to him he would have no interest in going through the interview process, despite others close to him wanting him to go for it. Rival executives had continued to wonder if Botterill would eventually emerge late after the dust settles, but right now Botterill is not a candidate as TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported today and doesn’t look like he will be at any point.[/hide]

— There’s lots of names still flying around, but a new one to emerge not among the usual suspects out there is former Penguins defenseman To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!