Pettersson Trade Chatter, Islanders Deception
Let Lou Lamoriello find a completely legal but totally dirty way to gain an advantage. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman has officially put Marcus Pettersson’s name on the NHL trading block, possibly Jason Zucker too, but I’m going to caution you against taking a victory lap or spending that money before the Pittsburgh Penguins don’t.
That’s why I laid the lines for the Penguins last weekend. In a bubble, you can forget about the big picture. Watching the lines of the Penguins should leave no hope that they are a serious contender. As the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers improve, the playoffs look more uncertain than ever, unless Jeff Carter maintains his 40-goal pace.
The crowd of analysts will be stunned when the Flyers are not forgotten. We have to assume that Carter Hart will be much better too.
Pittsburgh Penguins occasional shots
1. Marcus Pettersson, NHL Business Rumors Are Not What We Think
Elliotte Friedman, in her 31 Thoughts podcast, said the Penguins have interested parties for Pettersson. There are a few teams who like his style.
Now hold your horses. As we have already warned, if there had been a good deal or even a deal acceptable to Pettersson on the NHL business front, it would have already been done. Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Hextall most likely would have done so before the expansion draft, which cost the Penguins Brandon Tanev and Jared McCann. Hextall reportedly made a deal ahead of the NHL Draft so the Penguins could pick up a pick or two. It would have been done before free agency, so Hextall had what my grandfather called “wobbly money”.
I’m not sure what my grandfather did in his youth, what it was called “flexing money”, but that means having money in your pocket if you need it.
Read the tea leaves here. Hextall is most likely faced with the choice of giving up his draft picks or the prospect of moving Pettersson because of his $ 4.025 million salary. Losing draft picks or prospects is a pick Hextall has so far rejected. The game here is to wait for a team to drop out of the UFA market or other options and come straight to the table.
Remember, the Vegas Golden Knights offered no tangible return for defending Vézina Trophy winner Marc-André Fleury due to his salary.
2. Lou Lamoriello believed he did not declare the contracts
If that’s true, New York Islanders are absolutely breaking the spirit of the rules. An NHL GM does not report contracts, so his team has a stronger negotiating position? I think at this point there are enough credible reports, from Sportsnet to TSN to the New York media, that we can accept this one as fact.
We can also accept that the pool is dirty. It’s like hiding poker chips in your pocket. This kind of deceptive behavior would cause serious problems for a card player in the Old West. It is dishonest. It’s a secret affair in a Public leisure industry. If you haven’t noticed, the hockey crowd is rampant for commerce and player movement, including free will.
A drama-less soap opera is just lame theater on a cheap soundstage. A hockey drama without player movement is hockey with MUCH fewer fans.
And the NHL will probably have nothing to complain about.
So be prepared for less and less news on July 1, as the teams agree to the deals but sit on the paperwork so no one knows who signed where and we can guess the rosters. Hell, if these are secret offers, why not accept them weeks before July 1?
The Islanders can technically exceed the one-mile salary cap on the NHL’s business front because some contracts aren’t on the books. They can then perform additional movements without the other teams holding their feet to the fire. They could exceed the limit of exceeding the salary cap of 10% because the other contracts are stifled.
Lamoriello is an astute GM who is a good judge of talent and knows how to build a winning list. The other stupidity like throwing a journalist out of his office for not wearing a tie or not having read Vince Lombardi’s biography, prohibit staff from having facial hair, and this CIA-level secrecy is also manic control.
In 2013, Lamoriello also came under scrutiny for creative ways to get Ilya Kovalchuk out of his books after signing him to a monster 15-year contract in New Jersey. Kovalchuk “retired” to play in the KHL with 12 years left, then returned to the NHL five years later as a free agent. New Jersey was free and clear.
The NHL and the AJLNH must step in and kill this one in the bud. If the islanders have signed Kyle Palmieri, Travis Zajac, or whoever, those chips have to be on the table.
3. Chicago Blackhawks to Release Independent Investigation Findings
In 2010, the Chicago video coach allegedly sexually assaulted a few players, although the “IF” of the assaults is not really in question. The main questions are: What did Chicago management know, when did they know and why did they do nothing?
After one season, Chicago general manager Stan Bowman fired video coach Brad Aldrich, but recommended the coach coach a high school team. You can guess the horror that happened next.
Blackhawks CEO Danny Wirtz is committed to full transparency and publish the findings of the organization’s report.
We are in 2021. No matter what he says, will anyone believe it? If it is the worst case, people will dispute it. If he’s light on the facts and absolves much of the Chicago organization, people will condemn him.
I had a high school teacher in 1992. He was a hippie type (I mean sincerely) and our religion teacher. He tried to explain that there was no truth, only personal perspectives. I had a fight with him. I’m always right, but his side won. We live in a post-truth world, and there is no way to convince people because someone only needs others to support their opinion for it to be valid.
Apply this corollary as you wish.
Ultimately, this situation in Chicago is going to be lousy.
4. Will the Penguins miss / make the playoffs?
Their lines are not good enough to compete with the best teams in the Eastern Conference. It seems pretty clear when you introduce them. We can debate the place of Zach Aston-Reese or Evan Rodrigues, if Sam Poulin or Filip Hallander can participate, but expecting one of those players to make a substantial difference would use hope as a strategy.
Hextall has work to do.
5. Jim Rutherford really crippled the Pittsburgh Penguins
I know. The water is humid. Kylie Jenner is ridiculously rich, with an emphasis on the ridiculous.
But where Rutherford specifically went wrong was not the carousel of player movement that some insist. No, it was about offering big contracts to young defenders who had no pedigree of race.
John Marino was an acquired sixth-round pick for a sixth-round pick. Marcus Pettersson was a press advocate in Anaheim. Each had an exciting first year with the Penguins, followed by an expiring contract. In Pettersson’s case, he had to sign his qualifying offer because the Penguins just didn’t have the money for a long-term deal – until January.
By then, Pettersson had settled into the player he is today, who doesn’t have the same luster or potential as when he arrived for Daniel Sprong in December 2018. However, Rutherford still entered into the long-term contract with an AAV of $ 4,025.
I really like Marino. He had a meltdown in his sophomore year but really shone when he was called up as a top defenseman. The book is yet to be written about Marino, but he’s being paid like he’s an established defender.
Rutherford spent the money but didn’t get a good deal on either. Rutherford’s penchant for being “fair” took its toll on the Pittsburgh Penguins here. The team didn’t use their leverage, and now it will likely cost them a player.
In the fall of 2019, the Penguins’ stuck defense was shattered by ditching Erik Gudbranson in the NHL commercial market. It wasn’t Rutherford’s first choice – remember Jack Johnson’s business report that didn’t come true. We could see a similar swap scenario between the Penguins and Pettersson, in which Marino becomes the involuntary sacrificial lamb.