Sports News 247

Jets Strip Captain, Malkin/Letang Uncertainty was ‘Tough’ on Crosby


BUFFALO — It doesn’t happen very often. The San Jose Sharks took the C from Joe Thornton about eight years ago. It’s hard to remember another captain who had the C taken away in the same manner until Friday when the Winnipeg Jets made big-time NHL news by taking the C off Blake Wheeler. The San Jose Sharks and Evander Kane settled their contract grievance, and life will continue forward. Jonathan Huberdeau addressed those NHL trade rumors with the Montreal Canadiens. The Pittsburgh Penguins are in Buffalo today for the Prospects Challenge Tournament. They’re only playing one game–they face the Boston Bruins. Sidney Crosby admitted he was texting furiously with Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin in the days and hours leading to NHL free agency. He was sweating losing his teammates.

Buffalo remains my least favorite place to visit, but I’m here for business, right? I spent an extra half hour and skipped I-90. Instead, I rode Rt. 5 from North East to Buffalo. The highway runs parallel to 90 but hugs the lake the whole way. The smell of grapes, the view of the lake, and the small towns are worth it. Dunkirk will always have a special spot, but that’s a story for another day.

SITE NEWS: It’s OFFICIAL! The Sports Now Group PGH signed with WPXI. We’re now TV stars or something. We’ll be providing them content, appearing on their shows, and creating a great partnership. I know they are lining up sponsors for 11 on the Ice. *ahem, business owners and media buyers.

Pittsburgh Penguins / Sports Now Group PGH

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Dave had coverage from prospects camp. The Penguins’ 2019 first-rounder won’t be a smooth skating star with silky mitts. No, the prospect is instead willing to be a grinder. Sam Poulin will do whatever it takes.

GM Ron Hextall had a nearly unblemished summer. You can argue the length of the Letang and Malkin contracts (I surely have reservations), but Hextall has created an outstanding team for the next couple or few years. However, there is one decision — two parts — that I still don’t understand for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

PHN+: Playing hockey is the easy part for Penguins prospect Filip Hallander.

Sportsnet: Sidney Crosby is participating in the NHL media days in Henderson, NV. He admitted he was texting furiously with Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang. The prospect of losing his was tough on Crosby.

Steelers Now: And yinzers can breathe easier. The Heinz ketchup bottle will remain at Acrisure Stadium — Heinz signed a deal to become a major sponsor of the Steelers.

Alan Saunders writes — there’s a lot that doesn’t add up about the injury to Najee Harris.

Pittsburgh Baseball Now: The daily Pirates prospects watch.

NHL News & National Hockey Now:

Winnipeg Sun: They can spin it, but taking the C from a player is a big deal. That’s what the Winnipeg Jets did to Blake Wheeler.

Montreal Hockey Now: As part of the media partners day, Jonathan Huberdeau talked about those NHL trade rumors and the pressure when you play for the Montreal Canadiens.

Boston: It was a breaking bulletin of sorts. David Pastrnak declared his desire to stay with the Boston Bruins.

NYI: Mathew Barzal wants to sign. He’s ready to sign. So, what’s taking so long for the New York Islanders?

Vegas: If you need a little rough stuff to spice up a Saturday morning — the Vegas prospects will oblige. Watch Joe Flemming throw knuckles in the prospects game. Vegas Golden Knights prospects.

San Jose: Heralded prospect William Eklund is here to stay. He’s planting his flag with the San Jose Sharks.

SETTLED — Evander Kane and the San Jose Sharks settled their grievance.

The Penguins and Bruins face off at 3:30 p.m. I’m already here!

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