After trading away Jordan Staal and Zbynek Michalek during the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, the Pittsburgh Penguins suddenly had enough cap space to go after Zach Parise or Ryan Suter. The only problem is that neither player was willing to sign with Pittsburgh.
“You needed one of these guys to come back and say, ‘Pittsburgh is the place we want to play,’ and then work out the details from there,” Penguins GM Ray Shero said, according to Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “We never got to that point.”
Based on Pierre LeBrun’s information, it sounds like Parise and Suter didn’t even come close to signing with the Penguins. Parise ultimately decided between the New Jersey Devils and Minnesota Wild, while Suter’s final three choices were the Wild, Detroit Red Wings, and Nashville Predators.
Shero wouldn’t go into detail about the contracts presented to Suter and Parise, but he insists they were “very strong offers.”
It’s unfortunate for Penguins fans, but of all the teams that seriously pursued Parise and Suter, they’re probably in the best position. Ideally, they still want a top-tier winger to play alongside Sidney Crosby and to that end they might even attempt to acquire Rick Nash.
Still, finding the James Neal to Crosby’s Evgeni Malkin is a luxury that the Penguins are attempting to indulge in because they have the cap space to do so. Either way, they have a star-studded offense and a fair amount of depth. There’s no question that they would benefit from adding a top-six winger, but they are already a contender.
The Boston Bruins keep flipping the script.
In Wednesday’s case, it swerved to a “Cinderella” story, as little-known forward Frank Vatrano scored two of Boston’s three goals – including the overtime clincher – as the B’s beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 (OT).
Here’s his first goal of the night:
While this is his overtime game-winner:
It wasn’t a perfect night for the 21-year-old, yet it may have been a convincing one.
The Bruins continue to begin a month on a sour note before ending up with impressive sprees.
October: 0-3-0 start, finished month with four straight wins and victories in six of seven contests.
November: 0-3-0 start, losses in four of five; currently on a four-game winning strek with victories in five of six.
Boston faces a challenge in closing this month out against the Rangers on Friday, and it’s possible that this trend may continue, as they begin December with a three-game road trip through Western Canada.
More than anything else, the safest bet with the Bruins is for ups and downs.
Controversy just seems to find the Pittsburgh Penguins. Credit Sidney Crosby & Co. for responding with a win on Wednesday.
Crosby generated two pretty goals, including this slam-dunk slapper:
… While Evgeni Malkin‘s overtime-winner stood as the Penguins managed a 4-3 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues tonight.
(You can see Malkin’s OT-clincher in the video above this post.)
Will this win and strong performance from Crosby silence murmurs about his relationship with Mario Lemieux? Probably not, yet it likely turns the volume down in some ways, including killing the “Is he struggling because of distractions” storyline.
You know, at least for a little while. Maybe.
Claude Giroux isn’t the nastiest, most physical captain the Philadelphia Flyers have employed. Even so, he can be feisty at times.
Wednesday showed that, as he clearly wasn’t happy with an earlier Nick Leddy hit, and eventually got the New York Islanders defenseman to drop his gloves.
You can see the fight and the check that inspired that scrap in the video above.
It’s the fourth fight Giroux has been a part of, with his most recent adversary being may his most bitter rival.
Not a heavyweight bout between Giroux and Leddy, mind you, but sometimes it’s amusing to soak in such a rare sight.
Update: The fight may have inspired the Islanders more than the Flyers, as they bested Philly 3-1 on Wednesday.
Carter Hutton is getting something that might make fellow Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne jealous: goal support.
Still, there was at least one moment where Rinne was likely happy to be on the bench, as Hutton was left flipping during this collision with Buffalo Sabres forward Marcus Foligno:
Remarkably, Hutton remained in the game.
If you’re the type who loves adding to your “hockey players are tough” files, put this under the goalies section.
Check out this incredible shot of that moment:
Update: The Predators held off the Buffalo Sabres to win 3-2.