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Pens Points 8/23: Crankshaft Moves On; Don't Call Disco a Players' Coach

Your daily dose of Pens and NHL news and views. Crankshaft has a new home in Montreal. Disco bristles at being called a players' coach. Torts is getting on the analytics bandwagon. Top ten rookies to watch, and more.

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Good morning and happy Friday everyone! 41 days till puck drop.

We start off with head coach Dan Bylsma. He gave a lengthy interview to Bob Pompeani in front of an audience, broadcast on 93.7 The Fan. He spoke about penalty kill after Matt Cooke's departure, talked about what happened in the playoffs, a bit about team USA, and most specifically he reacted with disdain to the notion he was a players' coach. In all seriousness, he supported his claim he's not buddy-buddy with the players by describing how when he tells his kid in the evening "it's time for bed" the kid does in fact go to bed, because rules are rules. Okey-dokey then.

Crankshaft has landed in Montreal. Douglas Murray signed a 1-year, $1.5M contract with Montreal. His time in Pittsburgh was short but for my part, slow skating aside, I liked him in black and gold. He played sound positional defense and made us laugh with a big menacing baby face. Habs fans, at least judging by the comments on Eyes on the Prize, aren't too pleased about the signing; I told them a few good things about him, but they remain unconvinced. Godspeed, Crankshaft. One more time, here is a compilation of Douglas Murray's greatest hits.

Over on SportsNet, excellent article about Hockey Canada gearing up for the Olympics. These guys mean business. This is a world apart from my brethren east of the Danube. We do it in a decidedly less structured way. Tactics shmactics. We'll put Bobrovsky in goal, nobody on defense, and send out Datsyuk to hex sticks and eyeballs while Kovy does all the scoring. That's the plan. See you in Sochi, big bad C.

The Canadian Medical Association comes down hard on NHL owners over hockey violence. They have made past stands against boxing and MMAs, and continue to be the leading medical community voice opposing violent hits in hockey.

Down Goes Brown takes us back to the NHL story lines we might have forgotten. Ryan Miller trade watch, when will Luongo talk, and all about that long-awaited Tim Thomas comeback.

With the new season kicking off soon, here is a list of top ten rookies to watch in 2013-14.

Hall-of-Famer Brian Leetch and former You Can Play executive director Patrick Burke join Shanny at the NHL department of player safety.

The worldwide trend of hockey analytics must be catching on quickly, since even a self-described Neanderthal like John Tortorella is planning to learn more about it. Now that Torts and Luongo are in the same town, safe to say there won't be any dull days in Vancouver. For now, Torts is excited about where Luongo is mentally. To quote my favorite guy Randy Moss, this is gonna be a fun ride. Also doubles as song of the day because now that I remembered "One Clap" I can't think of anything else.


The Capitals are getting themselves a good deal. They have reached an agreement on a 1-year $3M contract with free agent Mikhail Grabovski. This is a terrific signing for McPhee. The other day someone implied that there was at least one GM in the NHL who didn't know how to calculate Corsi - I'm guessing that's the guy who picked Bozak over Grabovski.

Uniform Power Rankings: Pens come in at #7. But it's ESPN, so take it for what it's worth.


So, so awesome. NHL Network Presents: Perfect Strangers: Timmy and The Bryz