Slowly but surely we are getting closer to the return of Penguins hockey with each passing day. If you want an appetizer, you can catch Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang in action this weekend at the NHL All-Star game in San Jose. The skills competition is slated for Friday evening with the games being played on Saturday evening. All All-Star related content can be found on NBC or NBC Sports Network.
As for the Penguins, they return to the ice on Tuesday night when they take on the New Jersey Devils.
Start your day off on the right skate with today’s Pens Points...
When the Penguins return to action next Tuesday, they will have 34 games remaining on their schedule. That gives them a little under half a season to figure out exactly who they are and where they rank among Stanley Cup contenders. [Pensburgh]
After finally pulling the trigger and firing their general manager, (more on this in NHL News and Notes) the Edmonton Oilers will be in the market for a new front office leader in the very near future. Could Penguins assistant general manager Bill Guerin be in the mix to head North to fix the Fightin’ McDavids? [Pensburgh]
Minor league call ups are a regular occurence in today’s NHL with injuries popping up all the time and roster holes needing filled. The Penguins have been no stranger to bringing up players from the AHL, but one name we haven’t seen this season is Teddy Blueger. As the young forward continues to impress in Wilkes-Barre, he patiently awaits his NHL shot. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
We know the Penguins will be making moves at the trade deadline because it has been Jim Rutherford’s MO during his tenure in Pittsburgh. What we don’t know is exactly what moves Rutherford has planned to help improve the team, but there are a few avenues he could go. [The Hockey News]
Mario Lemieux had many great statistical seasons during his NHL career but one stands out from the crowd. Thirty-years ago, Mario posted a career high 199 points during the 1988-1989 season, winning his second straight Art Ross Trophy but finishing runner-up to Wayne Gretzky for MVP honors. [CBC]
News and notes from around the NHL...
Year after is should have happened, the Edmonton Oilers mercifully fired failing general manager Peter Chiarelli. Under Chiarelli, the Oilers did qualify for the playoffs for the first time in a decade in 2017, but his tenure will mostly be remembered for trading Taylor Hall and failing to capitalize on Connor McDavid. [Sporting News]
Following three seasons in the KHL, former Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk is keeping the door open for a return to the NHL according to his agent. When his current NHL deal expires next year, Datsyuk will become a free agent. [TSN]