Olympic Deal at End Line; Knockdown Drag-Out Eichel Assembly

We have known the NHL players wanted to go and expect to go to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, but now a report from an NHL insider connected to Vancouver Hockey Now confirms the deal is at the finish line. The Buffalo Sabres and Jack Eichel had a knockdown, drag-out, sit down with doctors, the NHL, and NHLPA to solve the best offseason drama. Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby appears to have another Tim Horton’s commercial coming, and we think the junior-high spat between the Carolina Hurricanes and Montreal Canadiens could solve that drama and loosen the NHL trade market.

We’ll start with a couple of PHN stories and finish with a cryptic PHN behind-the-scenes story.

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Nathan MacKinnon’s social media gave it away. Sidney Crosby and MacKinnon are filming a new Tim’s commercial, except Sid wasn’t in his Pittsburgh Penguins sweater, but a Team Canada kit. 

PHN+: When you connect the events, it’s a tangled web that could put the Montreal Canadiens well ahead of where they are today. The Hurricanes petty offer sheet to Jesperi Kotkaniemi could solve the Eichel situation and free the NHL trade market stalemate. 

NHL News & National Hockey Now

Vancouver Hockey Now: The Winter Olympics may have been assumed, but it wasn’t until now that the deal to get players to the games has reached the finish line. Only minutia and wrapping up small details remain. Barring a COVID wave, players are going to the Olympics. 

TSN: The Ottawa Senators signed someone you may remember. The Senators dished a two-year contract to Filip Gustavsson, and year two is an NHL-only deal. 

Sportsnet: Elliotte Friedman broke the news of the contentious meeting between all parties involved in the Jack Eichel NHL trade and medical melodrama. Absolutely nothing was accomplished. 

Pittsburgh Penguins center Teddy Blueger is headed to the Olympics. He led Latvia to a win over France, and Latvia punched its ticket:

 

Philly: Sean Couturier signed an eight-year deal. He felt it was fair. Ryan Gilbert writes the Flyers, and the player got a win-win deal. 

Florida: The Flyers signed their core player to a long-term deal. The Carolina Hurricanes did the same, kind of. Is Florida Panthers top center Sasha Barkov the next to get a deal?

Detroit: Draft pundits are lauding how well the winged wheels did at the NHL draft. Some believe Stevie Y snagged THREE first-round talents. 

And now for a cryptic story about PHN that those of you who have helped us cheered us on and lifted us among the mainstream Pittsburgh media outlets.

Sunday PHN met with an investor and technical expert. We reached a handshake deal over a margarita and glass of wine that will infuse the Hockey Now network with enough capital to expand in a big way and begin taking steps to REALLY assert ourselves on the national stage. Now, I’m old enough to know a handshake deal only lasts until paperwork and small details are exchanged, but the hockey world is watching us, and your support has been extraordinary. More and more people want to be a part of it.

My heart swells with your constant support, no joke. This is my life, and you’re a big part of it. Make sure you know all of the words to Oh, Canada! Bonus points for the French lines, too.

Buckle up. The Thunderbolt is leaving the station, and I’m going to treat hockey fans to the very best or exhaust every resource trying.

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