Some quick hits on Tuesday, dear readers:
= First, please join me for a first. At 11 a.m. Wednesday I will take a stab at a live chat. I’m told questions can be submitted starting at 6 a.m. Details can be found here: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/2575952-85/chat-rob-wednesday-questions-readers-rossi-begin-beginning-click-hold#axzz25yqRoVr7
I have no clue how this will go, but Trib Total Media colleague and columnist Dejan Kovacevic does this stuff weekly, and color me curious. Unlike his chats, which are wide ranging, the one Wednesday will be specific to the Penguins and NHL, and I’m hoping for some CBA-related questions because I have a lot of insight to share after spending a week in NYC two weeks ago.
= Speaking of the CBA negotiations… uh, wait, that’s right, there are no negotiations. A great nugget from my great friend and outstanding Canadian Press hockey scribe Chris Johnston: The NHL and NHLPA – at least the Big Four (Don and Steve Fehr for NHLPA, Gary Bettman and Bill Daly for NHL) – have sat down together only six times over the last 22 days.
Clearly the intent of both sides is to avoid the Sept. 15 lockout date, eh?
By the way: Though I tend to selectively endorse – for example: Dairy Queen, Smokin’ Joe’s Saloon, Bruce Springsteen (anything) and the Rolling Stones (almost anything) – I do endorse all readers following Johnston on Twitter at @reporterchris. Yes, he is my friend; but he is also more dialed in to both sides of these labor talks than anybody on the planet. Check his backlog of Tweets and tell me otherwise.
= And speaking of guys of whom I’m also fond: Felling Trib Total Media Penguins beat reporter Josh Yohe has some outstanding stuff coming in Wednesday’s print edition on a certain captain who joined teammates on the ice at Southpointe earlier today.
Perhaps the best quote from Sidney Crosby is Yohe’s piece:
“I tried thinking about it over the summer,” Crosby said of the Penguins’ Round 1 loss to the Flyers last spring. “Thinking about it didn’t do any good. You could go a long time before you ever see a series like that. We weren’t at our best and we paid for it. If someone can explain that series, they know more than I do.”
There is a reason I’m leaning towards picking the Penguins to reclaim that Stanley Cup next summer. Several, actually – but the biggest reason the power of embarrassment as motivation, something of which I’m a big believer, and something two particular NHL clubs have more than any for when the league returns (and it will) from this impending lockout.
Care to guess which team I’m thinking about picking the Penguins to face in a 2013 Cup Final?
= Penguins headed to the NHLPA meetings Wednesday and Thursday: Craig Adams, Crosby, Pascal Dupuis, Marc-Andre Fleury, Tanner Glass, Chris Kunitz, Ben Lovejoy, James Neal, Matt Niskanen, Brooks Orpik, Brandon Sutter.
If just those players show up, that would mean roughly 5 percent of the NHLPA constituents will be from the Penguins.
= The Bruins and young stud Tyler Seguin have agreed to terms on a six-year deal worth $34 million. Details here: http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=641220
Thoughts? Actually, save them for the chat Wednesday.
= Lastly, because this date should never be about anything other than these words, “never forget”: http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=641196&navid=DL|NHL|home
Thoughts and prayers with all the families of 9/11 victims. I always come back to this lyric from Mr. Bruce Springsteen, off “Into the Fire” from “The Rising”:
May your strength give us strength
May your faith give us faith
May your hope give us hope
May your love give us love