NHL Daily: Penguins placed defenseman Kris Letang on injured reserve, will Jesse Puljujarvi ever be a franchise-type player for the Oilers? Brendan Perlini proving he deserves to stay with Coyotes, and more! (Morning Coffee Headlines)
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Does the following headline sound a little too familiar, “Pittsburgh Penguins place defenseman Kris Letang on injured reserve”. The oft-injured d-man appeared to hurt his left knee is Saturday’s tilt versus Detroit. Hopefully he won’t miss too much time, but look for Schultz to step up once again. [NHL.com]
Jason Harrison over at Howlin’ Hockey discusses the recent promotion of highly-touted prospect Brendan Perlini. In his second stint with the club in 2016-17, Perlini scored a pair of goals in his first game back. He has six goals, one assist (seven points) in 17 games with Arizona this year. [Howlin’ Hockey]
Future for Puljujarvi
The team over at Real Sport wonders whether or not 4th overall pick Jesse Puljujarvi will ever become that franchise player that scouts deemed him to be. In this article, they took a look back at some important moments over the last year and a half, and give their opinion on the end result. [Real Sport 101]
Gaborik Heating Up
After spending a large chunk of time on the shelf to open the 2016-17 following offseason surgery, Marian Gaborik is back to his old ways. The production was limited at first, but the LA Kings forward is on absolute fire of late. [Rink Royalty]
Kings to Honor O’Ree
Before today’s afternoon match-up, the Los Angeles Kings plan to honor former player Willie O’Ree in a pre-game celebration. O’Ree helped break the colour barrier in hockey by becoming the first African-American to appear in the NHL back in January 1958. [LA Times]
Lightning Recall Vermin
After appearing in his first nine NHL games ever, forward Matthew Peca is headed back to AHL Syracuse. Peca had two points in nine games. In turn, Tampa Bay recalled RWer Joel Vermin, who has two assists in eight games with TB so far in 2016-17. [Bolts by the Bay]
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NHL Daily Morning Rant
The news of Kris Letang is somewhat troubling. In recent years, the Pittsburgh Penguins have managed to get away with injuries to key players such as Evgeni Malkin or Sidney Crosby. Usually, the non-injured superstar would have a tendency to elevate their game in the other’s absence.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Letang. If this team lost their star defenseman, they typically struggled. Just look at the history or the numbers that support that notion. It wasn’t until this year when that finally changed. Justin Schultz has been an absolute revelation for the Pens. Here’s a guy that almost looked ready for Europe after being pushed out of Edmonton, but he’s starting to blossom with a change a scenery.
I don’t doubt that Pittsburgh should be fine without Letang, hopefully the injury doesn’t keep him sidelined for long. But this injury history is a bit of a joke. For a guy earning $7.25 million dollars/year, health is a major concern (and that’s an understatement). There’s no reason a 29-year-old defender should be falling apart like this physically getting hurt each and every season. If you were in his shoes, at what point do you say to yourself, “hmm maybe I need to change the way I approach things such as training, nutrition, maybe even the way I play the game?”.
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