'Fire Hextall!': Penguins fans furious
The Pittsburgh Penguins are slowly slipping their playoff chances and fans are getting impatient.
Thursday night, during a severe 7-2 correction served by the Edmonton Oilers, fans called for the resignation of general manager Ron Hextall. The emotion was palpable at PPG Paints Arena when Connor McDavid and his gang humiliated the Penguins in their own home. Several groups of supporters have started chanting “Fire Hextall!”, which they hold responsible for their setbacks.
The “Pens” are on an inglorious streak with only one victory in their last six games.< /p>
“It was a tough night for everyone,” captain Sidney Crosby told the media after the game. We don't like to perform like that in front of them. They pay for their ticket and they want to see better. I understand that. It was not a good night for anyone.”
Transactions and additions
However, the former goalkeeper became in January fastest GM in franchise history to reach 100 wins, having done so after just 169 games.
Hextall arrived in office in 2021. Among his transactions and additions made through the free agent market, we note the arrival of Jeff Petry, Ryan Poehling, Rickard Rakell and Jeff Carter, but the departures of Mike Matheson, John Marino, Zach Aston-Reese and Evan Rodrigues. He also managed to reach a long-term agreement with Quebec defender Kristopher Letang.
Going back to the duel against the Oilers, head coach Mike Sullivan said the Penguins took a step back in that game.
“Obviously when you lose a few games, it there is an aspect of fragility that is worrying. It is human nature. […] At the end of the day, professional sports are not for the faint-hearted. We have to regain control, shake ourselves up a bit and get back to the fight,” he said.
Fifth in the Metropolitan Division by virtue of their record of 27-21-9, the Penguins will try to get back on track on Saturday afternoon against the St. Louis Blues.
Kasperi Kapanen with the Canadiens ?
The Pittsburgh Penguins have decided to waive striker Kasperi Kapanen on Friday, so that other National Hockey League teams, including the Montreal Canadiens, can select him from here the next afternoon.
Asked after the training of his people, the head instructor of the “Pens”, Mike Sullivan, clarified that the 26-year-old player had missed the session of the day for this reason. If he doesn't find a buyer, the Finn will be eligible for a demotion to the American League's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton farm club.
“When a team does not meet expectations, changes are unavoidable; it's part of the sport, Sullivan commented on the Penguins' Twitter account. “Kappy” is a talented hockey player. However, it's all of our fault for not being able to find a way to maximize his potential.”
The son of former skater Sami Kapanen was a first-round pick, the 22nd overall in the organization in 2014. This season, he has seven goals and 13 assists for 20 points in 43 games. His best harvest came in 2018-19 when he racked up 44 points in 78 outings with the Toronto Maple Leafs. They traded him to Pittsburgh on August 25, 2020 in a trade involving six players.
In the standings, Sullivan's troops are 10th in the Eastern Conference with 63 points.