First Call: Penguins rivals making moves; ‘He Hate Me’ is safe |
Breakfast With Benz

First Call: Penguins rivals making moves; ‘He Hate Me’ is safe

Tim Benz
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Penguins’ Bryan Rust tries to redirect the puck past Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner in the first period during game 4 of round one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at PPG Paints Arena.

In Wednesday’s “First Call,” there’s news about two rivals of the Penguins. “He Hate Me” has been found. And Trevor Williams isn’t the only guy making a comeback Wednesday at PNC Park.

What are they up to?

The Flyers are making moves.

Philadelphia acquired San Jose Sharks defenseman Justin Braun in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft (No. 41) and a third-round pick in the 2020 draft.

Also, forward Kevin Hayes is close to signing a seven-year contract with Philly according to TSN. He had 55 points in 71 games with the Winnipeg Jets and New York Rangers last year.

Hayes was traded to the Flyers by the Jets on June 3 for a fifth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.

Loving Lehner

Islanders goalie Robin Lehner spent the first four games of the playoffs shutting down the Penguins.

Now he may be staying in New York.

Dan Rosen of reports that Lehner “would prefer to re-sign with the New York Islanders before he can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.”

The 27-year-old goalie is a Vezina Trophy candidate. Rosen writes that Lehner is “open to a short-term contract.”

Lehner yielded just six goals in the four-game sweep of the Pens.

Dueling comebacks

Trevor Williams isn’t alone when it comes to making a return Wednesday.

The Pirates pitcher will throw against Detroit. It will be his first start since suffering an oblique injury May 16.

He’ll be opposed by Jordan Zimmermann of the Tigers, who is making a return from an even longer layoff. Zimmermann’s last appearance was April 26.

He is 1-3 in six career starts against the Pirates with a 4.76 ERA.

So far this season, Williams is 2-1 with 3.33 ERA. Zimmermann was 0-4 with an ERA of 5.93 before straining his elbow.

How long has it been for these two guys? Well, for perspective, the Pirates were 21-20 when Williams got hurt. Detroit was 12-12 when Zimmerman went down.

The two clubs are now a combined 58-83.

‘He Hate Me’ is safe

Rod Smart has been found.

The former NFL running back was reported missing Tuesday in South Carolina.

But the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday evening that he has been located and is safe.

No other details have been made public as of yet, but his family was worried that they hadn’t heard from him for a long time.

Smart played for the Panthers and Eagles in the NFL, but he was best known as “He Hate Me” from his days in the XFL.

Do you have a nice honeysuckle, by chance?

Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack is burning it up off the field.


He’s launched a candle business. And as a certain opponent of his once said, business is boomin’.

“I always take baths with candles,” Jack told USA Today. “So I made my own little lavender candle. I lit it, and I was reading in the bath, and I was like, ‘Oh, OK. This candle’s actually all right.’”

Via USA Today, “Less than two months into his first entrepreneurial venture, Jack is ‘overwhelmed by orders’ for his hand-poured candles. The 23-year-old picked up the hobby while looking for something new and creative to try during this offseason. He turned to Youtube tutorials and online articles for tips on how to make candles, then began experimenting with scents and dyes once he mastered the basics. Now, every candle he sells goes toward funding for community charity events.”

Jack posted an Instagram story about his new venture, too.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

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