Rumors: Hurricanes motivated to trade Jordan Staal

 

TIOPS Inside Buzz *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* — A familiar name to Penguins fans is strongly on the trade block: Carolina Hurricanes center Jordan Staal. As former Hurricanes GM Ron Francis saw the 29 year old Staal as a building block in his long-term plan, declined to entertain any trade inquiries into Staal the past two years, namely from the Pittsburgh Penguins, that is no longer the case under new owner Tom Dundon and GM Don Waddell, a former pro scout with the Penguins. Waddell and ownership are highly motivated to move Staal who has 5 years, $30 million in actual cash left on his contract, league sources tell Inside Pittsburgh Sports. The Hurricanes willingness to move Staal this summer is more about the contract than anything else. Staal who went through a lot this past season with the death of his daughter to a terminal birth defect, is loved byRead More »

Latest Pens Buzz: Penguins are open for business on Kris Letang

 

Where are Things Headed Between the Penguins, Letang? As stated here for months, Penguins General Manager Jim Rutherford has three untouchables on his roster: Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Matt Murray. There are some others who are 100% going nowhere this off-season and pretty much unavailable like Brian Dumoulin who Penguin coaches regard as the clubs best defenseman, Jake Guentzel is another one who is tremendous value for one more season on an entry level contract and of course Patric Hornqvist who begins a new 5 year contract next season. For others like Phil Kessel and Kris Letang, vital members of the team, the Penguins are wide open for business on them. Basically where things stand for both is the Penguins are fine with keeping them and fine with trading one or both. Rival General Managers have been fully aware in discussions with the Penguins that the team will listenRead More »

Rumors: Penguins internally optimistic of getting a seat at the Tavares table in late June?

 

Latest Penguins Buzz A 92 point regular season won’t have Phil Kessel’s name escaping the trade rumor mill over the next month in a half. Kessel’s poor performance in the postseason followed by a continued rift with head coach Mike Sullivan has only heightened the situation regarding Kessel this coming summer. Sources tell Inside Pittsburgh Sports, the coaching staff has reached the point with Kessel where they feel if he’s not producing offensively, he’s a detriment to the lineup 5-on-5 because of his inability to do the little things away from the puck. Pittsburgh had some serious trade talks last summer with From NHL executives, to top NHL insiders, it’s no secret around the league that Pittsburgh will entertain Kessel trade scenarios leading into the draft. Kessel has four years remaining on his deal with a $6.8 million cap hit. He’s due to make $26 million in actual money overRead More »

Changes Are Coming This Summer for the Penguins…….

 

Rutherford anticipates being active to upgrade the roster Changes are coming to the Penguins this summer. How big? Time will tell. “It’s obvious I’m going to keep an open mind to changes and I will make some changes,” Penguins GM Jim Rutherford said today at his season ending news conference. “We’re a good team, we will be a good team going forward,” said Rutherford. “We’ll have the chance to win again, we have the nucleus to do that.” Whether the Penguins go into the direction of moving a core player remains to be seen but talk among rival executives already is the Penguins have the appetite to move a big name player in the right deal with One thing Rutherford noted today is the Penguins have a number of tradable assets to make desired changes in certain areas. “We also have the pieces in place that are players other teamsRead More »

Series Fallout: 5 Key Takeaways on why the Penguins were ousted in 6 games to a less talented Capitals team

 

MBetter Team Prevailed in Penguins – Capitals The Washington Capitals on Monday night finally broke the curse in ousting the Penguins in six games on a overtime goal from Evgeny Kuznetsov, 5:27 into OT. The Capitals will make their first trip to the Conference Final in the Alex Ovechkin era. “Finally…..” Alex Ovechkin proclaimed. The Penguins three-peat chances officially ended on an overtime goal, just like their three-peat quest in 1993 also ended in overtime. Pittsburgh was the more talented team on paper in this series but in a number of areas Washington was just slightly better from first-second level scoring, to obviously goaltending, to role players elevating their play at a crucial moments and Washington played with a more efficient defensive structure that kept just about everyone not named Sidney Crosby/Jake Guentzel off the scoresheet during 5-on-5 play. What Went Wrong for the Penguins and why a less talentedRead More »

Game 5 Fallout: On Penguins 3rd Period Collapse, Kris Letang’s play/future, Facing Elimination

 

Game 5: Capitals put the Penguins on the brink of elimination Mike Sullivan “really liked” the Penguins game Saturday night. He even felt it might have been the Penguins best game of the series. “There was a whole lot of this game that we really liked,” said Sullivan. “It might have been our best game of the series.” Unfortunately for the Penguins, two great periods don’t win you a sixty minute game. The Capitals scored four goals in the third period, including two empty-netters, to rally past the Penguins for a 6-3 win in Game 5 to put the Penguins on the brink of elimination. This was an extremely frustrating loss for the Penguins because of how they significantly carried the play through the first two periods. Pittsburgh had their most productive game from the Derick Brassard line all series, the line producing the opening goal of the game, aRead More »

Game 4 Analysis: Penguins Show Game 7 type mentality with an elite ‘tracking the puck game’ to even-up series

 

Game 4 Analysis: Penguins Show Game 7 type mentality with 200 ft Game Penguins – Capitals was a true toss-up heading into the series and what shouldn’t be a surprise to many, the series is even at 2-2 after four games and now a best-of-3 in what feels like is going to be a seven game series. The Pittsburgh Penguins avoided a fourth straight home loss with a 3-1 win over the Capitals in Game 4. Jake Guentzel had 2 goals as his sensational play continues, Matt Murray stopped 20 of 21 shots and Evgeni Malkin broke a 1-1 tie with a power play goal with 2:29 left in the second period in diving to stuff a puck just past the goal-line for a Penguins 2-1 lead. This series has been about as evenly matched as it could get as all four games have pretty much been 50-50 games, butRead More »

Series Buzz: Potential Return of Carl Hagelin & Impact of the Capitals losing Tom Wilson to a suspension

 

Penguins – Capitals Series Buzz The NHL Department of Player Safety pulled a stunner on Wednesday evening in suspending Capitals winger Tom Wilson for three games, meaning he will only play in this series if it goes seven games. There were countless debates on whether Wilson deserved at least 1-2 games with a crowd among former players who believe it was a hockey hit. Nonetheless, there was no escaping for Wilson on avoiding a suspension here because of the NHL’s precedent of factoring in injuries on whether to suspend a player or not. Wilson is a predatory, head hunter type of player and while I hated the Wilson hit on Dumoulin much more than the Aston-Reese one as Aston-Reese was at least bracing for the hit, the NHL Department of Player Safety’s breakdown of the video in slow motion further illustrates Wilson got what he deserved. The thing that standsRead More »

Game 3 Fallout: Ovie Strikes Late, Penguins are a 1-line team & chasing the series…….

 

Capitals take 2-1 Series Lead Off an Olli Maatta offensive zone turnover, Alex Ovechkin capitalized on a 2-on-1 with 1:07 remaining in regulation to deliver a 4-3 Capitals win in Game 3 to take a 2-1 series lead. Pittsburgh’s comeback in Game 1 was more of the same with Washington collapsing in the third period, but the Capitals performance in Game 2 and out-scoring Pittsburgh 2-0 in the third period of Game 3 to go up 2-1 in the series, things are slowly moving in the direction that the Capitals may finally solve the Penguins this year. Game 3 had a similar feel of Games 1 and 2, with each team having stretches of stronger play but for the most part it was a near 50-50 game. Shots were even at 22-22, though, Pittsburgh had a 19-12 edge and 3-2 lead on the scoreboard after the second period. Pittsburgh lookedRead More »

Game 2 Fallout: After Further Review………

 

Game 2 Fallout Penguins – Capitals is all evened up at 1-1 after a Washington 4-1 win in Game 2. For the Penguins heading into the series, to split in Washington without Evgeni Malkin was something the Penguins would surely take coming in. Yet, the Penguins game 2 loss has a lot to dissect and certainly had its share of controversies: What Went Wrong Early Again? The Penguins fell into the trap again of chasing the game and it was deja vu with the same issues. Poor reads in being too aggressive with the D-men pinching haunted the Penguins (with no forwards covering) in Washington getting out in transition. The Capitals exploiting the Penguins over-aggressiveness in pinching was something that stood out late in the regular season as a problematic area that could backfire for the Penguins against the right team. It wasn’t much of an issue in round 1Read More »