Latest Pens Buzz: On the Kessel trade market; Carl Hagelin’s future, Jake Guentzel’s next contract & More Buzz


Latest Pens Buzz Rumblings, Musings & Opinions — The  Phil Kessel trade market died before the NHL Entry draft officially began on June 22, league sources say. Kessel was a fascinating situation early this summer as the 30 year old Kessel coming off a 92 point season was front and center in trade talks around the league in leading up to the draft. In early June Pittsburgh was aggressive in trying to find a star-for-star type trade, offering Kessel to a but as the draft got closer Pittsburgh had some trade scenarios brewing that could have netted 2-3 second-third tier level NHL players in return for Kessel. However, when the Penguins arrived in Dallas ready to pursue at least one of the trade scenarios they thought were in play, trade discussions with those clubs went completely dark and it wasn’t on the Penguins end. At the end of the day,Read More »

Latest Pens Buzz: Skinner was ‘lukewarm’ of joining the Penguins when Pittsburgh was in pursuit


Latest Pens Buzz The Carolina Hurricanes return for Jeff Skinner has been widely scrutinized over the past couple days but not so much in league circles. The growing consensus surrounding the Hurricanes is that they were backed in a corner and there are clubs and NHL scouts who have Cliff Pu rated much higher than pundits do. Despite what the player may be saying publicly, what played out here is Skinner’s power of a full no-move clause nixed at least three trade proposals the Hurricanes were willing to move on during the draft weekend and over the past 3-4 weeks, Carolina was only given a very small list of teams Skinner would be willing to go to. Despite the belief around the NHL that Carolina’s return is not as low as being perceived through the media, trading a player of Skinner’s caliber with no young NHL talent for next seasonRead More »

What the Derek Grant Signing means for the Penguins


Penguins now have six centers on 1-way contracts The summer has hit the ‘league minimum’ period for free agents and the Penguins have joined the fray in signing center Derek Grant to a one year, $650,000 contract. A left shot, the 6-foot-3, 215 lbs forward had a career season for the Ducks in 2017-2018 with 12 goals and 24 points in 66 games. Penguin coaches havd recommended in scouting meetings this summer the team add a forward or two with size/physicality. As mentioned before, Pa What the signing means for the Penguins One NHL source alluded to the signing of Grant to this: ‘The signing is not a precursor of another center getting shipped out of town (no trade is cooking right now) and this is just a player the Penguins like and feel the center/winger versatility of Grant gives the staff more flexibility.’ [Cliff notes — Don’t read intoRead More »

Latest Pens Buzz: On stalled trade talks; Brassard-Malkin, Dumoulin-Johnson likely experiments in camp; Skinner still in play?


An impact trade for the Penguins has yet to transpire Stalled on the trade market in recent weeks, the Penguins opening night roster three months from now could very likely be what it is on paper as of July 12. Penguins GM Jim Rutherford has been aggressively trying to shakeup his roster since around mid-June but the Penguins have found tough sledding on matching up in talks on specific targets. Adding an impact left winger has been high on Rutherford’s list on the trade market and the Penguins have been courting Carolina’s Jeff Skinner since the week of the draft to no avail. Tristan Jarry would have/or will be part of any Skinner to Pittsburgh trade but only as a second or third piece, league sources say. Pittsburgh’s unwillingness to build a package around and Carolina’s signing of Calvin DeHann has further complicated Pittsburgh’s pursuit of Skinner as internal discussionsRead More »

Why the Penguins made a calculated move to leak the Johnson signings days in advance


The Pittsburgh Penguins signing of Jack Johnson to a 5 year contract has drawn major criticism and the Penguins knew it was coming before the deal became official on July 1. That’s a main reason the team made a calculated move last week to leak the signing several days before July 1. One source noted the club wanted to try to get out in front of it. Jim Rutherford is a GM who offers unbelievable access for a General Manager. He’s not shy about laying his plans out in the open, he’ll often tell you how he feels, even if it’s off the cuff. One thing, though, that is very important to Rutherford is positive press, those who know Rutherford constantly say. All you have to do is look back at how he handled the negative headlines late in the 2014-2015 season. Rutherford is a wonderful guy, a likely Hall-of-Famer,Read More »

Latest Pens Buzz: Second-Guessing, fallout of the Johnson signing on what it prevented the Penguins from doing on July 1


[TIOPS HEADLINES] [Johnson seen by management as potentially taking tough minutes away from Letang] [How the Johnson signing ended the ability to sign Grabner] [Neal camp approached Penguins about a return?] [Dominik Simon part of coaching staff’s plans] [Cullen expecting to play a lot of wing] Latest Pens Buzz — Jim Rutherford drove the bus in signing Johnson, sources say. This wasn’t some consensus organizational decision that Jack Johnson is the answer to the Penguins solidifying their top-4. Rutherford see’s something the rest of the hockey world doesn’t as the Penguins negotiated against themselves for Johnson as he had a one year offer from the Anaheim Ducks and was in discussions on a two year deal with the Detroit Red Wings as a fallback plan if Mike Green signed elsewhere. Montreal expressed interest at the draft but were quickly told the player would not consider playing in Montreal. Pittsburgh notRead More »

Penguins bring back Matt Cullen


Jack Johnson is officially a Pittsburgh Penguin, agreeing to a 5 year, $16.5 million contract. The Penguins have signed defenseman Jack Johnson to a five-year contract for an average annual value of $3.25 million. Welcome to the team! Full details: — Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) July 1, 2018

Every cent of the Penguins freed up cap space from Sheary trade will go to Sheahan/Johnson


Sheahan officially back in the fold, Johnson on tap The Pittsburgh Penguins today cleared $5.25 million in cap space with the trade of Conor Sheary, Matt Hunwick to the Buffalo Sabres for a conditional fourth-round pick that turns into a third round pick if Sheary scores 20 goals or 40 points. Jim Rutherford is known as a big-game hunter and Pittsburgh freeing up over $5 million in cap space had one agent of a prominent pending UFA winger eyeing a chance to join a Cup Contender reach out to the Penguins

Penguins deal Sheary, Hunwick to Buffalo


The Pittsburgh Penguins have agreed to terms on a trade to send winger Conor Sheary and defenseman Matt Hunwick to the Buffalo Sabres for a mid-round draft pick. The trade will clear $5.25 million in cap space for the Penguins as Pittsburgh will not receive any NHL roster players in return. The Sheary trade is also win for the Penguins coaching staff who pushed hard once again to Penguin management to keep Carl

Analysis: Bryan Rust new Four Year Contract is a win for both sides


The Pittsburgh Penguins and winger Bryan Rust have agreed to a new four year, $14 million contract. The deal carries an AAV of $3.5 million. The #Pens have re-signed Bryan Rust to a four-year contract. The deal runs through the 2021.22 campaign, and it carries an average annual value of $3.5 million. More details: — Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) June 26, 2018 Why the Rust deal is a win for both sides Despite reports being out there that Rust was offered for Max Domi this month, he never was, and talk Pittsburgh was waiting to sign him, — the 26 year old winger has always been in the Penguins long-term plans this summer. — Pittsburgh came out of their organizational meetings in early June, eyeing a deal of around four years for Rust, so it’s not surprising to see the deal come in where it did. A deal beyondRead More »