Latest Pens Buzz: Big Picture Hiring of Mike Vellucci, Latest on Matt Cullen & More Buzz


Latest Pens Buzz A lack of an extension for Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan is already a story and will continue to be until some ink gets signed to paper. The latest developments, though, now have the Penguins setting themselves up for even more of a distraction if they get off to a slow start and Sullivan does indeed enter the season as lame-duck coach. With Penguin ownership said to be lukewarm on paying a coach $4-$5 million per season, a price Sullivan would easily command on the open market, all bets are off on whether Sullivan gets at least the security of a one year extension before the season. The hiring of Calder Cup Champion Mike Vellucci on Friday as the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins’ new bench boss can be looked at as a forward thinking move until told otherwise. Vellucci gets to reunite with Jim Rutherford who has knownRead More »

Pundits on Penguins selection of Samuel Poulin: “Nowhere close to being NHL ready”


The Pittsburgh Penguins selected LW Samuel Poulin (6-1, 212) with the 21st overall pick in the 2019 NHL Entry draft. Poulin a power-forward type, had 29 goals and 47 assists in 67 games for Sherbrooke Phoenix of the QMJHL. Scouts like Poulin’s combination of size and powerful play below the dots to go with a creative ability as a passer, but the skating is lacking especially when the puck is on his stick as a growing consensus is that Poulin’s overall game is a long ways away from being NHL-ready. Which will obviously beg the question of whether this is a step towards re-stocking the prospect pool or delaying the inevitable with a win-now General Manager in Jim Rutherford who will exhaust every trade option to maximize the window left in the Sidney Crosby era. Pittsburgh’s No. 21 pick was certainly in play during trade talks leading into tonight, mostRead More »

Rumors: Penguins, Leafs have talked a Kris Letang trade & More Buzz


(Photo: David Hague) Latest on Kris Letang It’s NHL Draft Day and when it comes to what Jim Rutherford is up to on the trade front, Kris Letang continues to be the name rival clubs are bringing up. As the Penguins have offered Letang around the league and as of early this week were targeting two specific clubs in talks, NHL sources say Penguins GM Jim Rutherford has set the stage here for about a 10 day window where a Letang trade has a chance of happening. The Penguins aggressively seeking a hockey deal for Letang isn’t just General Manager driven. Momentum over the last two weeks continues to emerge inside the Penguins organization from others outside of Rutherford that are on-board with trading Letang as the Penguins seeking to change the culture to become a more defensively responsible team and change the room where team officials believe the likesRead More »

Penguins were not alone in making a superior offer for Trouba than the Rangers & More Buzz


Penguins missing out on Trouba not their fault at all The Pittsburgh Penguins missed out on a big fish last night as the New York Rangers acquired Jacob Trouba from the Winnipeg Jets. As reported here last Monday, Penguins GM Jim Rutherford was making an aggressive pitch to Winnipeg for Trouba with multiple sources saying Pittsburgh amongst a few others had offers on the table that significantly trumped the Rangers deal, but what played out is this ended being a one team market in reality. A power move from the Trouba camp forced Winnipeg to take the deal from the Rangers. Two high ranking sources say Winnipeg informed Pittsburgh and a few others who were finalists within 12 hours of the accepting the Rangers offer that Trouba’s an immediate trade dor a threat to wait until D It wasn’t a Rich Paul/Anthony Davis power move from a public standpoint butRead More »

Rutherford indicates a willingness to “let” Mike Sullivan’s contract run out?


Sullivan to enter 2019-2020 Season as lame-duck coach? With rising coaching salaries, Mike Sullivan has fallen out of the top-10 in coaching salaries and Sullivan’s bosses don’t seem eager to extend Sullivan’s contract anytime soon. Penguins GM Jim Rutherford appearing on The Cook and Joe Show this morning (937 The Fan) again downplayed the importance of extending Sullivan this summer. Rutherford indicating to the show he has other things to deal with, saying “both [Matt Murray and Mike Sullivan] guys have another year” and added “maybe just let it run out” regarding the contract situations regarding Matt Murray and Mike Sullivan. Matt Murray’s contract situation is not a big story. He’s going nowhere, he’ll be an RFA next summer. You have time and I kind of agree with him to let it play out than dishing out a $5.5-$6 million a year long-term deal. Mike Sullivan is just a differentRead More »

Rumors: Penguins have been the instigators in pursuing deals involving Kris Letang & More Buzz


Latest Pens Buzz *Penguins pursuing deals for Letang *Penguins bracing for serious offer from FLA for Malkin? *Latest Talk on where cap will fall Penguins GM Jim Rutherford has entered this off-season willing to take calls on anyone not named Sidney Crosby. All 30 other General Managers have been aware of this since the middle of May. When it comes to dealing with Rutherford he’ll listen to almost any player but agents and executives tell me a player of Rutherford’s is legitimately in play when Rutherford begins pursuing deals involving that particular player than sitting back and seeing what comes his way. And that’s at play with

By design The Penguins have stayed out of the growing signing bonus game


The Pittsburgh Penguins trade of Olli Maatta Saturday night helps create over $3 million in cap space, while the Penguins added a young bottom-6 player with some skill and good offensive zone instincts on an entry level deal. Having $11.25 million tied into three bottom-pairing level defensemen in Maatta, Jack Johnson and Erik Gudbranson was awful asset management heading into the summer and while Maatta’s trade value had dropped significantly as prior to the 2017 trade deadline the name Olli Maatta was able to get a return call from the Avalanche in trade talks at the time for Matt Duchene, Maatta was the best route of the three to gain any type of value in a trade. This is now just the start of the Penguins hopes of revamping their d-core. They’re shooting for an impact move among the top-2 pairings and Rutherford also seeks to create more cap space.Read More »

Rumors: Penguins emerge as an aggressive suitor for Jacob Trouba


Latest Pens Buzz Jim Rutherford at his end of the season press conference touted the Penguins blueline as the best group he’s during his tenure as General Manager. It was laughed at by many and for good reason. “I think our defense is the best now that it’s been since I’ve been here as a group,” Rutherford said on April 18th. “You always like mobile defensemen and guys that can move the puck. We have one on each pairing, and now we have enough push back.” Actions, though, speak louder than words and Rutherford has been vigorously attempting to revamp his defensive group in trade talks ahead of the draft and free agency. None bigger right now than an aggressive pursuit of

Latest NHL Buzz: Jeff Skinner’s Payday, Erik Karlsson, Taylor Hall, Flyers going big in RFA market?


Latest NHL Buzz Price of Doing Business hitting Buffalo When you’re a General Manager like Jason Botterill who knows his seat is starting to get extremely warm in entering a make or break season for an impatient owner that has a history of paying executives, coaches not to work, you’ll get stuck in a situation Botterill now finds himself in. The price of doing business when your job is on line can get rather expensive. It started with the coaching hire and is now spreading to negotiations with Jeff Skinner. After Alain Vigneault Pittsburgh was in the mix for Skinner at the 2018 draft and were among three teams Carolina was entertaining offers for at the time. Some say Pittsburgh was in fact the leader in the clubhouse until things got close to the finish line and Karlsson to stun the hockey world? Erik Karlsson by-passing the free agency interviewRead More »