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 »

TIOPS Pirates 5: On Josh Bell’s Greatness, Bryan Reynolds/Kevin Newman, Austin Meadows All-Star level Emergence is Devastating Long-term & More Buzz


TIOPS PIRATES 5 1. Josh Bell (.348-18HR-52RBI) on Friday night had two more hits to cap off an history May with 94 total bases, the most by any player in May since Willie Mays back in 1958. Bell in May slashed .390/.442/.797 with 12 home runs and 31 RBIs. Bell at age 26 has entered superstar status and his ability to smash the ball makes him must-watch TV every night. Yet, Bell’s prominence is having little effect in getting butts to the ballpark or bringing excitement to the fan base beyond the hardcore fans. For every great story like Bell, Bryan Reynolds right now, two players the fan base should be very excited about moving forward, there’s 4-5 doom and gloom management decisions or lack their of that kill the buzz and many just don’t want to get suckered in because they know how this story will end. If thisRead More »

Rumors: Was a Cody Eakin, Colin Miller trade on the table for Phil Kessel at one point?


Latest Pens Buzz If Phil Kessel had his way, he’d be playing for the Arizona Coyotes or Vegas Golden Knights when the puck drops for the 2019-2020 season. It’s the worst kept secret around the NHL. That’s where he wants to go which has led to the Golden Knights and Coyotes emerging as the two primary teams the Kessel camp has been trying to get the table to negotiate a trade with the Penguins. Arizona as reported yesterday has been very slow moving in the process and they’re not really a factor at this point, though,

Rumors: Wild GM Paul Fenton enamored with Patric Hornqvist?


LATEST PENS BUZZ 1. A feeling in NHL circles among agents and executives is the Minnesota Wild embarrassed themselves with the nixed Phil Kessel trade. All indications are Wild GM Paul Fenton pushed the trade forward without any inkling or assurances that Phil Kessel would even consider playing in Minnesota. While the Kessel deal is still on the table if Kesse were to change his mind, Fenton just assumed it was a slam dunk and is said to have been blindsided that Kessel didn’t want to play in Minnesota. Fenton a year on to the job with the Minnesota Wild has already developed a reputation as being an ego maniac who doesn’t make an attempt to give his hockey operations staff a voice and when you don’t involve your staff like Fenton isn’t, you’ll get leaks and dysfunction which is happening in Minnesota. Another factor amongst others in Kessel givingRead More »

Industry Buzz: Penguins still pursuing deal for Jason Zucker; 2nd Western team gathering intel on Kessel


Latest Pens Buzz [Penguins still in on Zucker, Rask?] [Zucker, Kessel possible teammates in ARI?] [2nd Western team not on Kessel’s list gathering intel] Penguins continue to pursue trade talks for Jason Zucker In the aftermath of Phil Kessel officially nixing a trade to the Minnesota Wild last week, the Pittsburgh Penguins have continued to pursue a trade for Jason Zucker, TIOPS has learned. The Penguins emerged out of their pro scouting meetings in early May with Zucker a favorite among Pittsburgh’s pro scouts and the coaching staff, which has seen Pittsburgh make a revised offer (excluding Kessel) for Zucker, while the original deal is still on the table if Kessel changes his mind.

What went down in failed Minnesota trade, Why Penguins view Kessel’s Trade List as a joke & More Buzz


Latest Pens Buzz Fallout of the failed Phil Kessel trade to Minnesota? Pittsburgh is still not bringing him back under any circumstances. They’re determined to start next season with Phil Kessel off their roster. What happens next if Pittsburgh can’t find a trade partner without Kessel’s permission (a very difficult task with how purposely difficult Kessel has made his list) will be the fascinating part of how long Kessel tries to take this. He knows he’s not wanted back but the sense of the situation is that it wouldn’t stop Kessel from taking things to July or even August if a suitable trade destination doesn’t emerge before then. And that’s the worst case scenario for the Penguins right now who wanted to get this done before the end of the month, though, I’d argue they’ve made their own bed as based on Kessel’s low trade value which was established evenRead More »

NHL Source: Penguins asked Phil Kessel to waive his no trade clause 48 hours ago


Penguins pushing to get a Kessel trade completed The Pittsburgh Penguins who came out of their preliminary organizational meetings last month with a firm decision to trade Phil Kessel this summer no matter how low the return ends up being, officially asked the 32 year old winger to waive his no trade clause to the Minnesota Wild, multiple league sources confirm. The trade request was made on Monday afternoon, TIOPS has learned, and Kessel through his agent The last 24 hours have seen both the Penguins and Minnesota aggressively trying to keep the trade alive. Pittsburgh granted Minnesota permission to speak to Kessel but as of a few hours ago, Minnesota officials were having no success getting return

Industry Buzz: Two teams that should gamble on Kris Letang


LATEST ON KRIS LETANG Nearly four weeks after being swept by the New York Islanders in embarrassing fashion, top decision makers among the Penguins brass are said to be on the same page or at least in the same hemisphere as one source put it regarding Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel. As mentioned recently, there’s intrigue among Penguins GM Jim Rutherford & Co to at least see if a feasible trade is out there for Malkin, while rival clubs continue to operate with the mindset that it’s a foregone conclusion Pittsburgh will look at every avenue to trade Phil Kessel and they’ve heard this directly from the Penguins themselves. Kris Letang, the third member among the core whose future in Pittsburgh has greatly mulled over by the organization, seems to be a bit of a different story. There are members in the organization, many in the analytic crowd who willRead More »

Latest Pens Buzz: What rival clubs say of Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel’s future in Pittsburgh


What’s At Play Behind the Scenes for the Penguins The Pittsburgh Penguins wrapped up their extensive phase of organizational meetings this week and a lot of the heavy lifting has been done. The organization has conducted a thorough evaluation of what changes, some potentially seismic that the group’s top decision makers believe that are needed to be made. After two weeks of what’s been described as exhaustive meetings, the direction Penguins GM Jim Rutherford is said to be strongly leaning right now is towards breaking up the core, but the group plans to take a step back over the next 10-14 days, do some scouting at the World Championships, then reconvene and come to a final decision if the direction they are strongly leaning towards right now is the direction they still want to go. Not surprisingly this lines up with Evgeni Malkin’s timetable and everything on how this off-seasonRead More »