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 »

Latest Pens Buzz: Noise on Evgeni Malkin getting louder with no push back to this point


Latest Pens Buzz 1. The noise surrounding Evgeni Malkin continues to get louder and it’s getting back to the Malkin camp about how dissatisfied the organization actually is with the three-time Stanley Cup winner. The lack of push back continues to be something. There’s many inside the building who have become convinced over the last week that Jim Rutherford not only plans to chase offers for Evgeni Malkin, which sources say he has permission to do from ownership, Rutherford is motivated The thought of trading Malkin this summer has been something the Penguins top brass had minor discussions about as early as late March, TIOPS has learned. This isn’t something that is just brewing off the emotions of being swept by the Islanders. Things had been brewing for a while and a belief among some in the organization that Malkin went to And those with knowledge of Malkin’s thinking processRead More »

Round 3 Analysis: A reach at #66? Value at #83


Round 3 Analysis Never buy that the Pittsburgh Steelers don’t draft for need. Just like on Thursday in addressing a major need at inside linebacker, Day 2 was about checking some other boxes. With the 66th overall pick the Steelers selected Toledo wide receiver Diontae Johnson (5-11, 180) and 17 picks later, the Steelers select cornerback Justin Layne (6-2, 192). The value of getting a cornerback was always going to be in Round 2 or Round 3 not Round 1. Despite a run on cornerbacks prior to the Steelers picking, Layne is a high value pick at No. 83. At 6-2, Layne brings length and athleticism to the table, running a 4.5. “You can’t have enough corners on your team,” DB coach Teryl Austin said of Lane. “With the amount of running they do, they help you on special teams, you get nicked, you have to have people to getRead More »

Latest Steelers Buzz: Off-Season Additions, Selection of dynamic ILB Devin Bush gives Mike Tomlin/Keith Butler no excuses in 19


ROUND 1 ANALYSIS — “If we stayed put, we weren’t going to get Devin Bush,” Steelers GM Kevin Colbert said on trading up to No. 10. — “You guys still good? You wanna do that deal?” Inside the War Room the moment the #BroncosDraft trade happened 👇 — Denver Broncos (@Broncos) April 26, 2019 Kevin Colbert’s bold move of moving up to the No. 10 pick in selecting Devin Bush was the necessary impact move the Steelers had to make at a position of major need and what getting a dynamic player like Bush does for this defense is put an exclamation point on revamping the defense this off-season. “When you make a trade up to the top 10, we were very excited to make that trade and get Devin Bush,” said Colbert. “It was something we wanted to do and were able to do it. This is aRead More »

TIOPS Inside Buzz: On NHL Playoffs, What Rival teams say of Pens/Malkin situation & Latest Steelers Draft Buzz


TIOPS INSIDE BUZZ — Rumblings, Musings, Opinions– 1. The Washington Capitals were ousted in Round 1 Wednesday night on a Brock McGinn double overtime goal as an unpredictable 2019 postseason continued.  The NHL has always wanted parity with this playoff alignment and they got it this season with all no division winners advancing past Round 1. Washington’s rein comes to an end and as good as a story the Hurricanes are, the NHL loses a great Round 2 storyline of Trotz vs the Capitals. This was just a strange series for the Capitals. To go up 2-0 in the series followed by laying an egg in Games 3 and 4, to then deliver what looked like a knockout punch in Game 5 where it appeared after fives games they were finally taking the Hurricanes seriously, only to drop games 6 and 7 as Carolina roared back to win four ofRead More »

Industry Buzz: Penguins viewed Malkin as uncoachable in 18-19


Latest Pens Buzz Penguins’ ownership plans to give Penguins GM Jim Rutherford the green light to significantly overhaul the Penguins roster this summer, two sources close to the situation confirm a Post-Gazette report that almost everything will be put on the table. What does all of this mean among the core? Rutherford has been given ownership’s blessing to aggressively shop Kris Letang in trade talks, which he will, and what’s been described as deeply informative and intense discussions among the Penguins brass centers around center Evgeni Malkin on whether he’s the solution moving forward or part of the problem. Malkin has been described by multiple sources as being

Latest NHL Buzz: A series Stolen from VGK, Mike Babcock Needs to Change, PK Subban to hit the market


Latest NHL BUZZ TIOPS HEADLINES SERIES STOLEN FROM VGK BUYER BEWARE FOR ERIK KARLSSON CRITISCISM WARRANTED TOWARDS MIKE BABCOCK A CAPITALS REPEAT? PREDATORS TO EYE TOP-FLIGHT CENTER FOR SUBBAN 1. A series stolen from the Vegas Golden Knights in the craziest finish you’ll see. Vegas is up 3-0 with 10:47 remaining in the third period and cruising to a Game 7 win until the San Jose Sharks scored four power play goals on a five-minute major that should have never been assessed. The NHL embarrassed itself after Joe Pavelski had to unfortunately be helped off the SAP Center ice after hitting his head on the ice. Similar to how the league suspends players, the refs reacted to an injury not the actual play. Things in real-time can always be difficult, but the NHL just looks awful here in that since Pavelski was injured on what was just a freak accident,Read More »

Industry Buzz: What Penguins do or don’t do with Mike Sullivan contract situation will tell a lot


Latest Penguins Buzz — Scuttlebutt on Mike Sullivan’s Future in Pittsburgh & Will the 2013 Extension for Dan Bylsma have any weight on ownership’s willingness or lack their of to extend Mike Sullivan before the 2019-2020 opener?— Of all the head scratching things Penguins GM Jim Rutherford said at Thursday’s season ending press conference, Rutherford saying he’s going to take some time in the evaluation process of what went wrong this season before coming to any decisions is the smartest route he can take with lots of time on his side and a pivotal decision or two to be made with this core . “We are still a bit emotional with how this ended,” said Rutherford on Thursday. “The best thing for me is to take a little time to think through this. Some big decisions will be made.” What is the Penguins No. 1 off-season priority? Developing an IdentityRead More »