Insider Only Daily 5: Pens up for a sale viewed as unique situation, one major thing being overlooked for a Pens/Saad offer sheet & more


*Rumblings, Musings, Opinions*

1. The Penguins on the market is being regarded as a unique situation around the league. Many are fascinated on how this plays out.
While Pittsburgh is not the Mecca of hockey that some in the local media called the Penguins and this market 3-4 years ago, but if you want to buy an NHL team, the ones available have normally been small market teams in bad markets like the Florida Panthers, Arizona Coyotes, New Jersey Devils, Dallas Stars among teams that have been sold in recent years.
One league executive today predicted someone is going to come in with an offer that’s blows the Penguins mind away, talking $600 million+. We’ll see.
The question right now is how can Mario Lemieux find a way to cash out with Ron Burkle keeping his majority stake, believed to be the preferred option. One theory and maybe the only realistic one is some of the current minority owners with close ties to Lemieux coming together and raising the money to buy Lemieux’s stake. Have to wonder if Chuck Greenberg gets in on this.

2. The Penguins are followers when it comes to a vision/identity. Last summer they prioritized the need to become a balanced four line scoring team. By December they got spooked and felt the need to become a gritty team to match up against what they believed was a more physical Eastern Conference than expected……Now they want to be the Lightning and be a faster/skilled team with balance. By January they’ll probably want to be the Kings again.
The biggest issue for the Penguins to becoming a more well balanced team isn’t a lack of speed, it’s a lineup filled with players who can’t create their own shot. That’s the No. 1 area that has to be fixed first.
A player with speed can be deceiving. Max Lapierre is a perfect example of that. He looks to be making more of an impact than he is until you start breaking down the possession numbers, other areas.

3. The Penguins won’t be a threat to put an offer sheet in for Brandon Saad or another top RFA who’s cap hit would fall in the $5,478,986 to $7,305,316 cap range (Compensation: First-round, second-round, third round pick) or higher for the sole reason that they don’t have their own second round pick. For those putting that talk out there, they haven’t done their homework.
Let’s play arm chair GM and say the Penguins want to offer Saad a 7 year, $45 million offer sheet and that’s the type of offer it would take from a team to get the Blackhawks to think twice about matching.
To do that the Penguins would have to give up a first-round, second-round and third-round pick. Here’s the kicker and why it can’t happen:
Clubs owing three (3) draft selections in different rounds must have them available in the next draft. That would be the 2016 draft.
Also teams must use their own draft picks for the purpose of compensation. They cannot use draft picks acquired from other teams (which were not originally theirs) to offer as compensation.
So the Penguins would have to find a way to re-acquire their original 2016 second round pick (Daniel Winnik trade) back from Toronto. On PS4 the Penguins might be able to reacquire their second round pick. In real life it’s not going to happen.

4. The Pirates winners of four straight after tonight’s 10-8 win, are beating teams any kind of way right now. On a night they get a shaky outing from Charlie Morton and were inconsistent in the field again, they put up 10 runs. Jon Heyman in his weekly Inside Baseball Feature, cited that the Pirates are scaring rivals right now.

Pittsburgh scares some rivals. “They’re the team to watch. Their pitching is fantastic,” says a rival GM.

lebron5. The Cleveland Cavaliers weren’t the only ones who were robbed Thursday night with the Kyrie Irving injury, so were NBA Fans. The chance for a phenomenal NBA Finals took a huge hit with the Irving injury and the turn of events in that one was something to watch and as a die-hard NBA and Cavs fan, not in a good way.
After failing to close out game 1 in the 4th quarter when they should have, everything came crashing down in a matter of moments and it’s fascinating how before the game, many would have looked at the Cavs losing in overtime on the road in Game 1 being a positive from a psyche standpoint but that ended up being the farthest thing from the truth afterwards due to how the Cavs blew opportunity after opportunity to put the game away in the closing minutes of regulation to Irving fracturing his knee cap, to the debacle in overtime, it’s time to finally buy into the Cleveland is cursed talk.
What makes LeBron James so great is how he can change his game and elevate his teammates. This team around him is 2007 all over again with no Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, and for the Cavs to have a glimmer of hope to first make this a tough series without Irving, LeBron needs to transform into Magic Johnson from here on out which he’s capable of.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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