TIOPS DAILY FIVE
Rumblings, Musings, Opinions*
1. Jim Rutherford is still blabbering about the Simon Despres trade.
“If I had a chance to make that trade today, as we speak, I wouldn’t make it,” Rutherford told Trib Total Media
Jason Mackey of the Trib writes, [In trading Despres, Rutherford acknowledged, then and now, that he could come to regret the move. But he wanted a right-handed shot and experience for the postseason. The Penguins’ glut of highly drafted defensemen since 2009 also has left NHL-level openings at a premium “We have a lot of young defensemen coming,” Rutherford said. “I knew at the time, over time, the trade would certainly be in Anaheim’s favor. But at the time we made it, and the reasons we made it for, I still feel it was the right thing to do.”]
It was a terrible trade at the moment it was made and was yet another example that Rutherford an old school GM doesn’t know the new NHL and the Despres move wasn’t the only one that proves that point.
The issue wasn’t trading Despres, it was the value the Penguins placed on Despres in assessing that a journeyman No. 6/No. 7 type defenseman was proper value.
Worse yet, when the Penguins made the trade, Rutherford claimed he was comfortable moving Despres because of the Penguins having other young defenseman ready to move into the lineup. That should have never had any impact on willing to take a lesser return for Despres and now Rutherford claims the Penguins might need to prioritize drafting defensemen this summer to replenish the system.
This management group is all over the map and it’s not surprising as the group lacked a vision from the start and still does.
As for Rutherford, there’s no reason to keep talking about the Despres trade. There’s nothing to gain at this point by basically just throwing Ben Lovejoy under the bus every time he goes public that he regrets the Despres trade.
2. Dan Bylsma has a deal in place with the Buffalo Sabres to become their next head coach as negotiations between the two sides began Tuesday evening. Bylsma was wined and dined Wednesday by the Sabres who became the Sabres top target after losing out on Mike Babcock.
The hold up for now on the deal becoming official is the Penguins fighting the Sabres for compensation. The Penguins didn’t seek compensation for Ray Shero as they felt it wasn’t right but they also didn’t know the rules properly at the time, a source says.
It’s expected the Penguins will get a 2016 third round pick, at least that’s the Penguins understanding right now.
It’s a ridiculous rule that teams who fire coaches, executives are allowed to seek compensation but it’s so NHL. Look for this to change by next year. Teams are getting compensated by the salaries coming off the books.
3. The Blackhawks cap situation will make them vulnerable this off-season and If Brandon Saad doesn’t become a target of an RFA offer sheet this summer, offer sheets should just be dismantled from the CBA. A team like Buffalo should be all over him. What a player Saad is and that was on display in Chicago’s game 6 win. The issue for the Penguins wasn’t passing on Saad in the 2011 draft who was in their backyard, it was that the player they drafted, Joe Morrow, isn’t any good. That was the problem when looking back.
4. With the Rangers – Lightning, Blackhawks – Ducks each going to Game 7, the NHL will have two Game 7’s in the conference finals for the first time since 2000. The NBA playoffs have been fascinating to watch and is a much better product with great storylines but the NHL playoffs haven’t been as bad as portrayed. The Western Conference has had a great pace in nearly every series going back to the first round, and the stagnant, coached up hockey has been more in the Eastern Conference. With the NBA finals not starting until June 4, the NHL has a good platform for themselves with Lightning – Rangers on Friday night and Blackawks – Ducks Saturday night.
5. First Jameson Taillon
last year in having Tommy John surgery that has pushed back his MLB arrival, now another prominent pitching prospect in Nick Kingham who underwent right UCL reconstruction surgery yesterday. The expected recovery time is approximately 12-18 months. Kingham was projected to be ready for the Majors this season and on top of that, the Pirates also lose a significant trade chip were they to make a big splash.