LATEST PENGUINS BUZZ
— The Penguins hope to add a second assistant coach any day now but it won’t be Travis Green. Green informed the Penguins Tuesday he will be staying with the Canucks organization. Green declined a 3 year offer from the Penguins. He was the top choice for head coach Mike Johnston.
One league executive said this about the Penguins: “Coaching candidates weren’t scared about the [Mike] Babcock threat….They were scared of Rick Tocchet. Everyone knows he’ll be the [head] coach in a few years.”
— Christian Ehrhoff and Steve Downie have the same agent in Rick Curran of the Orr Group. For both players, the intrigue of taking a one year deal with Pittsburgh is to enhance their value for next summer when the cap will be going up.
Ehrhoff was set on joining a contender, and first approached the Detroit Red Wings and Anaheim Ducks to see if either would be interested in a five year deal and neither team was interested in a deal that long. No contender on Ehrhoff’s shortlist of 3-4 teams was willing to go beyond three years for him at the money he wanted, including Pittsburgh, so that led to the Pittsburgh situation being the best option for Ehrhoff to enhance his value this season and get a big deal next summer whether it’s in Pittsburgh or with another team. Getting a no movement clause on a one year deal was also very important to Ehrhoff.
The question that won’t be answered until next spring is whether Ehrhoff for one year was worth it over not diving into the top-6 forward market.
One scout on Monday called Ehrhoff the best defenseman who was set to hit the open market but that’s not a feeling among all.
“Lot of bad tape on him,” an Eastern Conference scout said of Ehrhoff’s play in his own end last couple years. “I like Niskanen better.”
- — The Penguins offered Brian Gibbons a 2-way contract prior to free agency. Gibbons agent Jay Fee intended to shop around for a one-way contract. He remains unsigned and is looking for the best NHL opportunity, even if he has to take a 2-way contract.
- — The Penguins, Rangers, Ducks, Bruins, Lightning, are among six to seven teams Dany Heatley is interested in playing for an NHL source says. The Heatley camp has reached out to all of those teams. New York is known to have shown some interest. Heatley has regressed as a player and had just 12 goals last season. He is looking to join a contender with the opportunity to have a bounce back year, the source says.
- — Mike Luit the agent for Ryan Malone anticipates teams taking a flier on Ryan Malone later this summer. He can’t skate anymore, body is breaking down and has a cocaine problem. Will be interesting if one does.
- — Nikolai Kulemin’s agent Gary Greenstein told Sportsnet that Evgeni Malkin badly wanted to play with Kulemin. “I know [Evgeni] Malkin really badly would like to play with Kulie, but we couldn’t make a deal with Pittsburgh,” said Greenstein.