Kessel delivering amid minor trade talk from the summer
The Pittsburgh Penguins made no attempt this summer behind the scenes to quiet the Phil Kessel speculation that despite a 70 point season and the club winning a second consecutive Stanley Cup, the relationship was a bit tenuous. In fact, rival clubs believe the Penguins were putting some of the Kessel trade talk out there as a away to send a message to the player.
While the Penguins did in fact have trade talks with clubs about Kessel around late June/early July, the most substantive talks with the Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"
One goaltender trade scenario that was discussed last winter prior to the deadline that would have had an impact on the goaltending situation for this season.
Marc Andre Fleury going to Calgary and Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"
— Former Penguins netminder Antti Niemi is back on waivers. He made two appearances with Florida, stopping 34 of 39 shots.
— Sportsnet’s Headliners segment from Saturday night had NHL insiders Elliotte Friedman and Nick Kyperos stating the Penguins are looking to add veteran leadership to their lineup.
Regret in the organization for not even making Chris Kunitz an offer?
I’m hearing no on that front as the front office wanted to go in another direction but there was frustration among some of the core Penguin players that Kunitz wasn’t brought back and that frustration remains. He was a very valuable piece in the room and it’s not like he wouldn’t still be one of the Penguins best-4 left wingers.
— Former NHL assistant coach on Kris Letang:
“The early struggles look more mental [to me] than any physical limitations from the injury. He’s rushing things with the puck and over the next little while you should start seeing a player where the game starts slowing up for him [again]. Kris has always been a player who puts a ton of pressure on himself and I think it’s just taking him longer than he imagined to get up to game speed.”
While a consensus around the league is Letang will be fine in the long-run, an Eastern Conference Scout says one part of Letang’s struggles is that he’s been Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"