Latest Penguins Buzz

Insider Only Latest Pens Buzz: On stalled trade talks; Brassard-Malkin, Dumoulin-Johnson likely experiments in camp; Skinner still in play?

An impact trade for the Penguins has yet to transpire

Stalled on the trade market in recent weeks, the Penguins opening night roster three months from now could very likely be what it is on paper as of July 12.

Penguins GM Jim Rutherford has been aggressively trying to shakeup his roster since around mid-June but the Penguins have found tough sledding on matching up in talks on specific targets.

Adding an impact left winger has been high on Rutherford’s list on the trade market and the Penguins have been courting Carolina’s Jeff Skinner since the week of the draft to no avail.

Tristan Jarry would have/or will be part of any Skinner to Pittsburgh trade but only as a second or third piece, league sources say. Pittsburgh’s unwillingness to build a package around Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access" and Carolina’s signing of Calvin DeHann has further complicated Pittsburgh’s pursuit of Skinner as internal discussions were on-going of including Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"


— The Penguins have told rival clubs all summer that they had no plans to trade Derick Brassard and that mindset remains. If a team inquired about Brassard, Pittsburgh would obviously put it on their board as they have but the club hasn’t been instigating trade talks on Brassard at any point.

At the end of the day, the Penguins want to see this play out, where as mentioned before, they view Brassard as tremendous value with a $3 million cap hit and don’t believe the fit was as poor as so many make it out to be.

One thing I’m told on Brassard that has caught the attention of the organization in a good way is how Brassard has made it known to the team he is very open to playing wing, something the Penguins feel means a lot as Brassard is entering a contract year and going from center to wing at age 31 is still dicey from an individual standpoint.

Pittsburgh also believes Brassard wants to be here, despite the obvious reduction in role when elsewhere he could be a clear No. 2 center.

When teams were exploring trades for Brassard at last years deadline, one thing that interested clubs became aware of is he wants to play in the East and isn’t keen on playing in Canada.

Not surprisingly, his 8-team no trade list is said to include many Canadian teams, Winnipeg and M Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

Rutherford confirmed tonight the worst kept secret in town that Brassard is going to be given an opportunity on wing in the top-6 during training camp.

Brassard’s going to get a look with Evgeni Malkin, and whether the two click right away or not isn’t the goal. It’s giving Brassard a comfort level to be able to play wing in spots during the season than it likely being a full-time role from here on out.

As for his role as the third line center………

Word is the coaches have spent a lot of time studying tape on linemates Brassard has clicked with in the past to put together a better combo of wingers when he’s deployed as the third line center. That Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"


— Brassard getting time on Evgeni Malkin’s wing won’t be the only headline story early in camp. So will Jack Johnson playing the right side Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

There’s a strong desire from some in the organization for the coaches to begin the stages of sheltering Kris Letang next season and use him more as a No. 2 pairing d-man.


— The Penguins have Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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