Latest Penguins Buzz

Insider Only Latest Pens Buzz: Skinner was ‘lukewarm’ of joining the Penguins when Pittsburgh was in pursuit

Latest Pens Buzz

The Carolina Hurricanes return for Jeff Skinner has been widely scrutinized over the past couple days but not so much in league circles.

The growing consensus surrounding the Hurricanes is that they were backed in a corner and there are clubs and NHL scouts who have Cliff Pu rated much higher than pundits do.

Despite what the player may be saying publicly, what played out here is Skinner’s power of a full no-move clause nixed at least three trade proposals the Hurricanes were willing to move on during the draft weekend and over the past 3-4 weeks, Carolina was only given a very small list of teams Skinner would be willing to go to.

Despite the belief around the NHL that Carolina’s return is not as low as being perceived through the media, trading a player of Skinner’s caliber with no young NHL talent for next season in return, puts a bit of a sour note on what’s been a strong off-season for Don Waddell’s first summer at the helm.

Especially when this is a club that has the possession numbers where they should be scoring more goals.

At the end of the day, Waddell’s hands were a bit tied by Skinner and his boss. Carolina ownership made the decision in early May that Skinner would be one of the core players the team had to trade to shakeup the team.

It just took a little longer than expected.

That mandate remained even as Carolina was forced to deal with a limited market due to Skinner’s desire to join a team where he would be a sure-fire first line player to max-out his next contract.

Where did Pittsburgh fall into all of this?

The Penguins in June tabbed Skinner as a top trade target and Pittsburgh was one of three teams on the eve of the draft that Carolina dubbed as finalists for Skinner. That was before they started to go to the players camp and get a feel of where they might be leaning.

Pittsburgh’s unwillingness to include Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access" was problematic but Jeff Skinner’s reps at Newport Sports making it know to the Hurricanes the morning of the draft that Skinner was Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"


MORE BUZZ

— Sources say Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan is more motivated to make Derick Brassard work as the third line center than a full-time move for Brassard to left wing in the top-6.

Talk is the Penguins coaching staff was not thrilled that the Brassard to wing possibility became the story it did like it is set in stone. (They can thank the GM).

No reason not to try it a bit in training camp and it probably will be, but indications are the coaching staff views the Penguins being at their best next season with Brassard playing the role of an impact third line center.

One line that’s been kicked around a bit that wasn’t tried is Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"


— At least to open the season, all indications continue to be that Matt Cullen is pegged to be the Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"


— The Tristan Jarry camp had no qualms about taking a 2-way deal in 2018-2019. All parties involved know the fastest route for Jarry to becoming an NHL goaltender elsewhere is to have a lights out season in the AHL.

That’s of course the goal for Jarry and in reality Pittsburgh’s long-term goal with Jarry is to get max value in a trade.

Carolina looked hard at Jarry this summer, the Islanders to a smaller extent, but no one took the plunge willing to surrender the assets that young AHL goalies with No. 1 potential hold on the trade market.

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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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