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Insider Only NHL: Talbot, Asham are Pittsburgh’s Plan B?

Friday’s NHL Rumor Mill: How interested will the Lightning be in a Brad Richards reunion; MacTavish front runner over Therrien, Yeo in Minnesota? Talbot, Asham are Pittsburgh’s Plan B
Some Rumblings around the league….

Brad Richards as expected will not be returning to the Dallas Stars due to ownership issues in Dallas.
So where will he end up? The New York Rangers remain the consensus favorite to sign Richards and New York is a place Richards has strong interest in.
However, from all indications, Richards top choice is to return to Tampa Bay and one source close to Richards believes he would be willing to leave some on the table to sign there.
The question is how interested will the Lightning be? Down the middle, they already have a significant long-term commitment to Vinny Lecavalier and will be giving Steven Stamkos a new deal in excess of likely $7 million per season.
Former Penguins assistant GM Chuck Fletcher is closing in on a new coach, according to the Star Tribunes Michael Russo. Former Penguin coaches Mike Yeo and Michel Therrien are serious contenders but Russo hints at Craig MacTavish being the front runner.
MacTavish “has had multiple talks with Fletcher and is a bona fide contender, ” Russo writes.
Yeo has the Houston Aeros in the AHL Cup Finals and is said to be the direction Fletcher wants to go but there is pressure from ownership to hire a proven NHL coach.
The sense around the league is MacTavish, Therrien and Yeo are the top three contenders for the job.
This is also a hire that Fletcher’s fate with the team could be tied to as he is entering the third year of a five year contract.
The Penguins will be officially laying out their off-season plans on Monday and Tuesday of next week. However, some structure has already been laid out with the team being ousted from the playoffs in April.
From what’s being relayed to me, Pittsburgh’s plan A includes Craig Adams, Pascal Dupuis, Mike Rupp and Tyler Kennedy. Sources say Max Talbot and Arron Asham fall into the Penguins plan B.

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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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