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Insider Only Penguins continue to touch base with Leopold’s camp

Defenseman Jordan Leopold is currently in a holding pattern when it comes to his future with the Penguins.
There is a mutual interest from both sides in working out a new deal but the Penguins are not in the position to move forward in talks due to the uncertainty surrounding Sergei Gonchar.
If talks break down with Sergei Gonchar in the next couple days, a team source tells me that retaining Jordan Leopold becomes more of a priority over defenseman Mark Eaton. Negotiations by the way with Mark Eaton have yet to begin.
A contact in Leopold’s camp told me this evening that the two sides continue to touch base but no real negotiations have taken place.
“Had conversation with him {Ray Shero} couple days ago but just touching base, ” Ben Hankinson the agent for Jordan Leopold told Inside Pittsburgh Sports.
The two sides are expected to meet in Los Angeles at the NHL draft.
Leopold, 29, is intriguing if Gonchar walks.

He was not a good fit with Alex Goligoski by any means but Penguins scouts I’ve spoken too in recent days spoke highly of Leopold’s defensive play with the Penguins in the regular season.
They do contend that he didn’t appear to be the same player after suffering a concussion in game 2 of the first round.
In 20 regular season games with Pittsburgh, he was a plus-5.
The issue for the Penguins last season is that they just had too many defensemen who played the same type of game.
Leopold also adds some offensive capabilities if Gonchar walks. He had 11 goals last season, including 4 with the Penguins.
One under-rated part of his game is that he has an excellent accurate shot but didn’t shoot enough in the playoffs, passing up open opportunities from the point.
Most importantly, I get the sense from talking to Leopold’s camp that Jordan is not against a one year deal. They are believed to be seeking two years but see Pittsburgh as a great situation.

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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