Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero has held brief organization meetings with several members of his staff including coaches over the past couple of days.
A contact with knowledge of the situation said that the Penguins brass is scheduled to conclude meetings on Wednesday of this week and break for scouting trips.
The Penguins off-season plans are said to still be in the “preliminary stages” but some ground work has been laid on the Penguins plan of attack. However, it’s expected that it’s going to be a quiet next couple of weeks. Several agents told me they have yet to hear from the Penguins.
Here is some chatter coming out of Penguin circles:
— There continues to be strong indications that one free agent forward who will be resigned well before July 1 is Mike Rupp.
Once talks begin, the sense is a deal will come to fruition pretty quickly. Based off “so called” exploratory talks (wouldn’t call them “preliminary talks”) during the season, Rupp has been telling close associates that he expects to resign for around the same money he made last season.
— The Penguins are not going to let Max Talbot hit the free agent market without making a pretty good pitch to retain him.
— Did Arron Asham do enough in the playoffs to get back on the Penguins radar for next season?
” I don’t know, It’s their move, “…
Jarrett Bousquet, the agent for Arron Asham told me late last night on whether he had any kind of “feel” that Asham could be back next season. I’m told Asham left his exit meeting with the staff without any kind of indication whether the Penguins are going to try to bring him back.
Asham who did fit in well in the locker room, would like to return, despite being disappointed with his role at times last season.
When signed as a free agent in late August, Asham was slated to play on the third line with Matt Cooke but after suffering a shoulder injury in the second to last preseason game, that plan never panned out.
Asham’s one of those situations I believe the Penguins are going to take a wait and see approach. He’s not a player like Max Talbot or Pascal Dupuis where it would be a difficult a negotiation.