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Insider Only Source: Penguins direct negotiations, face-to-face meetings with Letang have helped bridged differences as deadline looms

Sense of Optimism Inside Penguin Circles Emerging for the first time in Letang talks?

When Kent Hughes, the longtime agent of Kris Letang was named General Manager of the Montreal Canadiens, Letang’s file a few months ago was transferred over to agent Philippe Lecavalier.

The interesting dynamic with Letang negotiations since Hughes left for Montreal is that Letang has been negotiating his Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access" And the Penguins internally believe this has become beneficial to the process.

Hextall is widely looked at in the organization as dropping the ball Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access" there is starting to be a feeling around the league it will be a surprise if this doesn’t get done.

Early next week seems to be soft deadline where the Penguins are anticipating a decision as they want to pivot to a few other of their free agent forwards not named Evgeni Malkin.


— NHL sources say Rickard Rakell’s agent Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

— Rick Tocchet was in line to get the Vegas Golden Knights job until Bruce Cassidy became available. Tocchet has been selective since leaving Arizona and some executives have said Tocchet’s asking price ($4 million) has been too high on the coaching market since last summer and that’s hurt him in a few spots. But, one thing for non-elite coaches is you don’t want to be on the sidelines too long. Tocchet is 58 years old and that’s surely at play whether Tocchet accepts the Winnipeg Jets offer or not as Winnipeg’s offer won’t be near the $3.5-$4 million asking price Tocchet has sought in the past.

— Penguins assistant Mike Vellucci was one of four coaches to receive two interviews Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

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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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