TIOPS DAILY BUZZ *RUMBLINGS, MUSINGS, OPINIONS* PIRATES/MLB Russell Martin getting a deal that the Pirates would have no interest in matching was inevitable and on the surface, going five years was something the Pirates, Cubs and Dodgers were likely smart not to do. However, let’s not act like the Pirates couldn’t afford Martin. They could. Bob Nutting runs this franchise like a business, sets a budget and sticks by it. He’s not a owner who operates like the franchise is a toy and who will go above and beyond to win a championship. That’s not his primary goal with this franchise. Nutting will never be the guy who walks into Neal Huntington’s office and demands to go get player X and Player Y no matter the cost so they can put the Pirates over the top. While five years is risky for Martin, this is still a deal others inRead More »



TIOPS MORNING BUZZ: FRIDAY EDITION *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* — Penguins GM Jim Rutherford remains determined to add another scoring winger but unless he can move a salary and to this point Rutherford is only interested in hockey trades not salary dumps, per rival executives, the Penguins remain hamstring to make impact additions and will have to wait until right up to the deadline. One source with knowledge of the situation said the Penguins have never been this up against the cap where they can barely make callups now that Beau Bennett is back. — If the Penguins had the space to add another body, forward Andrei Loktionov would likely be a Penguin, a source says. — Sad news this week in the NHL with Nathan Horton’s NHL career likely over at age 29 and Senators GM Bryan Murray claiming he has stage 4 colon cancer and unknowingly had the cancerRead More »



TIOPS MORNING BUZZ: THURSDAY EDITION PENGUINS/NHL — The Toronto Maple Leafs whooped the Boston Bruins 6-1 last night and have won six of eight games going into Friday’s contest vs the Penguins. There might not be a more under-appreciated player in the league than Phil Kessel. Few guys come around who can score coming down the right side like he does. Some Toronto reporters called it the Leafs most impressive game they’ve seen them play in years. The Penguins will likely be seeing a different team than they saw in the second game of the season. If the Leafs beat the Penguins, that city might be ready to plan a parade. — The Penguins want to be a great puck possession team and you don’t need to be an advance stats guru to figure out they’re possessing the puck better with a stronger emphasis on zone entries. However, it remainsRead More »

TIOPS Daily Buzz: On the Fleury Extension, Scuderi & more


TIOPS DAILY BUZZ *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* 1. Marc Andre Fleury’s 4 year, $23 million extension today was far from a surprise. Momentum was moving in the direction of the Penguins committing another long-term contract to Fleury in recent weeks and once word leaked of Allan Walsh meeting with Penguins officials last weekend, it was only a matter of time before the deal got finalized. When initially hired over the summer, Jim Rutherford was lukewarm about whether Fleury was the Penguins long-term goaltender but all he needed was one month to change his mind? As I wrote in yesterday’s Daily Buzz Section, Rutherford did extensive homework on Fleury and realized just how important he is in the Penguins room and well liked by players, notably the core players. It’s a trap that others in the organization have fallen into. Fleury’s personality of being such a great guy has had a hugeRead More »