Off-Season Decisions to start being made today for Penguins

 

Decision Day for Penguins on Expansion Draft The Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday celebrated another Stanley Cup with an estimated 650,000 in attendance for the championship parade and now the work starts to begin for Penguin management. Exit meetings are being conducted today between coaches/management/players and just over 48 hours from the Penguins having to send in their protected expansion draft list, the club has to start looking forward to next year today. The looming decision is whether to go with the 7-3-1 setup for the expansion draft or the 4-4-1 setup? As reported here a weeks ago, the Penguins are one of the few teams that’s given strong consideration to going with the 4-4-1 to protect defensemen Kris Letang, Brian Dumoulin, Olli Maatta and Justin Schultz. “At times the composition of the list gets changed a little bit, but we have a pretty good idea of what we’re doing,” GMRead More »

NHL Source: Vegas, Penguins working on trade scenarios for Marc Andre Fleury with other clubs

 

Latest on Marc Andre Fleury A verbal from Marc Andre Fleury is as good as pen to paper. That’s a reason Penguins GM Jim Rutherford has been so calm for months regarding his goaltending situation for the expansion draft. Fleury gave the Penguins his word way back in February he would waive his no movement clause for the expansion draft and the official paperwork is being signed that will allow the Penguins to protect Matt Murray. Fleury had the right to potentially play hard ball and not be willing to do the Penguins a favor but that’s just not who Marc Andre Fleury is. A great moment in the Penguins winning last night was Fleury handing the Cup to Matt Murray. Fleury was embarrassed last season when he was handed the Cup third, but last night he cherished every moment and for good reason. While Matt Murray proved once againRead More »

Back-to-Back Stanley Cup Champions

 

Penguins 2 – Predators 0 The Pittsburgh Penguins are building a dynasty. In a goaltending duel between Matt Murray and Pekka Rinne, the Penguins broke through on a Patric Hornqvist goal with a 1:35 left in regulation and a Carl Hagelin empty net goal with 14 seconds left iced Game 6 as the Penguins are Back-to-Back Stanley Cup Champions. Matt Murray put on a great performance in posting a 27-save shutout for his second straight shutout. He’s now a two-time Stanley Cup winner, becoming the first goaltender to win a Stanley Cup in his first two seasons. Sidney Crosby was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the playoff MVP, becoming the first back-to-back Conn Smythe winner since Mario Lemieux. The Penguins in playing in the NHL’s toughest division, are the first repeat Stanley Cup Champion in 19 years and the first team in the Salary Cap era to winRead More »

If Penguins hoist a 5th Stanley Cup, window is wide open for many more

 

Sunday’s Penguins Buzz Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final tonight and here are the Pittsburgh Penguins on the cusp of back-to-back Stanley Cups. Putting themselves in great position to hoist a fifth Stanley Cup in franchise history, if the Penguins finish the job tonight or in Game 7, what can’t be understated is that the window remains wide open for more Cups. This group is not going away and in position to potentially add this summer. The Penguins have not backed themselves into a corner with the cap like the Chicago Blackhawks have for instance and the emergence of difference makers like a Jake Guentzel on a rookie deal for two more seasons are things that have fallen into the Penguins lap. Among others like the cap friendly Bryan Rust deal for another season and Matt Murray’s new contract for next season at $3.75 million per is tremendous valueRead More »

Rumors: Pirates sticking with Huntington, Hurdle beyond 17

 

Huntington, Hurdle back for 2018? A last place ball club and a group with bad fundamentals in key areas, the futures of manager Clint Hurdle and GM Neal Huntington were going to come to the forefront at somepoint this summer with both men in the last guaranteed year of their contracts. An extension for GM Neal Huntington through at least the 2019 season was always Bob Nutting’s intention prior to the season and one will happen. Huntington who could have went to Atlanta and ran their organization after the 2015 season, has always been a loyal soldier. He toes the company line, and does what ownership and Frank Coonelly want when it comes to controversial moves like the Francisco Liriano trade. He’s bought into how the Pirates operate without any push back that will pretty much let him decide how long he wants to stick around or go pursue anotherRead More »

Stanley Cup Final: Penguins follow the lead of Sidney Crosby’s ‘Greatness’ in Game 5 win

 

Penguins 6 – Predators 0 (PIT Leads Series, 3-2) The Pittsburgh Penguins are one win away from back-to-back Stanley Cups. Wasn’t this supposed to have been the Predators night? [‘Penguins are fatigued’] [‘Nashville has all the momentum and advantage in a best-of-3’] [‘Pekka Rinne is on his way to winning the Conn Smythe’] [‘Pittsburgh would play harder and be more motivated for Game 5 if Fleury started’] Those were some of the talking points from pundits heading into tonight’s game 5. What played out tonight at the PPG Paints Arena was the defending Stanley Cup Champions delivering a beat down to the Nashville Predators with a 6-0 win to take a 3-2 series lead. And this was a beat down in all facets. What the Penguins did was follow the lead of Sidney Crosby’s greatness. This performance in Game 5 from Sidney Crosby was none other than ‘greatness’ from #87.Read More »

Game 5: Lineup Talk, Stubbornness & Ice time for stars/depth players

 

Game 5 Lead Up Matt Murray outplayed Pekka Rinne in Games 1 and 2. Pekka Rinne outplayed Matt Murray in games 3 and 4. The Stanley Cup Final is now a best-of-3. Did the Penguins actually have a goalie controversy (50-50 decision on who would start) heading into tonight’s Game 5 or was it strictly driven by the pro Marc Andre Fleury media crowd? More likely the latter. Indications are Penguin coaches never really wavered making a goaltending change and as expected Mike Sullivan confirmed this morning that Matt Murray will start Game 5. When you’re at this point, you are almost always going to stick with your No. 1, even with a quality goaltender like Marc Andre Fleury behind him. “I know our guys understand the importance of the short-term focus and staying in the moment,” said Sullivan. “I think it’s arguably the most important for the goaltending positionRead More »

Rumors: Market heating up for Marc Andre Fleury?

 

Latest Penguins Rumors Marc Andre Fleury would have been traded at the 2017 deadline if the Penguins would have found a taker, multiple NHL sources contend despite the Penguins public stance they didn’t want to move him. The Penguins never received one trade offer during the 2017 regular season. That is about to change. Despite a tough goaltender market and most clubs leery of Fleury’s salary, signed for two more seasons with a $5.75 million cap hit, the Penguins have at least one option in play to move Fleury after the Stanley Cup Final, and two other clubs, while not all-in on pursuing Fleury, have engaged in talks with the Penguins recently and are mulling a run at trading for Fleury, sources tell TIOPS. Those clubs better move fast. The Pittsburgh Penguins and Vegas Golden Knights have held substantive talks on the framework of a deal that would clear significant cap space forRead More »

The Stanley Cup Final is now a best-of-3

 

4 PREDATORS – 1 PENGUINS The Nashville Predators have protected home-ice and the Stanley Cup Final is now a best-of-3. Nashville’s 4-1 win in Game 4 of the Cup Final saw the Predators limit the Penguins to one goal for the second consecutive game. Pekka Rinne had the bounces going his way and turned aside 23 of 24 saves. This game was won in the second period in Game 3 and again in Game 4. Calle Jarnkrok opened the scoring at 14:51 of the first period but Sidney Crosby who was the best player on the ice, would even things up a 1:06 later. Ryan Ellis got caught in no mans land and Brian Dumoulin found a wide open Crosby for a breakaway goal to tie the game at 1-1. It was just Crosby’s 2nd goal in his last 20 Stanley Cup Final games. A Penguins surge after Sidney Crosby’sRead More »

Stanley Cup Final: A first period of what might have been for the Penguins in blowout loss

 

Predators 5 – Penguins 1 (PIT Leads series, 2-1) Winning three straight Stanley Cup Final games is very difficult to do. Few should be shocked to see the Predators climb back in the series with a 5-1 win in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday night. For the Penguins they saw the Predators turn the tables on them. Jake Guentzel scored 2:46 into the game, his NHL leading 13th goal of the playoffs and the Penguins held a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes. A road game in the Stanley Cup Final against a team that was going to be pretty much fighting for their lives, you’ll take a lead after one in that atmosphere. Nashville, though, would breakthrough in the second period with goals 42 seconds apart from Roman Josi and Frederick Gaudreau to take their first lead of the game and a James Neal goal withRead More »