Latest Penguins Rumors: On Cooke, Niskanen & Scuderi


LATEST PENGUINS RUMORS As Dave Molinari of the Post-Gazette points out, Matt Cooke’s return to Pittsburgh is looking less likely. The word I’ve gotten from the Cooke camp all week has been that talks are stagnant and there’s been no movement towards a new deal. Early last week sources said Pittsburgh offered Cooke a 2 year, $2.5 million deal with an AAV of $1.25 million. It was declined and Cooke countered with two proposals I’m told, a three year deal and a two year deal with an AAV of close to $2 million. If Cooke wants to return, it’s going to be on the Penguins terms at the salary he made last season which was $1.25 million, not what his cap hit was ($1.8 million) Eric Nystrom and Matt Hendricks top the Penguins wishlist of Matt Cooke replacements but there is considerable interest around the league for both. Both appearRead More »

Morning Pens Buzz: On Cooke, Crosby, Tangradi, Vitale, Third Line & Penguin League Ranks


MORNING PENGUINS BUZZ — The NHL informed the Penguins this morning that there will be no discipline or hearing for Matt Cooke. The Senators were pushing hard for the league to take action but the league told both teams they felt there was no intent. The only argument on Cooke you could make is that he was careless with his skate but it was really just a play that went bad. — Many ask what went wrong with Eric Tangradi as he never developed into an impact NHL player with the Penguins. Well expectations were too high from the get go for Tangradi and he was arguably drafted higher than he probably should have been by the Anaheim Ducks. Tangradi entered the 2007 draft as the 93rd ranked North American Skater by central scouting and regarded by many draft evaluators as a 4th round prospect, although players ranked 60-100 isRead More »

Senators – Penguins Post Game Reactions & Analysis on Special Teams & Cooke fallout


SENATORS – PENGUINS ANALYSIS Paul Martin running the power play continues to be a huge difference for the Penguins who have scored a power play goal in six straight games. Martin has become a calming presence and the Penguins puck movement from the triangle on the sides and into the slot to break down the penalty kill has been the difference in the past handful of games with Martin running the point. “{Paul’s} poised back there, finds open man,” Sidney Crosby said. He keeps it pretty simple.” James Neal’s power play goal at 13:47 of the second period from 32 ft out was text book Neal who found open space in slot and beat Anderson with time and space. Given Neal that type of time and space from that spot, he’s going to score seven out of ten times. “He’s {James Neal} got a great shot,” Crosby said.” Tough toRead More »

Morning Pens Buzz: Third line winger a priority?


MORNING PENS BUZZ Devils – Pens Fallout: What stands out with the New Jersey Devils dating back to last years playoff run is how well coached they are. Peter DeBoer has emerged as one of the best coaches in the game and he prepares his hockey team so well at exploiting the weaknesses of other teams. “It’s a testament to our character,” DeBoer said on last night’s win. “I think a lot of people thought that maybe our run last year was accidental and I think you’re seeing the depth of this team and how they play.” The Devils are not the early 2000’s trapping style Devils under DeBoer. While everything they do, they are thinking defense first, New Jersey’s offensive game is based on puck control and they are one of the best teams in the NHL in that critical area. “They did a good job of taking away opportunitiesRead More »

Morning Pens Buzz: On Breakdowns vs Sens; Turnaround starts with committment to defense; Scouts take on Pens “finesse” role players


Morning Pens Buzz It was a meltdown for the Penguins Tuesday night, falling to the Ottawa Senators 5-1 on home ice, dropping their 5th straight game. The team was lifeless when it counted and by the time they showed some life after Evgeni Malkin’s second period goal, it was to late. The Penguins have scored six goals in their last five games and anyone can see that number and realize you’re not going to win hockey games with those type of numbers. The high percentage shots are still missing and they were again vs Ottawa. Injuries can be attributed to the Penguins struggles offensively but this is still a team that has Evgeni Malkin and four former 20-goal scorers aside from Malkin in their lineup in James Neal, Chris Kunitz, Tyler Kennedy and Steve Sullivan, and former 15+ goal scorers in the likes of Pascal Dupuis. This isn’t the 2003-2004 PenguinsRead More »

Pens will give Cooke an opportunity to change


Penguins winger Matt Cooke has not played his last game in a Penguin uniform. Cooke’s future with the Penguins has been a hot topic by fans and the media after Cooke was suspended for the rest of the regular season and the first round of the playoffs. With the Penguins showing full support in the NHL’s decision and being strong supporters on a ban for headshots, speculation is rampant that the Penguins will decide to part ways with Cooke this summer. Cooke who received a three year – $5.4 million deal from the Penguins last summer, has two years remaining on his deal that includes a modified no trade clause.

Cooke faces disciplinary hearing on Wednesday for hit from behind


To no surprise, Pittsburgh Penguins winger Matt Cooke will have a disciplinary hearing the National Hockey League for his hit from behind on Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Fedor Tyutin tonight. The hearing will happen in an appropriate time frame before the Penguins host the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night. The league is expected to be scheduled for Wednesday. Cooke faces the possibility of a suspension but any type of suspension is expected to be less than 4 games. Head coach Dan Bylsma came to Matt Cooke’s defense in his post-game comments. Bylsma said Tyutin looked Cooke “right in the eyes” and knew the hit was coming…..which was true.

Some players around the league including Cooke’s teammates feel he should have been suspended


The National Hockey League opting not to suspend Matt Cooke has drew plenty of criticism around the league from the media and inside the locker rooms around the league. The vibe coming out of the Penguins locker room is that the majority of players didn’t agree with Cooke’s hit on Marc Savard. and according to team insiders, the growing consensus from Cooke’s teammates is that he should have been suspended. Many players have kept their comments to themselves but veteran Billy Guerin was very blunt in saying that players need to pay the price for their actions. “If a guy gets hurt like that with a shot to the head, there’s got to be something,” Penguins winger Billy Guerin said today. “Actions happen. Guys don’t mean to hurt each other, but they do. You got to pay a price for that.” Guerin added, “we’re all under the same umbrella, whetherRead More »

Matt Cooke will likely get at least a 3 game suspension


Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke will have a disciplinary hearing this week, likely before the Penguins depart for Carolina. Cooke delivered a vicious shoulder-to-head hit to Bruins star forward Marc Savard in the third period of Sunday’s game. Savard left the ice on a stretcher and was diagnosed with a concussion. According to Bruins head coach Claude Julien, Savard was knocked unconscious momentarily League sources indicate Cooke will likely receive a suspension in the range of 3-5 games, with a five game suspension a possibility . One source says he’s going to get at least three games,, which is the minimum amount of games Savard will sit (1 week) for after being diagnosed with a suspension. However, with the way Colin Campbell evaluates, it wouldn’t be a shock if Cooke walks out of this one. You just never know with Campbell. Cooke who blindsided Savard, felt it was a cleanRead More »