Insider Report: Top 40 wingers on the Free Agent market


Follow TIOPS on Twitter Inside Look at the top right/left wingers on the free agent market. Players in bold are players of interest for Pittsburgh. Players are numbered from highest 08/09 salary to the lowest. Top 22 Right Wingers 1. Marian Gaborik 27 MIN $7,500,000 2. Marian Hossa 30 DET $7,450,000 3. Martin Havlat 28 CHI $6,000,000 * Pittsburgh would have to get very creative and clear salary. Pittsburgh continues to get mentioned as a possibility because of a close working relationship between Ray Shero and Allan Walsh and Havlat’s interest in playing for a contender, if things don’t work out with the Blackhawks. -Major Longshot. 4. Alexei Kovalev 36 MON $4,500,000 * Seeking $4.5 million per season and is currently out of the Penguins price range. Penguins are indeed interested but Kovalev is not as interested in Pittsburgh like he use to be – Major Longshot 5. Brian GiontaRead More »

NHL: Rangers, Kings, Wild among final five teams in Heatley sweepstakes


Heatley sweepstakes Heating Up On the eve of the draft, Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray has set a deadline of July 1st to trade star forward Dany Heatley who is due a $4 million-bonus on July 1st. Former Pittsburgh Penguins Assistant GM Chuck Fletcher has the Wild in the mix as the Wild are among the final five teams in the Heatley sweepstakes. The other four teams are the LA Kings, Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers and the Chicago Blackhawks. The Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks are no longer in the mix.

Trade Watch: Pittsburgh’s interest has cooled on Frolunda’s Carl Klingberg


One trade to watch for on draft day could be between the Minnesota Wild and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Wild GM Chuck Fletcher is believed to have his eye on Penguins defenseman Ben Lovejoy. Fletcher values Lovejoy as one of the Penguins top five prospects and believes he is NHL ready. There is a 0% chance that Fletcher would make an offer sheet to Lovejoy but a swap of Pascal Dupuis/Ben Lovejoy for a high draft pick is a possibility, although the Wild don’t own a 2nd round pick (09) at this point. Pittsburgh is currently in talks with Lovejoy about a two year deal. Updated Penguins Free Agency Chart – New Info on Fedotenko, Draft Buzz As I mentioned last week, Pittsburgh’s interest in Frolunda’s Carl Klingberg has cooled as there are concerns that he is in no hurry to play in North America. Despite injury concerns, Pittsburgh is very high onRead More »

Pittsburgh doesn’t have the cap flexibility to commit “market value” money to Rob Scuderi


Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Rob Scuderi became a household name during the Penguins Stanley Cup run. The longer the Penguins played, the higher Scuderi’s market value went up. This past season Scuderi brought home a salary of $725,000. At age 30, Scuderi has the opportunity to test the free agent market for the first time in his career as a known name and Scuderi will cash in. Scuderi, the Penguins top defensive defenseman was an instrumental part of the Penguins success this season and under most situations would be a top priority for the Penguins. With $46.85 million committed to 14 players for the upcoming season, Pittsburgh has $11.585 million combined to four defensemen, not including slight raises for Alex Goligoski and Ben Lovejoy who will be strong candidates to make the team. Industry sources indicate Scuderi’s market value is currently at

NHL: Fletcher meeting with Constantine, nothing more than a courtesy meeting


Kevin Constantine will interview for the Minnesota Wild’s head coaching position later this week, according to the Star-Trib. Don’t look into this meeting as anything more than a courtesy meeting from Fletcher’s end. The Wild are looking to move past the Jacques Lemaire era and Constantine would bring more of the same. Constantine has been a successful coach at all levels but he makes life miserable for players as it’s hockey 24/7 with a ton of video instruction. Hiring Constantine would put the Wild in the same position they were in with Jacques Lamaire; Being unsuccessful to lure free agents. Fletcher’s short list for a head coach includes San Jose assistant Todd Richards, Detroit assistant coach Paul MacLean, former Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish, and former Carolina Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette.

The Latest buzz from the NHL GM meetings in Pittsburgh


Rumor Mill Heating Up NHL GM’s have convened in Pittsburgh for the annual GM meetings, trade winds and free agent talk is starting to heat up. Here’s the latest. Atlanta Thrashers GM Don Waddell has his most important off-season ahead for him as his star forward Ilya Kovalchuk is entering the final year of his contract. Word is Waddell will be aggressive in free agency and will make a strong run at the Sedin twins with Waddell prepared to make long-term offers to both players worth as much as $6 million per season. *Another player on the Thrashers radar is San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau according to a league source. The asking price is steep. *The Atlanta Thrashers have approached forward Colby Armstrong about a long-term extension in the range of $3.1 million per season. Armstrong set a career high with 22 goals during the regular season. * The SedinRead More »

Richards an early leading candidate for the Wild’s open head coaching position


Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher goes into his first off-season with high expectations as he looks to change the culture in Minnesota. A priority for Fletcher will be reaching out to star winger Marian Gaborik but his top priority will be finding the right coach. Under Fletcher, the days of playing a tight conservative defensive game will be long gone. It’s widely believed that Fletcher will implement a fast, up-tempo, aggressive system, similar to the style the Penguins have moved to under head coach Dan Bylsma. At the top of Chuck Fletcher’s radar is San Jose Sharks assistant coach Todd Richards according to industry sources. Potential Coaches on the Wild’s Radar

Penguins transition game clicking on all cylinders


The Penguins have scored 13 goals in their last two games, the Hurricanes have no answers for the Penguins transition game as the Penguins have recorded 40+ shots in consecutive games and the Hurricanes have no answers for Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. It’s a recipe for disaster against an offensive team like the Penguins whose transition game fuels their offensive attack. The way the Hurricanes are being overmatched is similar to how the Penguins were overmatched in the first two games of the Stanley Cup Finals against the Detroit Red Wings last spring At times the Canes have played the Penguins even, but the just like the Wings did, the better team pulls away late in games. The Latest Penguins Buzz Barring a last minute change by the league, the Stanley Cup Finals are scheduled to begin on Friday June 5th with game 2 on Saturday June 6th. IfRead More »

Wild to hire Penguins assistant GM Chuck Fletcher


Source: Fletcher agrees to five year deal The Minnesota Wild have agreed to terms with Pittsburgh Penguins assistant GM Chuck Fletcher to replace Doug Risebrough as Executive Vice President and General Manager. Sources close to the situation tell Inside Pittsburgh Sports that Fletcher has agreed to a five year deal worth $750,000 per season. Fletcher, 41, has 16 years of experience with Florida, Anaheim and Pittsburgh, and has played a big role in the Penguins success over the past two seasons. While in Pittsburgh, Fletcher oversaw the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins minor-league club and was involved in contract negotiations, scouting and various day-to-day club operations. The Wild who have struggled to lure and keep top tier free agents, wanted to change the culture and the direction of the team as Fletcher emerged as a leading candidate to replace Doug Risebrough early in the process. The Minnesota Star Tribune first reported theRead More »