TIOPS Breakaway Buzz: Thinking Ahead on a Successor to Jim Rutherford


Inside the East Division Rumblings, Musings, & Opinions PHI 3-1-1, 7 pts: Coaches around the league feel Kevin Hayes is one of the most underappreciated players in the NHL. 6 even strength points through 5 games, Hayes has been one of the most dominant two-way players to open the season. If the Rangers could go back, there might be a different decision made on whether to sign Chris Kreider long-term over Hayes ……..Intrigue with the Flyers is the upside with the forward group as the season grows, in particular getting full seasons from Nolan Patrick (1 Goal, 3 Assists) and Oskar Lindblom (2 Goals, 1 Assist)…… The Flyers chased Zdeno Chara in free agency. Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher remains in the market for a solidifying piece on the backend…… NYI 3-1-0, 6 pts: Goal Prevention? The Islanders are elite again in that critical area, allowing six goals through four games.Read More »

Rumors: Wild GM Paul Fenton enamored with Patric Hornqvist?


LATEST PENS BUZZ 1. A feeling in NHL circles among agents and executives is the Minnesota Wild embarrassed themselves with the nixed Phil Kessel trade. All indications are Wild GM Paul Fenton pushed the trade forward without any inkling or assurances that Phil Kessel would even consider playing in Minnesota. While the Kessel deal is still on the table if Kesse were to change his mind, Fenton just assumed it was a slam dunk and is said to have been blindsided that Kessel didn’t want to play in Minnesota. Fenton a year on to the job with the Minnesota Wild has already developed a reputation as being an ego maniac who doesn’t make an attempt to give his hockey operations staff a voice and when you don’t involve your staff like Fenton isn’t, you’ll get leaks and dysfunction which is happening in Minnesota. Another factor amongst others in Kessel givingRead More »

Rumors: Penguins showing interest in a deal of at least 4 years for Bryan Rust?


Penguins GM Jim Rutherford talked at his season ending press conference last month of the Penguins having trade assets other teams would want when it comes to likely changes with the roster this summer. 26 year old winger Bryan Rust, a pending restricted free agent (technically a year away from unrestricted free agency), would be at the top of the list of non-core players on the roster who carry high trade value. The Penguins coaching staff, though, wants to add more players like Rust, who play a speed/2-way game and Pittsburgh’s belief that Rust has sustained trade value into his mid-late 20’s is leading to the Penguins eyeing a new deal with Rust of at least

Industry chatter on what the Penguins are seeking from ‘specific’ teams in talks for Ian Cole


While the Penguins are trying to downplay the Ian Cole rumors, the Penguins have had trade inquires with a sizeable group of teams and the Ian Cole camp remains in discussions with other clubs to potentially facilitate a deal and a possible extension: Therefore, the rumors are not going away anytime soon. Here’s the Latest Industry Chatter on a notable group of teams involved and names Penguins are and would likely seek in a deal: Colorado Avalanche A league source says the Ian Cole camp has had had deep talks with the Colorado Avalanche (there’s a strong relationship between the Avs brass and Cole’s agency) in the past 48 hours about Cole and it’s one potential destination that could be a sign and trade scenario for Cole. Interest from Colorado in trading for Cole and signing him long-term is significant. However, is there a trade match for Pittsburgh? Talk inRead More »

Latest NHL Buzz: Has the ‘ship sailed’ for the Penguins on the Matt Duchene front?


Latest NHL Buzz 1. The year of what will John Tavares do? It’s going to be one of the top storylines for the 2017-2018 and is one of the closest situations a number of General Managers have their eyes glued on. The New York Islanders’ star center is best friends with Steven Stamkos and the talk has been out there for years that if Tavares left New York, it would be to team up with Stamkos, wherever he’d be playing. Whether that comes to fruition next July remains to be seen but what multiple NHL executives believe what Tavares will likely do is not sign an extension with the Islanders this season and take the Steven Stamkos route of going into the free agent interview period and then deciding what to do. Stamkos met with Toronto, Buffalo and San Jose during the free agent interview period in June 2016 beforeRead More »

Latest Penguins Buzz: Pens, Bruins to re-ignite trade talks?


Latest Penguins Buzz While Penguins GM Jim Rutherford fully expects to add an impact third line center at somepoint before the trade deadline and it’s not ruled out that move comes before opening night, though unlikely, the Penguins have taken the right route this summer and into training camp in avoiding to make a move to just make a move. Among guys out there actively available the Penguins could have acquired already sources say is Detroit’s Riley Sheahan. Sheahan, though, is nowhere near at the top of the Penguins wishlist and is not one of the three primary targets the Penguins are waiting to see that becomes available. ” If the Penguins wanted to acquire a player who doesn’t create high danger opportunities and is more of a 4th line caliber center than a 3rd line center, the team can just sign training camp invite Jay McClement who’s a strongRead More »

Scouts Buzz: On Daniel Sprong, Zach Aston-Reese & Teddy Blueger


Latest Prospects Buzz The Pittsburgh Penguins rookie tournament continues today. The games can be followed at pittsburghpenguins.com. Here’s some feedback from one NHL evaluator on three notable Penguin prospects from the tournament: On Daniel Sprong: “He’s too good for that tournament,” the NHL source said. “When he gets open ice down the wing he can push defenders back with speed and you have to be on notice because of the puck skills. A lot to like in the As for the key question marks surrounding Sprong’s game that will dictate how soon he’ll be an NHL regular? “[For me] how quick he gets to the NHL comes down to how he adapts without the puck. He doesn’t play a ‘lick On Teddy Blueger: “He’s on the fast track [to the NHL],” the source said. Two reasons why — “High hockey IQ and two-way play” “Coaches love young guys they canRead More »

Scouts Buzz: Weighing in on Danis Zaripov’s fit with a fast paced Penguins team


On Danis Zaripov and the Pittsburgh Penguins The Pittsburgh Penguins are not at the point yet where they can be tabbed as having strong interest in 36 year old winger Danis Zaripov, but the team is doing some homework on the winger after Zaripov’s agent reached out to the Penguins last week to gauge any possible interest. Zaripov, 36, had 15 goals and 22 points in 18 games with Metallurg Magnitogorsk during the playoffs, and 45 points in 56 games during the regular season. Zaripov is considered a legendary Russian player who won the KHL’s Gagarin Cup four times and the world hockey championship three times. Among the biggest strengths in Zaripov’s game is his playmaking ability and hockey smarts, scouts say. He thinks the game at a high level who is “always in the right place,” and can play with high-end players one scout indicated. NHL clubs are intriguedRead More »

Latest Penguins Buzz: Avs view of Olli Maatta in trade talks & More Buzz


Latest Penguins Buzz — Just over a month until training camp, the Penguins still have a third line center hole and fourth line center hole with Matt Cullen undecided as the NHL off-season has reached the dog days of August where most GM’s are vacationing. Mike Fisher retiring last week played right into why former Penguins center Nick Bonino was set on signing with the Nashville Predators from the start. From the get-go of the interview period, the Predators sold Bonino on having a bigger role in Nashville and being the long-term replacement for Fisher with the catch being Bonino would still be on a Stanley Cup contender. Pittsburgh could have decided in June that Bonino is more valuable to them than Conor Sheary would be for this next three to four year window where the Penguins have to a chance win more Cups. Therefore, Pittsburgh could have easily movedRead More »

Latest Free Agency Buzz: Strong market building for Bonino as Penguins weigh options


Latest Penguins Free Agency Buzz The NHL Free Agency Window opened at 12:00 a.m. on Sunday and calls have been coming in on Penguins center Nick Bonino. While the Penguins have made a Bonino a top priority and both sides continue to have “good discussions”, the ball is more in the Penguins court of whether they’re willing to stretch a bit to make a deal happen. “A lot of interest