LONG-TERM DEAL FOR OLLI MAATTA ALREADY A TOP-PRIORITY INTERNALLY
The Metropolitan Division is already shaping up as one of the most competitive divisions in hockey and this week it’s been the division of big moves. First with the Blue Jackets acquisition of Brandon Saad, to Pittsburgh trading for Phil Kessel, and the Capitals in a 24-hour span, took a big step towards bolstering their top-6. The Capitals last night signed Justin Williams to a 2 year deal worth just $6.5 million, an excellent bargain in getting Williams at just two years, and moments ago the Capitals acquired T.J. Oshie in a trade with St. Louis. The Blues receive forwards Troy Brouwer and Pheonix Copley and a third-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft. “T.J. is an outstanding skater with a tremendous skill set,” Capitals GM Brian MacLellan said in a statement. “He is a powerful player and has consistent track record of production throughout his career in the NHL.Read More »
It took about a month to get done by Jim Rutherford nabbed his No. 1 target at the end of the day. “Very excited about what happened,” Rutherford said of the Penguins acquisition of Phil Kessel. “Worked on this deal with Toronto for about a month. Got a little bit of legs on draft night and heated up last night.” Rutherford noted that the Penguins “poked” around on other available wingers but Kessel was their main target from the get go. “Kessel was our main [No. 1] target,” Rutherford said. “Ideal player we were looking for.” Rutherford set out to add an impact scoring winger and he accomplished that goal. “When you can get a pure goal scorer…….that is going to help you win games,” Rutherford said. “We got the best player in the trade right now.” On the notion that Kessel is lazy and a bad teammate, “I don’tRead More »
We’ve talked about the Sergei Gonchar stuff for a few days and after meeting with Gonchar’s camp over the weekend, the Penguins remain open to the idea. Agent JP Barry confirming to Inside Pittsburgh Sports.com that he met with Penguins officials to “discuss Sergei” during the interview period, indicated today that the door is open to Gonchar signing with the Penguins but nothing is definite at this point. “We will see moving forward,” Barry said. Meanwhile, another former Penguin in Tyler Kennedy has very strong interest in returning to the Penguins but unlike the Penguins and Gonchar, it’s unclear whether the interest is mutual from the Penguins end. “From our side [Pittsburgh is] very attractive,” veteran agent Steve Bartlett said when asked of Kennedy having interest in Pittsburgh.
View image | gettyimages.com Jim Rutherford and the Pittsburgh Penguins left the draft Saturday without accomplishing their primary goal of acquiring an impact top-6 winger. Rutherford’s No. 1 priority continues to be to finalize a deal for Phil Kessel but it’s a deal that may take a while or it might not happen at all as neither side is ready to give in at this point. On the flip side, all of the Penguins so called “Plan B” Targets internally were also not traded, Patrick Sharp, Jiri Hudler, Jeff Skinner among them, but Kessel is the big fish Rutherford really wants, multiple sources continue to indicate. Some parameters were established in the Leafs taking on a few roster players, Chris Kunitz was one player the two sides agreed on, to help ease the Penguins cap situation for the short-term, but Toronto isn’t coming off their ask of Olli Maatta, andRead More »
The direction of where the Penguins off-season is headed has been all over the map based on players the Penguins are pursuing in trades and considering runs at on July 1. Despite talk of Penguins wanting to get younger and saying they want to, they’ve been chatting it up with agents for players during the UFA window who are closer to 40 than 25.
TIOPS DAILY FIVE *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* 1. Chris Kunitz future with the Penguins this summer is hinging on whether the Penguins make a specific move they are exploring for a top-6 winger, Inside Pittsburgh Sports has learned. A source close to the situation in simplest terms says the Penguins are not planning to move Kunitz just for the sake of moving him but have explored scenarios to create a roster spot or cap room, were the Penguins to swing a deal for one scenario they’re exploring right now. That leads to this:
LATEST PENGUINS RUMORS Penguins GM Jim Rutherford has identified Patrick Sharp as a top trade target, multiple sources have confirmed over the last 48 hours, and with the General Managers gathered in Las Vegas today, it’s been expected that trade talks for Sharp would start hitting the serious stages in the next 24-48 hours. Hearing Stars, Penguins and Panthers are teams most interested in #Blackhawks' Patrick Sharp. Asking price still too high. — Chris Kuc (@ChrisKuc) June 24, 2015 Blackhawks reporter Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune reports the Penguins, Panthers and Stars are the teams expressing the most interest at this point. Rutherford is looking to make a serious play for Sharp and his very close relationship to Sharps agent Rick Curran likely won’t hurt in the process. Dallas and Florida, though, are two ideal destinations for Sharp, while the Capitals who pursued Sharp at the deadline have beenRead More »