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 »
The Chicago Blackhawks are the 2014-2015 Stanley Cup Champions. Winning for the third time in the last six years and for the first time in Chicago since 1938, the Blackhawks defeated the Lightning 2-0 in Game 6. Duncan Keith who took home the Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP, scored the game winning goal and Patrick Kane put the game away with 5:14 left in regulation burying a beautiful feed from Brad Richards. After falling down 2-1 in the series, the Blackhawks won three straight to close out the series. The up and down Corey Crawford backstopped the Blackhawks to their second Cup in three years and Crawford rose to the occasion at the right time, posting a .975 save percentage over the final three games of the series. Keith with 21 points in playoffs became just the 11th defenseman to post 20 points in a post-season. The others whoRead More »
Game 4 Stanley Cup Final The Stanley Cup Final is all tied up at 2-2 as the series shifts back to Tampa Bay for Game 5. Jonathan Toews, Brandon Saad came up with clutch performances as the Blackhawks somehow preserved a 2-1 lead in the closing minutes to take Game 4 with a 2-1 win. Toews scored his 10th goal of the post-season in the second period and Brandon Saad would net the game winner for the Hawks at 6:22 of the third period. Patrick Sharp on Brandon Saad: "What is he 21 (actually, he's 22) years old? He looks like a grown man out there." #Blackhawks — Chris Kuc (@ChrisKuc) June 11, 2015 It might be the last goal Saad ever scores in a Blackhawk uniform as you know the Penguins believe they’re going to trade Nick Spaling for Saad in a couple weeks. The Lightning had to turnRead More »
David Morehouse gave Jim Rutherford a mandate (that came from the top) less than 24 hours after the Penguins were eliminated by the New York Rangers that there would be no discussion internally of trading Evgeni Malkin. To do that before conducting any off-season evaluation of the team, organization raised some red flags immediately around the league as to what’s really going on. Days later the Penguins on their official website were touting a headline, Malkin wants to be a Penguin for life. Now it’s all come into the clear with the Penguins potentially for sale as Penguins ownership views having Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin as more valuable to a prospective buyer. There’s no chance Malkin gets moved this summer due to the team being in play but that isn’t stopping chatter of Malkin not being happy, despite the face he puts on publicly. Rob Rossi of the TribRead More »
STANLEY CUP FINAL The Chicago Blackhawks like they often do find ways to win and did exactly that in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. Trailing 1-0, the Blackhawks dominated play in the third period and scored twice in a 1:58 span, en route to a 2-1 victory over the Lightning in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. Teuvo Teravainen (3) tied the game at 1-1 with 6:32 remaining in the regulation and Teravainen would could come up big moments later, creating a Lightning turnover with pressure on J.T. Brown and Antoine Vermette buried a shot past Ben Bishop to give the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead. The Chicago Blackhawks gave up a first round pick and top prospect for Antoine Vermette and the trade for months had been looking like a complete dud but Vermette who has dealt with being a healthy scratch at various points in post-season,Read More »
LATEST NHL BUZZ Ron Hextall’s patient approach of wanting to build the Flyers through the draft was never going to mesh with his boss Ed Snider and it has some executives around the league wondering if Hextall could be one and done — under one scenario — If Snider is able to land Mike Babcock who is said to covet more authority on personnel decisions along with a boat load of money, if he leaves Detroit. Hextall’s eye from the start has been on the future, trading Scott Hartnell for a broken down forward in R.J. Umberger for the sake of Umberger having two less years on his contract. Snider this week expressed frustration towards the Flyers patient approach this season. “It’s not like we don’t have pieces,” Snider said per Philly.com. “Now the question is, do we want those pieces to just die on the vine? And go forRead More »