Penguins’ Training Camp Buzz: Where things stand for Sprong, Blueger, Aston-Reese


Latest Penguins Training Camp Buzz The Penguins 4-3 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets Friday night featured another lineup mostly made up of young players and fringe players trying to win a roster spot. “It was a young game. Young lineup on both sides,” Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said. “And so I think with that comes inconsistent play.” Sullivan cited the game featuring some brilliance from some of the Penguins young upside players and also a lot of negative play in how the Penguins performed away from the puck at times, which wasn’t unexpected. Among the notable players in the lineup, for a player like Adam Johnson, there was a drop off in his level of play vs the Blue Jackets. Meanwhile, Daniel Sprong scored in the win, while Zach Aston-Reese who is back skating on Evgeni Malkin’s line this morning, added a goal and assist. “You can seeRead More »

NHL Source: Danis Zaripov camp waiting for response from Penguins


Latest on Danis Zaripov Will Evgeni Malkin get his wish and have Danis Zaripov flanking his left wing on opening night? The ball is in the Penguins court, NHL sources say. The Danis Zaripov camp informed the Penguins last week that Pittsburgh is one of two teams Zaripov wants to sign with, Inside Pittsburgh Sports has learned. In fact, sources tell TIOPS Zaripov’s camp even made a

Headliners: Guentzel’s 5 point night, Two bottom-6 centers separating from the pack


Penguins 6 – Red Wings 5 (OT) — Justin Schultz scored 27 seconds into overtime as the Penguins defeated the Detroit Red Wings 6-5 on Wednesday night at the PPG Paints Arena — Headliners — Jake Guentzel assisted on Schultz OT winner to cap off a 5 point night. Guentzel led the way for Pittsburgh with a goal, 4 assists. What will Guentzel do for an encore this season? Those into fantasy hockey, draft him early. — Center Adam Johnson continues to impress through the first week of camp. His blazing speed was on display and capitalized with a 2 goal night and had 6 shots on goal. At 5 vs 5, Johnson was on the ice for 11 shot attempts and 6 against. How Johnson fares later in the preseason against stiffer competition is going to tell the story but the rookie has everyone’s attention and has emerged intoRead More »

Penguins – Sabres: Early front-runner for bottom-6 center emerging?


Penguins Post-Game Reactions Do we have an early front runner for one of the Penguins two open bottom-6 center spots? One observer tells TIOPS Pittsburgh’s best line on the night was the Hagelin-McKegg-Sprong and the line was especially effective with zone entries. McKegg’s strength as a skater and hockey smarts in getting on the puck with speed and good angles was on display and he earned praised afterwards from the man who will be calling the shots on whether he earns a role in Pittsburgh or not. “I thought McKegg

Training Camp Buzz: 5 Players under the Microscope with questions on what the future holds


5 Players Under the Microscope LW Carl Hagelin A $4 million cap hit for the next two seasons, Hagelin had a dismal offensive season in 2016-2017 with 6 goals and 22 points in 61 games and the dominant possession game from 2015-2016 wasn’t there. Injuries then made him a non-factor for much of the playoffs where he was a healthy scratch for stretches of the playoffs before turning in a strong performance in the Penguins Stanley Cup clinching win in Game 6. Hagelin is bad value at his contract because of the inconsistent offensive production that saw the Rangers trade him entering his peak years and then the Anaheim Ducks after just a couple months. Where opinions differ on Hagelin is usually between coaches and upper management. “Carl’s a replacement level player but coaches who have had him admit Then there’s Defenseman Olli Maatta What does the future hold forRead 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 »

Training Camp Buzz: Young wingers to get early looks with Crosby and Malkin


Training Camp Buzz The Pittsburgh quest for a three peat is officially underway as the team opened training camp today. The early focus for the coaching staff in practices and the first couple preseason games will be giving young players playing time with the likes of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. With Patric Hornqvist sidelined for the start of camp, Crosby opened camp centering Dominik Simon and Jake Guentzel. It’s a long way until opening night but it’s a nice opportunity for Simon to open some eyes early in camp. Simon, 23, had 15 goals and 46 points in 70 games for Wilkes Barre, after a 25 goal season in 2015-2016. What the Penguins are intrigued about is the high-end puck skills. He has very good vision and playmaking ability to create high danger chances. The Penguins are locked in to play Jake Guentzel with Sidney Crosby but the teamRead 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 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 Pens Chatter: McClement viewed as having strong chance to earn contract


Latest Pens Buzz An interesting dynamic on how the Penguins roster has played out this summer is the likelihood of the team reverting away from being a four line scoring team. Some believe the acquisition of tough guy Ryan Reaves started getting the ball rolling of the Penguins being primed to lose that uniqueness about them that was so evident during their 2016 Stanley Cup run, but what you have at center is what dictates the way a particular line is going to play not who is the left or right wing. Scouts I’ve heard from believe the Penguins will feel more short-term pain by Matt Cullen signing with Minnesota than Nick Bonino leaving for Nashville. “Cullen’s going to be the bigger loss [for them],” an Eastern Conference scout said of the Penguins center situation in losing Nick Bonino and Matt Cullen this summer. “His speed and all the intangiblesRead More »