Penguins GM Ron Hextall acquired a familiar face today in claiming defenseman Mark Friedman off waivers from the Philadelphia Flyers. Friedman, 25, was a Hextall draft pick, selected 86th overall in the 2014 draft. The right handed defenseman is a smallish blueliner at 5’11, 185, who skates well, but has yet to make much of a presence in the NHL, appearing in just 11 career NHL games. Friedman is on a one-way contract with a cap hit of $725,000 through the 2021-2022 season.
Sidney Crosby’s Night Saturday night was a celebration of Sidney Crosby as the Penguins captain became to the first player in team history to hit the 1,000 game milestone in a Penguins uniform. Crosby is a special player, all-time Great, who is most importantly just a special human being. A beloved figure by so many who is a rare superstar on the ice on how he meets and exceeds expectations and off the ice in how he conducts himself. Many of Crosby’s teammates were below the line with their level of play in Saturday’s 3-2 win over the Islanders, but this team again was able find away to get a ‘W’ with a subpar performance. And at the end of the day, a Sidney Crosby led team will more likely than not find a way to snatch one of the four playoff spots in the East Division. —One of theRead More »
Ben Roethlisberger said all the right things a few weeks ago in that he’ll do whatever the Steelers need him to do to make the cap work. More likely than not, it just Ben talking to look good. But, restructuring and kicking it down the road isn’t Ben Roethlisberger being a company man and taking a pay cut. Not one word has come out of the agents mouth that Ben taking anything less than the $19 million Ben is owed in 2021 is going to happen. Everything the agent said was “RESTRUCTURE”, yet, many took the comments as Ben being willing to take a paycut. In a reversal from a couple weeks ago, though, the Steelers have gone from being all-in on another run with Ben Roethlisberger to taking on the $22 million dead cap hit (release) now being a strong consideration. The odds of Ben returning has gone fromRead More »
Penguins at the Quarter Mark After Tuesday’s 3-1 loss to the Washington Capitals, the Penguins have hit the quarter mark of the season with a 7-6-1 record. Some in Pittsburgh, including members of the organization were drinking the kool-aid and saw this team as an elite contender entering the season. However, a strong consensus around the league on the Penguins is that they were a middle of the road, fringe playoff team. And through 14 games they’ve lived up to that billing. In a covid world for a league mirrored with a ton of cancellations thus far, don’t waste your time looking at where the Penguins are at in the standings on a day to day basis, whether they shoot up to third place one or fall back to fifth the next day. All of the focus is on points percentage moving forward with doubts the league can get inRead More »
Sidney Crosby only untouchable for New Regime Ron Hextall and Brian Burke enter their first days and weeks at the helm with the entire mindset being on making this a legitimate playoff level team (they’re not right now) and then making the really tough decisions this summer: And to contrast Jim Rutherford’s trading style of sometimes chasing his own tail, Hextall has to try to tweak the edges of the roster without falling into the Rutherford trap of moving one contract for another. Everything after this season is going to be about how to restock the cupboard and keeping Sidney Crosby happy on what the plan will be moving forward. Ron Hextall and Brian Burke didn’t major commitments from ownership with five Ideally would ownership like to see Malkin retire a Penguins? Of course, but the new regime has full reins to do what they have to do to tryRead More »
Latest Pens Buzz One of the burning questions around the league is how the arranged marriage of Ron Hextall and Brian Burke evolves over the next year in a half. A growing sense among rival executives is things go well for a stretch but that the two are bound to eventually clash. In the present, though, it’s important the Penguins have fresh eyes in the fold now who have much different views in style of play, personnel than how the team was previously operated. That has a chance to really benefit them. Skill is always the way to go, but a major issue for the organization is how they overlooked the need for those glue type players, who will block shots, are hard to play against below the dots, ect. It’s such a passive, perimeter based lack of physical team top to bottom and it’s been a clear issue forRead More »
The Burke/Hextall Era Begins Less than two weeks after Jim Rutherford just up and quit, the Pittsburgh Penguins today named Brian Burke President of Hockey Operations and Ron Hextall the 11th General Manager in team history. “With these two guys, we have two of the greatest minds in hockey,” CEO David Morehouse said. “Two of the most respected people in hockey. It carries on a tradition of the Penguins that goes back to when we had Badger Bob, Scotty Bowman and Jim Rutherford on to today with Brian Burke and Ron Hextall. The Penguins say Hextall will handle the day-to-day hockey operations, while reporting to Burke. Burke will then report directly to David Morehouse. Of the two hires, let’s start with the biggest one of the day in Brian Burke. No matter how the Penguins wanted to present it today, let’s make this as clear as can be: The 65Read More »
Hextall tracking to become next GM After a lengthy meeting of over four hours on Monday with former Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall, a meeting that included team owner Mario Lemieux, the Penguins believe they have found their man to replace Jim Rutherford. For the time being, the team has halted second interviews with other shortlist candidates and this morning began directly negotiating with Ron Hextall’s representatives for Hextall to become the Penguins next General Manager. Both sides