Latest Pens Buzz [Penguins still in on Zucker, Rask?] [Zucker, Kessel possible teammates in ARI?] [2nd Western team not on Kessel’s list gathering intel] Penguins continue to pursue trade talks for Jason Zucker In the aftermath of Phil Kessel officially nixing a trade to the Minnesota Wild last week, the Pittsburgh Penguins have continued to pursue a trade for Jason Zucker, TIOPS has learned. The Penguins emerged out of their pro scouting meetings in early May with Zucker a favorite among Pittsburgh’s pro scouts and the coaching staff, which has seen Pittsburgh make a revised offer (excluding Kessel) for Zucker, while the original deal is still on the table if Kessel changes his mind.
Latest Pens Buzz Fallout of the failed Phil Kessel trade to Minnesota? Pittsburgh is still not bringing him back under any circumstances. They’re determined to start next season with Phil Kessel off their roster. What happens next if Pittsburgh can’t find a trade partner without Kessel’s permission (a very difficult task with how purposely difficult Kessel has made his list) will be the fascinating part of how long Kessel tries to take this. He knows he’s not wanted back but the sense of the situation is that it wouldn’t stop Kessel from taking things to July or even August if a suitable trade destination doesn’t emerge before then. And that’s the worst case scenario for the Penguins right now who wanted to get this done before the end of the month, though, I’d argue they’ve made their own bed as based on Kessel’s low trade value which was established evenRead More »
The Pittsburgh Penguins announced today they have resigned defenseman Juuso Riikola to a 1 year, $850,000 contract. The deal is a 1-way contract for the 25 year old who appeared in 37 games for the Penguins in 2018-2019, totaling 2 goals and 3 assists. Pittsburgh last week signed depth defenseman Chad Ruhwedel to a 2 year, 1.4 million contract as the Riikola contracts gives the Penguins 8 defensemen on 1-way contracts with Marcus Pettersson (RFA) unsigned.
Penguins pushing to get a Kessel trade completed The Pittsburgh Penguins who came out of their preliminary organizational meetings last month with a firm decision to trade Phil Kessel this summer no matter how low the return ends up being, officially asked the 32 year old winger to waive his no trade clause to the Minnesota Wild, multiple league sources confirm. The trade request was made on Monday afternoon, TIOPS has learned, and Kessel through his agent The last 24 hours have seen both the Penguins and Minnesota aggressively trying to keep the trade alive. Pittsburgh granted Minnesota permission to speak to Kessel but as of a few hours ago, Minnesota officials were having no success getting return
RW Kasper Bjorkqvist (2016 2nd RD Pick) officially turned pro on Wednesday in agreeing to a two-year entry level contract. The 21 year old, widely regarded among evaluators as the Penguins No. 2 prospect, had 17 goals and 13 assists in 42 games at Providence this season. A strong 2-way player who emphasizes playing a 200-ft game, getting Bjorkqvist to turn pro was a top priority for the Penguins this month.
LATEST ON KRIS LETANG Nearly four weeks after being swept by the New York Islanders in embarrassing fashion, top decision makers among the Penguins brass are said to be on the same page or at least in the same hemisphere as one source put it regarding Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel. As mentioned recently, there’s intrigue among Penguins GM Jim Rutherford & Co to at least see if a feasible trade is out there for Malkin, while rival clubs continue to operate with the mindset that it’s a foregone conclusion Pittsburgh will look at every avenue to trade Phil Kessel and they’ve heard this directly from the Penguins themselves. Kris Letang, the third member among the core whose future in Pittsburgh has greatly mulled over by the organization, seems to be a bit of a different story. There are members in the organization, many in the analytic crowd who willRead More »
What’s At Play Behind the Scenes for the Penguins The Pittsburgh Penguins wrapped up their extensive phase of organizational meetings this week and a lot of the heavy lifting has been done. The organization has conducted a thorough evaluation of what changes, some potentially seismic that the group’s top decision makers believe that are needed to be made. After two weeks of what’s been described as exhaustive meetings, the direction Penguins GM Jim Rutherford is said to be strongly leaning right now is towards breaking up the core, but the group plans to take a step back over the next 10-14 days, do some scouting at the World Championships, then reconvene and come to a final decision if the direction they are strongly leaning towards right now is the direction they still want to go. Not surprisingly this lines up with Evgeni Malkin’s timetable and everything on how this off-seasonRead More »
The Pittsburgh Penguins announced today the team has signed forward Thomas Di’Pauli to a one year (2-way) contract worth $700,000 at the NHL level. Di’Pauli a 4th round pick out of the Capitals organization in 2012, had 7 goals and 15 points in 29 games with Wilkes Barre/Scranton in 2018-2019. When Pittsburgh signed Di’Pauli in the summer of 2016, the organization saw NHL ability with team scouts viewing Di’Pauli as a Bryan Rust type player but at the center position. Di’Pauli through three seasons in Wilkes Barre has struggled staying healthy. Di’Pauli qualified this summer as a Group 6 unrestricted free agent.
Latest Pens Buzz 1. The noise surrounding Evgeni Malkin continues to get louder and it’s getting back to the Malkin camp about how dissatisfied the organization actually is with the three-time Stanley Cup winner. The lack of push back continues to be something. There’s many inside the building who have become convinced over the last week that Jim Rutherford not only plans to chase offers for Evgeni Malkin, which sources say he has permission to do from ownership, Rutherford is motivated The thought of trading Malkin this summer has been something the Penguins top brass had minor discussions about as early as late March, TIOPS has learned. This isn’t something that is just brewing off the emotions of being swept by the Islanders. Things had been brewing for a while and a belief among some in the organization that Malkin went to And those with knowledge of Malkin’s thinking processRead More »
Sidney Crosby has been named a Hart Trophy Finalist along with Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov and Edmonton’s Connor McDavid. Crosby who was surprisingly not a Selke Finalist, is seeking his third Hart Trophy, last winning the award in 2013-2014. Crosby finished sixth in the NHL in scoring with 100 points. Nikita Kucherov a heavy favorite to win the award, led the NHL with 128 points.