The Pittsburgh Penguins today announced the signing of 22 year-old Finnish goaltender Emil Larmi to a two year, entry level contract. Larmi has played the last three seasons for HPK of the Finnish league, going 50-44-29 with a 2.07 GAA, .931 SV% and 15 shutouts. Larmi helped lead HPK to the Liiga championship this past season posting a 12-6 record with a 1.72 GAA, .932 SV% and two shutouts. The 6-0, 172-pound goaltender went undrafted in the NHL.
2-Time Stanley Cup winning head coach Mike Sullivan has one year left on his contract and while the sense in the organization continues to be that Sullivan’s contract will be addressed closer to the start of the 2019-2020 season, rising coaching salaries have now seen Sullivan fall out of the top-10. 1. Mike Babcock – $6.25M 2. Joel Quenneville – $6.0M 3. Alain Vigneault – $5.0M 4. Claude Julien – $5.0M 5. Todd McLellan – $4.9M 6. Barry Trotz – $4.0M 7. Ralph Krueger – $3.75M 8. Jon Cooper – $8.0M 9. Bruce Boudreau – $3.0M 10. Peter DeBoer – $3.0M 11. Dave Tippet – $2.85M 12. Mike Sullivan – $2.75M
Latest Pens Buzz If Phil Kessel had his way, he’d be playing for the Arizona Coyotes or Vegas Golden Knights when the puck drops for the 2019-2020 season. It’s the worst kept secret around the NHL. That’s where he wants to go which has led to the Golden Knights and Coyotes emerging as the two primary teams the Kessel camp has been trying to get the table to negotiate a trade with the Penguins. Arizona as reported yesterday has been very slow moving in the process and they’re not really a factor at this point, though,
LATEST PENS BUZZ 1. A feeling in NHL circles among agents and executives is the Minnesota Wild embarrassed themselves with the nixed Phil Kessel trade. All indications are Wild GM Paul Fenton pushed the trade forward without any inkling or assurances that Phil Kessel would even consider playing in Minnesota. While the Kessel deal is still on the table if Kesse were to change his mind, Fenton just assumed it was a slam dunk and is said to have been blindsided that Kessel didn’t want to play in Minnesota. Fenton a year on to the job with the Minnesota Wild has already developed a reputation as being an ego maniac who doesn’t make an attempt to give his hockey operations staff a voice and when you don’t involve your staff like Fenton isn’t, you’ll get leaks and dysfunction which is happening in Minnesota. Another factor amongst others in Kessel givingRead More »
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 »