Mike Sullivan’s father George passed away today at the age of 81, the team announced. Assistant coach Jacques Martin will take over the day-to-day duties with the team in Mike’s absence to mourn the passing of his father. The Penguins second Stanley Cup run during the Sullivan era in 2017 gave a glimpse of the relationship between Mike and his father where there was a segment on the Showtime Stanley Cup series of the two playing cards and smoking cigars following the Penguins Game 1 win over the Predators. Sullivan had often talked of the great relationship the two had. — Our condolences to Mike and his family —
Latest NHL Buzz: Fallout of the Max Pacioretty trade The Max Pacioretty saga was only heading towards one direction, a trade, and the Montreal Canadiens sent their captain packing Monday morning in trading Pacioretty to the Vegas Golden Knights. In return for Pacioretty, Montreal acquired forward Tomas Tatar, prospect Nick Suzuki, and a 2nd round pick in 2019 from the Vegas Golden Knights (Columbus’ pick previously acquired by Vegas). Tatar who carries a $5.3 million cap hit through the 2020-2021 season, was a total disaster in Vegas, struggling mightily in the Knights fast-paced system. In Claude Julien’s slower paced system, Tatar may bring some value to a Canadiens team depleted at center. The key to the deal for Montreal is clearly Nick Suzuki, the 13th overall pick in 2017. He’s a versatile forward that can play all three positions and scouts think his ceiling will be 20 goal, 50 pointRead More »
Latest Pens Buzz (Daily 5) Rumblings, Musings, & Opinions Kris Letang is the Penguins biggest storyline in 2018-2019 because of him being such an unknown of whether Letang getting back into that top-10 to top-12 hemisphere among the best d-men in hockey is even possible for him anymore. This time of the year and when training camp opens is all about feel good stories. Buckle up for them. There’s probably going to be 10-12 ‘Kris Letang is primed for a big bounce back season’ stories out there if not already, ‘Kris Letang is in the best shape of his life’ (the annual training camp storyline in every sport) and so on. Give it three days into camp and one of the local publications in town will be calling Jack Johnson a ‘great signing and perfect fit’. But, what is reality of what to expect from Letang in 2018-2019? Turning 32Read More »
Penguins countdown to camp storylines — The right wing situation on Sidney Crosby’s line — Mike Sullivan since he took over as head coach in December 2015 has always been a believer in spreading his lineup out among the top-3 lines. The top priority in 2018-2019 is getting more production out of the bottom-6, the key area the Penguins brass believes doomed them last season, not Kris Letang or the goaltender. Best case scenario, the belief is the coaching staff would love for D LATEST NHL BUZZ The New York Islanders have had a nightmare summer. Islanders ownership made a rush move into hiring Lou Lamoriello in thinking it enhanced their chances to keeping John Tavares when the Lamoriello hiring actually decreased the Islanders chances of signing Tavares, those on the inside say. They countered losing Tavares by signing Leo Komarov to a four-year contract, a washed up Valtteri FilppulaRead More »
Latest Pens Buzz Rumblings, Musings & Opinions — The Phil Kessel trade market died before the NHL Entry draft officially began on June 22, league sources say. Kessel was a fascinating situation early this summer as the 30 year old Kessel coming off a 92 point season was front and center in trade talks around the league in leading up to the draft. In early June Pittsburgh was aggressive in trying to find a star-for-star type trade, offering Kessel to a but as the draft got closer Pittsburgh had some trade scenarios brewing that could have netted 2-3 second-third tier level NHL players in return for Kessel. However, when the Penguins arrived in Dallas ready to pursue at least one of the trade scenarios they thought were in play, trade discussions with those clubs went completely dark and it wasn’t on the Penguins end. At the end of the day,Read More »
Latest Pens Buzz The Carolina Hurricanes return for Jeff Skinner has been widely scrutinized over the past couple days but not so much in league circles. The growing consensus surrounding the Hurricanes is that they were backed in a corner and there are clubs and NHL scouts who have Cliff Pu rated much higher than pundits do. Despite what the player may be saying publicly, what played out here is Skinner’s power of a full no-move clause nixed at least three trade proposals the Hurricanes were willing to move on during the draft weekend and over the past 3-4 weeks, Carolina was only given a very small list of teams Skinner would be willing to go to. Despite the belief around the NHL that Carolina’s return is not as low as being perceived through the media, trading a player of Skinner’s caliber with no young NHL talent for next seasonRead More »
One of the Penguins final pieces of business this month is inking a deal with goaltender Tristan Jarry and the two sides today agreed to a two-year, $1.375 million contract. The deal for Jarry, though, is a two-way contract in 2018-2019 and a one-way contract for 2019-2020. Jarry will make $200,000 next season in the minors. While the Penguins will publicly say Casey DeSmith and Jarry will battle for the No. 2 job in camp, the desire of both sides is for Jarry to get another season in a starters role in the minors.
Penguins now have six centers on 1-way contracts The summer has hit the ‘league minimum’ period for free agents and the Penguins have joined the fray in signing center Derek Grant to a one year, $650,000 contract. A left shot, the 6-foot-3, 215 lbs forward had a career season for the Ducks in 2017-2018 with 12 goals and 24 points in 66 games. Penguin coaches havd recommended in scouting meetings this summer the team add a forward or two with size/physicality. As mentioned before, Pa What the signing means for the Penguins One NHL source alluded to the signing of Grant to this: ‘The signing is not a precursor of another center getting shipped out of town (no trade is cooking right now) and this is just a player the Penguins like and feel the center/winger versatility of Grant gives the staff more flexibility.’ [Cliff notes — Don’t read intoRead More »
An impact trade for the Penguins has yet to transpire Stalled on the trade market in recent weeks, the Penguins opening night roster three months from now could very likely be what it is on paper as of July 12. Penguins GM Jim Rutherford has been aggressively trying to shakeup his roster since around mid-June but the Penguins have found tough sledding on matching up in talks on specific targets. Adding an impact left winger has been high on Rutherford’s list on the trade market and the Penguins have been courting Carolina’s Jeff Skinner since the week of the draft to no avail. Tristan Jarry would have/or will be part of any Skinner to Pittsburgh trade but only as a second or third piece, league sources say. Pittsburgh’s unwillingness to build a package around and Carolina’s signing of Calvin DeHann has further complicated Pittsburgh’s pursuit of Skinner as internal discussionsRead More »
The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed defenseman Jamie Oleksiak to a three year, $6,412,500 contract. The deal keeps Oleksiak under contract through the 2020-2021 season and carries an AAV of $2,137,500. Kris Letang – $7.25MM Justin Schultz – $5.5MM Brian DuMoulin – $4.1MM Olli Maatta – $4.083MM Jack Johnson – $3.25MM Jamie Oleksiak – $2.137MM Chad Ruhwedel – $650,000 The Oleksiak deal now leaves the Penguins with around $1.4 million in cap space. If the team opted to carry 23 skaters, Pittsburgh’s cap space would be under $700,000.