Latest Pens Buzz: Hextall staying out of trade talks for big names? The Eichel Market & More Buzz

 

Latest NHL Buzz What do rival executives expect of the Penguins this off-season? Some tweaks around the edges and the team to ‘run it back’. Several weeks after a third straight Round 1 ouster, General Manager Ron Hextall and his group are said to still this group is right their with the Tampa Bay’s and others to compete for a Stanley Cup next season and the possibility of seismic changes is going to get pushed back to next summer. Maybe Hextall has the ultimate poker face going on but good luck finding anyone in the know who has expectations of anything else playing out. With a number of big names available, a major change in how Jim Rutherford operated compared to how Ron Hextall goes about is already being seen. Rutherford was notorious for being in on everything, even if the Penguins had no business in being in the mix.Read More »

Rumblings: Exec’s wonder of a Fleury – Malkin swap

 

Latest NHL Buzz Pittsburgh and Chicago are said to have held extensive talks surrounding a Matt — Tough break for Rick Tocchet on the coaching market as the sense around the league a month ago is that he would nab one of the available jobs. Tocchet interviewed three times with Seattle and at one point thought he had the job, though, the sense is he finished third in the running behind Dave Hakstol and Tony Granato. Tocchet interviewed twice with the Rangers where he was a strong candidate for the job, also interviewed twice in Columbus, but Tocchet seeking a four year contract at $3 million per season was going to be problematic in having a chance at getting the Jackets job. Then there’s Buffalo, where after Tocchet didn’t get the Seattle job, the Sabres circled back around to Tocchet and weighed strongly in entering negotiations with Tocchet before decidingRead More »

Latest NHL Buzz: Marc Andre Fleury, Kraken Coaching Buzz & More

 

Latest NHL Buzz The Tampa Bay Lightning are one win away from the Stanley Cup Final with an 8-0 thrashing of the New York Islanders Monday night as the Lightning look primed to repeat as Cup champions. Maybe the resilient Islanders force a game 7 but what a daunting challenge it is for anyone to beat that Lightning team four out of seven times and as expected that’s playing out again this postseason. In a salary cap era, it is something that since the 2008-2009 season, we could now have four multiple Cup Winners during that span with Chicago (3X), Pittsburgh (3X), Los Angeles (2X) and possibly Tampa Bay twice. Not to mention the possibility of two separate back-to-back winners in five seasons if Tampa Bay does repeat. The most fascinating storyline in the conference finals, though, is on the other side with the Vegas Golden Knights and now theRead More »

Latest Pens Buzz: Burke, Hextall putting too much weight into the Penguins winning division?

 

Ron Hextall is driving the bus When the Penguins hired Brian Burke in the midst of a global pandemic by creating a new position of President of Hockey Operations that contractually gives Burke final say on hockey decisions, many around the league had the expectation that Ron Hextall would be doing all the leg work on the day-to-day operations, which has been the case, but that Burke would be more Toronto Maple Leafs Brian Burke than Calgary Flames Brian Burke in being the biggest voice in dictating the direction of the team. That has not played out at all, sources close to the situation say. Maybe things will change a year from now and they very well could, but to this point Ron Hextall has all the muscle in laying out a plan for the short-term and long-term. He’s the de facto No. 1 decision maker, sources confirm. Burke hasRead More »

Latest Pens Buzz: New Regime Taking a risk in putting so much weight into a shortened season

 

Trying to have the oldest core in the league? Big Three? Is it now a Big Four in Pittsburgh? Despite 3/4’s of the group Ron Hextall now calls the ‘core’ being closer to 40 years old than 30, Hextall see’s no reason not to continue to build around Crosby, Malkin, Letang and now Jeff Carter……….. “We are excited about our group with Letang, Crosby, Malkin and Jeff Carter,” said Ron Hextall at his season ending zoom conference on Wednesday. Hextall lumping Carter into the “core” talk was eye catching and during the presser Hextall also spoke of how after adding Carter he didn’t see any real weaknesses in the Penguins lineup. There’s no question Carter ended up being a fantastic trade deadline addition, but set to turn 37 years old in January, the Penguins are taking quite the optimistic approach that Carter can steadily be an impact player at hisRead More »

Latest Pens Buzz: Off-Season Rumblings & More Buzz

 

Latest Pens Buzz New Regime All-In on Mike Sullivan for Now Early Off-Season Priority is Clearing Cap Space  Has the Org Soured on Jake Guentzel? New Type of Linemate? Concerns that Sidney Crosby wore Down Rumblings: New Regime privately wanted to kill the Sullivan noise right away this off-season — Maybe the new regime of Ron Hextall and Brian Burke are just delaying the inevitable and they’ll eventually bring in their own guy by the 2022-2023 season, but any chance of Penguins’ head coach Mike Sullivan exiting the organization this off-season would be Sullivan’s doing in lining up and wanting another opportunity. With some noise being out there, Hextall and Burke made it known to Sullivan last week and within 24 hours of the Penguins ouster, sources say, From strictly a coaching performance, the new regime just saw nothing from Sullivan’s grip on the team that warranted much discussion atRead More »

Post-Series Talking Points: The Penguins are a “Great Team”, Tristan Jarry is “Great”, Mike Sullivan is “Great”

 

Post-Series Buzz Today is close out day for the Penguins and of course it’s going as expected with a lot of ‘we’re a great team, Tristan Jarry is a great goalie, bad puck luck, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang deserve to finish their careers together and so on’….. Among the Talking Points out of the zoom sessions: Kris Letang took the expected route in touting that he wants to finish his career in Pittsburgh. “Me, Geno and Sid want to finish as Penguins,” said Kris Letang. “We truly believe in ourselves. We think we have a lot to offer.” Letang’s long-time No. 1 d-partner Brian Dumoulin echoed similar sentiments: “They [Crosby/Malkin/Letang] are the ones that established the winning culture we have here,” said Dumoulin. A third straight first round exit, Letang claimed the Penguins had a ‘great year’ “I don’t think you can say we didn’t have a great year,”Read More »

Latest Pens Buzz: Coaching Buzz, Extension Talk, Landing a new No. 2 to run with Sidney Crosby?

 

That Matt Murray guy wasn’t so bad after all was he? Tristan Jarry proved in Game 6 he was cooked mentally before the puck even dropped. That was the worst fear coming into Wednesday night and it played out. Jarry put it all on tape of a how a goaltender loses you a series. This could shape his career, that’s how damaging his performance was the last two games of the series. He just couldn’t handle the pressure. And here the Penguins now sit with three straight first round playoff exits. “You win games as a group. You games as a team, you lose games as a team,” Mike Sullivan said in not pinpointing the series on Jarry. There’s no denying this year was different than the past two postseasons in how the Penguins transformed over the final couple months of the season into the team that legitimately could haveRead More »

Game 5 What We Learned: The Playoff Scene is Too big for Tristan Jarry & the Hard Reality

 

Game 5 What We Learned The Pittsburgh had their most dominating performance of the postseason and quit possibly the best overall performance in tilting the ice for an entire game since maybe the 2016 postseason, yet, here they are on the brink of elimination after a 3-2 loss to the Islanders in double overtime. The Penguins lost this game despite a 50-28 edge in shots, 36-17 edge in scoring chances through first 80 minutes of play and a 14-4 edge in high danger chances. The Penguins afterwards sounded like a hockey club where they just suffered a Game 1 loss of the series not a Game 5 loss that now has them having to win two in a row to advance. “I was really proud of the team,” Sullivan said in taking quite the positive approach to the Game 5 loss. “I thought we played a really solid hockey game.Read More »

Penguins – Islanders Series Buzz: Is it Still ‘Advantage’ Pittsburgh in Best-of-3?

 

Penguins – Islanders Series Buzz As the series shifts back to Pittsburgh tonight and is now a best-of-3, are the Pittsburgh still a slight favorite by default due to having home-ice? Home-ice is rarely a significant advantage in the Stanley Cup playoffs, but the Penguins at home this season are just a different type of hockey club. There’s no denying that. They have an ability to storm out of the gates that also played out in games 1 and 2 of the series, and they’ve just been more of a 60 minute type hockey club at home compared to the road. Trying to predict what plays out the rest of the way, the Penguins have that going for them. Other than that, the Islanders should feel good about where things are trending their way. Over the last four periods of play, the Islanders have outscored the Penguins 7-3 and evenRead More »