Latest Pens Buzz: Key Camp Takeaways & Rumblings


Latest Pens Buzz Dressing non-regulars in the lineup will continue for the next couple preseason games but with less than two weeks to go before opening night, the real part of training camp began for the Penguins on Wednesday where you pretty much now have the ‘Varsity’ and ‘JV’ groups being separated. “We’re trying to maximize the opportunity, even though we’re in the middle of training camp, to get the semblance of what we would consider our roster,” said Mike Sullivan on Wednesday. The lines and groupings look awfully similar to what you’re going to see vs Tampa Bay. Line 1: Jake Guentzel – Jeff Carter – Bryan Rust Line 2: Jason Zucker – Evan Rodrigues – Kasperi Kapanen Line 3: Brock McGinn – Teddy Blueger – Danton Heinen Line 4: Anthony Angello/Drew O’Connor – Brian Boyle – Dominik Simon *Regular Zach Aston-Reese tested positive for Covid-19 on Sept 27Read More »

TIOPS Inside Buzz: Steelers have failed Ben with OC hire; Latest Pens Rumblings & More


TIOPS INSIDE BUZZ *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* HEADLINES Will Big Ben Make it Through the Season Did Steelers botch the OC hire? Short Yardage Smith-Schuster Penguins toe cautious line in Malkin Negotiations Top-5 Prospects to Watch in Penguins Camp 1. The Steelers being anything more than an 8-9, 9-8 team will be reliant on getting an elite level defensive effort just about every week. The unit was dominant in week 1 and ravished by injuries in week 2, therefore, the Steelers sit at 1-1 after two games. And most would have predicted a 1-1 record after two weeks, just flip flopped than how it played out. The Raiders had the superior quarterback on the field and in the 4th quarter that was the difference in the game. Ben Roethlisberger just isn’t making that big time throw Carr made to Ruggs on the 61 yard score at this stage of his careerRead More »

Latest Pens Buzz: Crosby Latest, Have Penguins circled back around to Tyler Bozak?


Latest Pens Buzz Ron Hextall on Wednesday evening stated the obvious in that Sidney Crosby having wrist surgery would have been much more ideal if it was done a month or two ago. “Obviously, we all hoped we didn’t have to go this way,” Penguins general manager Ron Hextall said. “In the end, we did everything we could to avoid this, but it was the best way to proceed. I think the focus was having Sid back at 100%, or as close to 100% as possible. This was the proper avenue to go…..I think if we all, including Sid, had known this a month or two months ago, it would have been great. But we are where we are, and I think on the positive side, we have four weeks before we play a regular-season game.”” While the Penguins were kept in the loop all summer as they always areRead More »

Latest Pens Buzz: On Danton Heinen, Brian Boyle, ZAR, MAF & More Buzz


Latest Pens Buzz *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* Heinen a sneaky signing for the Penguins? Hextall’s close relationship to Boyles Agent Penguins almost Let ZAR Walk? Org left little wiggle room for Poulin to earn a spot New Regime leaning heavily on Mike Sullivan on personnel moves? Devils GM Backed out of deal that would have kept MAF in Vegas 1. One Eastern Conference scout based primarily in the Northeast tells me forward Danton Heinen who the Penguins inked to a 1 year, $1.1 million contract, has a chance to be a really sneaky signing for the Penguins this season. Expecting Heinen to carry a bottom-6 line offensively will leave most disappointed. The Eastern Conference scout, though, feels Heinen playing around more skill like he did in Boston, will help bring the most out of Heinen, who is a very smart player away from the puck in all three zones and canRead More »

TIOPS Inside Buzz: Ron Hextall/Penguin Ownership In-Sync, Latest on T.J. Watt & More Buzz


TIOPS INSIDE BUZZ Penguin ownership sought Steelers model of never being in rebuild mode with GM Change Latest on T.J. Watt WK 1: More Immediate Concerns for Steelers D than O? 1. The Pittsburgh Penguins will enter training camp this month with a roster that’s not better than the roster they ended the 2021 season with. Some can argue Ron Hextall has had a bad off-season. However, Hextall’s first off-season that saw a zero risk approach taken, played out to a ‘T’ in the model of why he was hired. As months have passed since Jim Rutherford’s resignation last January, more has become clear of why Penguin ownership was going to go in another direction in the ensuing summer once Rutherford’s contract was set to expire if he didn’t abruptly resign. The group determined sometime late last fall that they wanted to start laying the groundwork now instead of laterRead More »

LATEST PENS BUZZ: Extension Talk & More Buzz


LATEST PENS BUZZ On Day 1 of free agency, Penguins GM Ron Hextall stated the team would likely start looking at extensions for Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang again, while also naming Bryan Rust August has passed without extensions for any of three. As for the Malkin and Letang talks, the sense in the organization continues to be that those situations will eventually sort themselves out with both players remaining Penguins’ past the 2021-2022 season. Rust, though, continues to be more of a wildcard on where things eventually go this season. The 29 year old has evolved into one of the Penguins best two-way forwards, a major vocal leader in the room and has huge support in the organization from power brokers like of Sidney Crosby and head coach Mike Sullivan. While some of the fan base might try to say Rust rides the coattails of Sidney Crosby, that’s laughableRead More »

Latest Pens Buzz: Penguins’ Brass having difficult time in improving the roster?


Penguins Free Agency Buzz Penguins GM Ron Hextall admitted on Wednesday he was “surprised” with some of the prices from day one of the Free Agency Frenzy. Any small chance of the Penguins making a bold move on Wednesday was going to be for winger Brandon Saad, but the Penguins bowed out of the mix very early into the day and never made a official offer Team sources say Hextall who seeks to leave the Penguins around $2 million in cap space to start the season, went into free agency with a set number What has played out this off-season is the Penguins new regime really slow playing their attempts to improve this roster. With the subtractions of Jared McCann, Brandon Tanev and now Cody Ceci, this is not a better roster than the one this past spring that lost in the first round for the third straight year. AndRead More »

Marc Andre Fleury headed to Chicago: Will he report?


Vegas moves on from the Franchise Icon The Vegas Golden Knights have officially gone all-in on Robin Lehner as Marc Andre Fleury is on the move. The 2021 Vezina Trophy winner has been traded to the Chicago Blackhawks, a rumored destination for Fleury over the last couple weeks. Vegas receives forward Mikael Hakkarainen in the deal and no cap hit was retained. As Chicago is trying to speed up their retool, it’s a bold move for the Hawks but as TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports, there’s already questions whether Fleury will report and Fleury could contemplate retirement at age 36. Sportsnet’s Elliott Friedman also reports there were rumblings Fleury could retire if traded anywhere due to family reasons. Vegas writer Jesse Granger reports Fleury found out about the trade via Twitter, which is a terrible look for the Golden Knights and Fleury’s agent Allan Walsh confirmed just after 12:00 p.m. thatRead More »

Penguins working to line up two particular signings at the start of free agency


Latest Penguins Free Agency Buzz There hasn’t been a draft weekend in the Sidney Crosby era that saw the Penguins be in on pretty much nothing on the trade front like they were this past week where little was percolating around the Penguins. As one source joked, ‘Welcome to the Ron Hextall Era’. As stated weeks ago, the days of Jim Rutherford putting the Penguins in on everything is over. However, it was still something to see how dead quiet it was on the Penguins end after the losses of Jared McCann and Brandon Tanev upfront in a span of a couple days. Penguins’ General Manager Ron Hextall had made it a priority internally of trying to toe the line of moving salary without having to trade futures (high draft picks and higher end prospects) which saw the Penguins take the route they did with McCann and then exposing aRead More »