Was the Penguins 7-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers Thursday night on home-ice finally the wake-up call for the organization it has needed? The score wasn’t even indicative of how embarrassing of a performance this was for the Penguins as the losing streak reaches four games. What happened against the Oilers has been building for weeks and what it showed again was make the blueprint clear as day.

And that blueprint for the Penguins is sale you’re pending UFA’s, namely Jason Zucker, Brian Dumoulin and Teddy Blueger, then gauge the market for role players with term like Brock McGinn and Jan Rutta who league executives say have some value on the market. It’s not working in Pittsburgh for those two but teams like both players who have cap hits under $3 million.

The Penguins are not one player away, they’re four to five players away. Ron Hextall deserves some credit for the obvious of there being zero reason to go all-in for this club. In a copycat league the Penguins need to be following the Capitals suit on this front. You’re not tearing things down for a full rebuild but what you’re doing is accumulating picks to eventually put back into the roster this summer via trades.

Rival teams see Jason Zucker and yes Brian Dumoulin as Pittsburgh’s biggest trade assets among the pending UFA’s. Yet, the feeling around the league is if Pittsburgh is trending this direction, they better make both full available now. It’s management malpractice to wake up the day of the deadline and say Jason Zucker is now available.


Next Phase: Whether the Penguins take the proper course of action remains to be seen. The core issue moving forward is whether this management team and coaching staff are right people for the next phase of this organization. And we’re at that next phase of trying to retool on the fly. The General Manager has given zero confidence he’s the right guy moving forward, and Mike Sullivan’s pitfalls have been large especially this season. We’re truly finally at the stage where you have to wonder if the greatest coach in the organization has reached his expiration date? The easiest fix of all is a coaching change. The lack of system changes to not enforce a more structured defensive game play away from the puck to off-set roster limitations has been stunning along with the insanity not to break up the top-6 to spread out the lineup. Then there’s the issue of not being someone that’s going to embrace an influx of younger players into the lineup.

Chychrun Talk: Rob Rossi of The Athletic reporting Mike Sullivan seeks a trade for Jakob Chychrun not a surprise. Of course, it’s also not surprising in Rob’s reporting that Ron Hextall has a different view on Chychrun. The Penguins coaching staff has been pushing for over a month in scouting meetings of the biggest need being a long-term impact left-handed defenseman.

Hextall balked in December of trading Kapanen to division rival: As Ron Hextall sent out an email Sunday to all General Managers that Kasperi Kapanen was available, the To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!

Penguins Sought quick action to move Kapanen to move on Schenn Deal: Word is the Penguins sought quick action on Kapanen earlier this week to close a deal on Schenn. Now it appears To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!

Frustration in Rutta Camp? To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!