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 »

Steelers sign T.J. Watt to a Mega-Deal

 

— The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed linebacker T.J. Watt to a mega 5 year, $122.1 million contract that includes a franchise record $80 million in guaranteed money. The deal adds four years and $112 million in new money to Watt’s current one year contract, keeping him under contract through the 2025 season. The signing is a massive one in how the Steelers structure contracts as they have never structured a contract like this with the guaranteed money before. Sometimes you have to bend for the greats and the Steelers did in this instance dishing out QB type money to Watt with the total value and guarantees.

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 »

Latest Pens Buzz: Seattle made a quick decision to go with Brandon Tanev, sources say

 

Latest Buzz on the Penguins losing Brandon Tanev to the expansion draft The Pittsburgh Penguins will come out of expansion draft losing two useful forwards off their roster with the trade of Jared McCann on Saturday and Seattle selecting Brandon Tanev. What’s been clear over the last week is this: Seattle planned to take Teddy Blueger as their No. 1 target if left exposed, multiple sources have said, so Blueger became a top priority for the Penguins to protect as the team put a premium on trying to keep their center depth intact and with the Penguins planning to protect Blueger, Jared McCann was going to be the selection by Seattle if not traded and left exposed by the Penguins. Yes, the Penguins got something for McCann who they didn’t plan to protect and added a prospect who could be a useful bottom-6 player in 2-3 years, but whether McCannRead More »