Breaking Down Penguins Official Protected List & More Buzz


Latest Expansion Draft Buzz The Pittsburgh Penguins protected list for the expansion draft is as followed: Forwards Sidney Crosby Evgeni Malkin Jake Guentzel Bryan Rust Kasperi Kapanen Jeff Carter Teddy Blueger Key Forwards Exposed: Brandon Tanev, Jason Zucker, Zach Aston-Reese (RFA), Buzz: The Top-5 was clear cut for months. No. 6 and No. 7 is a different story. Even at his age, Pittsburgh see’s Jeff Carter as part of their core for next season and some say Ron Hextall believes Carter has more hockey left in him than just this season (Don’t be shocked to see Carter agree to a one year extension). The Penguins rationale for protecting Jeff Carter, though, remains to be seen as the chances of Seattle selecting Carter were always thought to be minimal due to Carter’s age and his salary being so low for next season that he would just retire if selected by Seattle.Read More »

Latest Pens Buzz: Kraken have done significant homework on Jason Zucker?


Latest Expansion Draft Buzz Surrounding the Penguins Pittsburgh’s resigning of center Teddy Blueger this week to a 2 year, $4.4 million extension fell right into the ballpark of what a Teddy Blueger extension was projected to be. “Teddy has proven to be a versatile, two-way center, as well as a fixture on the penalty kill. He’s a valuable player for our team,” said General Manager Ron Hextall of Blueger.” Pittsburgh bought out a UFA year and known for his defensive metrics, the new regime see’s Blueger as an ascending player where they think the offensive numbers can fall into the range of 15 goals, 35-40 points next season, though, that might be an optimistic view. Pittsburgh’s top-5 forwards to be protected have been set for a while now, while the final two forwards to protect has been a different story. Sounds like the organization came to an agreement on theRead More »

Latest Pens Buzz: Best Case Scenario for Pens in Expansion Draft


Best Case Scenario For Pens in Expansion Draft The NHL offseason is about to hit high gear. Expansion draft protected lists are officially due into the league office by 5:00 P.M. on July 17 with the expansion draft happening days later on July 21. One major difference between Vegas and Seattle is how much more guarded Kraken GM Ron Francis has been with clubs on who they would take in Scenario A, B or C. There’s going to be some side deals but not to the extent that McPhee sought out in 2017. Seattle has more teams guessing, multiple league sources say. Pittsburgh went the 4-4-1 route in 2017 and will go the 7-3-1 this time around. The Penguins brass in recent weeks has been bracing to lose based off intel they’ve gathered, sources say. A best case scenario for the Penguins? Seattle selects

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 »

Henry Davis goes No. 1: The Pirates Draft Board is always going to be different than most teams


Seeking an under slot prospect with the No. 1 selection, the Pittsburgh Pirates brass kept many executives and insiders around the league guessing on what direction they were going with the No. 1 overall pick. The direction many saw them going was the high school shortstop route with left handed hitting shortstop Marcel Mayer widely viewed as the likely pick, a prospect many draft pundits have called a future superstar, with Jordan Lawlar a close second. Instead the tight lipped Pirates surprised at No. 1 in selection catcher Henry Davis out of Louisville. Regarded by many as the best college hitter in the draft, Davis slashed a line of .370/.482/.663 with 15 home runs and led the ACC with a .486 on-base percentage. It was no secret the Pirates planned to go under slot at No. 1. They made it known with leaks weeks ago to get that out ofRead 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 »