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Wild Speculation surrounds Penguins Future

How wild is the speculation surrounding the Pittsburgh Penguins right now beyond the General Manager search?

It’s pretty wild.

Especially to the point where NHL executives, some top NHL Insiders are buzzing about even Sidney Crosby’s future.

Yes Sidney Crosby and we’re not talking Sidney Crosby going off and playing elsewhere once his contract ends. There is legit chatter around the league that don’t think it’s a 100% guarantee Crosby will stick around for his final good to great years in a LA Kings/Chicago Blackhawks type situation.

Would the ultimate company man actually end his career elsewhere? It’s been something in Pittsburgh considered unimaginable, but for a number of reasons, some tea leaves are being planted from the Crosby camp………


TSN’s Darren Dreger spoke about it yesterday in saying Sidney’s Crosby’s future will have to be a discussion for the Penguins organization and one high ranking Penguins source tells me today that Dreger, [/hide] who is very close to Crosby’s agent Pat Brisson, doesn’t go there To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!

“There’s some really strong opinions who think he [hide] [Sidney Crosby] will [play elsewhere],” Sportsnet’s NHL Insider Chris Johnston said this week of Crosby.[/hide]

This is going to be a high-pressured situation for the next General Manager. Conduct a retool on the fly, while dealing with lingering issues like To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”! believing Evgeni Malkin is part of the brand and that the team owes it to Malkin by default to extend him this summer and line his next deal up with Sidney Crosby’s remaining years.

Honeymoon Stage?

WSH Justin Schultz 6 GP – 2 Goals – 4 Assists – 6 Pts
FLA Patric Hornqvist 4 GP – 4 Goals – 1 Assist – 5 Pts
MIN Nick Bjugstad 8 GP – 2 Goals – 1 Assist – 3 Pts
WSH Conor Sheary 6 GP – 2 Goals – 1 Assist – 3 Pts

A number [hide] of former Penguins from last years club are off to excellent starts with their new teams.

Justin Schultz looked completely shot last year with the Penguins and has been great in Washington. 6 points, +8 rating. Numbers aside, he’s looking like the 2017 Justin Schultz for now with his skating and picking the right spots. Patric Hornqvist has 4 goals in 4 games and think the Penguins don’t miss his presence on the power play? Hornqvist has 2 power play goals for the Panthers.

Nick Bjugstad is showing signs of his old self in Minnesota, Conor Sheary had two goals in the Capitals come back win Thursday night.

Even Derick Brassard is having a mini-resurgence under Rick Tocchet in Arizona with 5 points in eight games.

Of the group who departed from the 2019-2020 team, there was every reason not to bring Schultz back and moving Patric Hornqvist was something they had to start looking at, just doesn’t mean you take a bad deal like they did.

Nick Bjugstad is the one there should be some question on from Pittsburgh’s perspective since the Penguins are paying 50% of his salary not to play for them and he was going to be on an expiring contract. There was more reward in seeing what you can get out of him than paying another club to take him off your hands.

Then there’s Matt Murray.

1-4-1 with a 4.39 GAA, Ottawa might end up being a really rough situation for him. Ottawa acquired Murray and gave him the contract they did with the belief that the 2017 Matt Murray that beat Ottawa in the 2017 conference finals is who they’re getting in the present and future. There is a lot of evidence he just isn’t that guy anymore. Evaluators are just dumbfounded on what has played out with Murray over the last year or so. There’s nights right now he doesn’t look like an NHL caliber goaltender and I had one scout tell me of Murray that he believes Murray’s going to be out of the league in three years.