Latest Penguins Buzz
If the Stanley Cup Final goes to seven games, it will be played on June 14. The Penguins win, the celebrations, partying, the parade in the days after, what a chaotic/great time it would be right before the June 21 expansion draft. The expansion draft protected list have to be in by June 18.
Jim Rutherford, though, embraces chaos in dealing with his pending free agents as a return to the Stanley Cup Final and the off-season pretty much being moved up because of the expansion draft won’t change his philosophy of not negotiating with players during the season.
Agents say it’s been crickets from the Penguins.
What’s going to happen with the pending unrestricted free agents is easy for the Penguins to deal with. There will be no urgency with Matt Cullen, Ron Hainsey, Chris Kunitz right after the season and Nick Bonino is a situation where the Penguins have a number they’d consider bringing him back on but the team anticipates him signing elsewhere and hitting the market.
The restricted free agents are more of the wild card in dictating the Penguins off-season on where the dollars will go and how much.
Not enough is getting talked about that barring a trade or back-room deal, (there’s only so many George McPhee can make) one of Brian Dumoulin, Olli Maatta or Justin Schultz would have to be exposed if the Penguins went the 7-3-1 route that most teams will.
The 4-4-1 option, though, is said to be a real consideration as the expansion draft is just over three weeks away. The Penguins internally have not committed to which option they will go.
The thinking around the league is Letang (has to be protected), Maatta and Dumoulin are locks to be protected by Pittsburgh and the uncertainty surrounding Letang has put Pittsburgh in a situation to either find a way to make a backroom deal or go the route of exposing a forward or two they don’t want (a position they’re much stronger at tho) and go the 4-4-1 route to protect Letang-Maatta-Dumoulin-Schultz.
You can’t lose one of those defensemen for nothing, that’s awful asset management.
There’s arguments for the Penguins to go with the 4-4-1 option to give them time and not be rushed.
If you go ahead and protect Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel (all have to be protected) and Bryan Rust as the four forwards, that would be exposing someone like Patric Hornqvist but with one year left on his deal and at age 30 for a player who plays a bruising style, would he really be that attractive to Vegas?
Not likely and the same with Ian Cole who has a year on his contract.
Vegas is high on Oskar Sundqvist, Scott Wilson and there is said to be a liking from the Golden Knight’s staff towards Derrick Pouliot but to what extent is unknown.
You lose a Sundqvist, big deal. He’s a replaceable prospect, overhyped by the local media, and you’re getting $17 million in return. The Penguins would be disappointed to lose Scott Wilson who they feel is still an ascending player but at the end of the day, he’s also replaceable for next years roster.
Things have emerged where it’s 50-50 on whether the Penguins go 7-3-1 or 4-4-1 route, per sources.
The Justin Schultz dilemma
One NHL executive told me this week Pittsburgh’s off-season (when it begins) starts with Justin Schultz not Marc Andre Fleury. (On Fleury, the Penguins intend to keep things very quiet and want no leaks which is understandable but outside of Pittsburgh, there are strong indications that the Penguins already have a plan in place on what’s going to happen)
Brian Dumoulin is a key restricted free agent but the Penguins kind of already know where his number is going to be on either a short or long-term deal.
Schultz is a different story because of how much leverage he’d have in an arbitration hearing, plus the long-term leverage he has coming off a career year and being a year away from unrestricted free agency.
Do the Penguins have the stomach to commit a 5 year – $25+ million contract at him, type of offer it would take to get his reps at Newport Sports just to the table?
If they don’t, then what?
There are multiple clubs monitoring his situation.
Buffalo with the 8th [hide] overall pick loves Schultz and are one of them, but I wouldn’t see Jason Botterill going there unless he knew he could get Schultz signed long-term. The New Jersey (they’re not trading the top pick for him) rumors have been out there for weeks as another club that believes Schultz could become available and are very high on him.
Based on the scuttlebutt going on, the opportunities to sell high on Schultz will be there for the Penguins and while it’s believed they don’t see Schultz as a $5 million a year + player long-term, there’s the fact Kris Letang has a pretty bad injury for a hockey player and there’s no right handed puck moving d-men in the pipeline for the Penguins.
The Penguins are taking everyone on another great ride and it’s going to be a fun and fascinating off-season.[/hide]
[…] reported the other day, other NHL clubs see Schultz as the Penguins top off-season priority and not Marc Andre […]
Hagelin sitting tonight. It’s almost like I’m the Voice in Sully’s head.
Probably why Hainsey barely plays. Oh, wait….
Tiger Woods arrested on DUI charge in Florida. Must be the fact he is black right Npl?
Horny Vs Neal is confirmed for game 1
America vs America as expected for game 1
Bob MacKenzie is predicting the Preds shutdown pairing, which he referred to as their “big pairing, of Ekholm and Subban will face the more difficult match up vs the Pens… he figures them to take the ice vs the Malkin, Kessel, Wilson line… sammich?
Hard to concentrate today, amped up for the game… This ones gonna be tough as all have been to date but there may be a little more room here and the Pens need to make sure the offensive mismatch > than the defensive one. The way the Pens D has come up for them it is highly plausible that could be the reality. Caps in 5
Does anyone know a mediocre suburban Pittsburgh bar where I can get a bad draft beer.
Gaydoggs bar. And you also get the chance to bang under age girls
So bad at this.
Which is hilarious that it was upvoted… sammich2.0?
You can tell when she feels strongly about something. She uses all her accounts to thumbs up it.
You could try sams bar… although it’s in a french speaking neighbourhood so everyone is kind of a weird queeb type and the underage girls are underage boys lol.
The 4-4-1 route makes a lot more sense to this team. You can’t lose any of those top 4
If we go that route… Crosby, Malkin, Kessel, Hornqvist I assume?
Rust. Not Hornqvist.
We would probably lose Hornqvist no question then no? I mean I get that he dont have the foot speed of some of the guys but I do think he is a valuable member of the team and on average can bring a little more than most. That said I guess we have seen the team move away from utilizing him in the role he was brought over for sans the PP… still makes me uneasy thinking of losing him for nothing.
I don’t know. Wrong side of 30. One year left. Not sure what he does for a team like that to be honest. I think you’re probably still looking at Cole or Hagelin going to Vegas. On the flip side, if they do take him, are you losing much beyond one year? Are you re-signing a guy who plays like he does at 31? Maybe you are. It’s a calculated risk. Can’t lose Rusty. Can’t lost any of those 4 D. Process of elimination.
Ya I was just looking at that, the production is something I dont think Rust will peak at but Hornqvist plays a style that will continue to chip away at those numbers as he ages. I guess I am thinking with the heart at this point. Hornqvist quickly became an alltime Penguins favourite. Hagelin I would be more than happy to see go… I really wanna keep Cole
is the saint outta here yet?
I actually heard he was still around, and you were trying to get one more roll in the hat with him before he left, you little catcher you.
Besides being likeable and having boyish good looks, what am I missing about this hockey rapture with Maata??
How would Ovi fit with Pens (trade for Phil and Maata)?
(Big story in Wash Post about Caps looking at possible trades; no returning names mentioned.)
I would be open to leaving maatta unprotected. You can’t sell me that we couldn’t replace him for less than 4 million. And I hope the kessel and maatta package for Ovy was a joke.
Sitting in traffic I just thought of another really good remember when scenario. Do you guys remember when Maloni was preaching that this team had no chance of repeating without a major trade to shake up the core? If you don’t it was in the months following last year’s Cup win, right after his blow it up stupidity blew up in his face.
As Archie Bunker would say….he’s a meathead. Dead from the neck up.