LATEST PENGUINS BUZZ
Despite Mike Johnston talking Craig Adams up to the local papers a few weeks prior to camp as a player who can provide versatility and be leaned on as a leader, Adams is losing suppor among some of the key decision makers in the organization, notably those who are left overs from the Shero regime, Inside Pittsburgh Sports has learned.
In addition to his declining play, significant concerns have emerged from management on how Adams will handle being the 13th forward and not a regular in the lineup. Adams was regarded as not embracing young players last season who could have been looked at as gunning for his job.
Management has entered camp with an open mind that Adams spot in the lineup is far from secure, they’ve made this known to Adams wanting him to believe he has to earn a job, sources say, and if a young player proves he is a better fit, the Penguins will find a spot for that player.
Ideally management would like to get quicker and younger at the 4th line right wing spot and sign Daniel Carcillo as the 13th forward were Carcillo’s foot to check out medically.
However, the problem for the Penguins is dumping Adams to the minors does them no good from a cap standpoint, increasing the chances of Adams staying around.
Former GM Ray Shero handcuffed the Penguins by signing Adams (35+ contract) to a two year deal last summer. At the time Shero was under the belief the Vancouver Canucks had a two year offer on the table to Adams, which was not believed to be the case after all. Shero and Adams had also had discussions of Adams joining the Penguins organization in some personnel role when his contract ended in 2015.
Being Adams has a 35+ contract, sending him to the minors would still have him costing $600,000 against the cap, $100,000 less than his cap hit of $700,000.
GM Jim Rutherford dumped Adams years ago and with support for Adams waning throughout the organization, sources say Rutherford won’t be afraid to do it again but the Penguins are kind of backed into a corner.
Adams has played 288 consecutive regular season games and has not been a healthy scratch in the regular season or playoffs since October 16, 2010.