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Rumblings, Musings & Opinions

— The  Phil Kessel trade market died before the NHL Entry draft officially began on June 22, league sources say.

Kessel was a fascinating situation early this summer as the 30 year old Kessel coming off a 92 point season was front and center in trade talks around the league in leading up to the draft.

In early June Pittsburgh was aggressive in trying to find a star-for-star type trade, offering Kessel to a To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”! but as the draft got closer Pittsburgh had some trade scenarios brewing that could have netted 2-3 second-third tier level NHL players in return for Kessel.

However, when the Penguins arrived in Dallas ready to pursue at least one of the trade scenarios they thought were in play, trade discussions with those clubs went completely dark and it wasn’t on the Penguins end.

At the end of the day, what played out with Kessel is teams flirted with the possibility of acquiring him, but when it came time to actually put a deal together, those clubs all got cold feet and bailed out.

The growing sense around the league is the 2-3 teams that were serious about Kessel at one point, couldn’t get their To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!

— Best offer Jack Johnson had other than Pittsburgh’s 5 year, $16.25 million contract………

A To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!

One source says Rutherford views Johnson as being ‘head and shoulders’ above To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!

— A motivated and rested Carl Hagelin in 2018-2019?

The Penguins are expecting a big year from Carl Hagelin in a contract year. Not some 25 goal type season, but they think he can get back to that 16-18 goal range.

The subject of trade rumors for over a year now because of his $4 million cap hit, Pittsburgh believes Hagelin, a favorite of the coaching staff, has some good hockey left in him beyond this coming season.

Hagelin who is best friends with Patric Hornqvist, has also developed a close friendship with Sidney Crosby off the ice. I wouldn’t write him off not being part of the Penguins plans beyond 2018-2019, despite the fact Hagelin would be 31 when his new deal would start.

— There’s increasing talk the Penguins plan to approach To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!

One example the Guentzel camp can look at if they were to decide to wait on an extension until next summer:

As an RFA (3 NHL seasons), Bruins winger David Pastrnak landed a 6 year, $40 million contract in summer of 2017. Through his first three NHL seasons Pastrnak averaged 0.71 points per game.

Jake Guentzel is currently at 0.66 points per game after two seasons. If Guentzel went out and had a 65 point season, which isn’t crazy if the coaches keep him in a top line role, Guentzel would be at 0.72 points per game after his first three seasons.

Not to mention he’s currently a 1.14 point per game player in the postseason.

There’s a reason I’ve heard Pittsburgh would love to do a To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!