Daily Five

*Rumblings, Musings, Opinions*

1. A longer term deal between the Penguins and Brian Dumoulin beyond two years does not look feasible but the Penguins will live with a one or two year deal from arbitration and take another run at signing Dumoulin long-term next summer.

Dumoulin’s hearing is July 24. He qualifies to be an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2019.

Despite disappointment that a long-term extension is looking bleak, the Penguins still regard Dumoulin as a big part of their future.

This is another reason, though, why Olli Maatta’s contract is still highly valued by the organization because of their being certainty with five years left on the contract.

Maatta is far from being unavailable but the Penguins have not been To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!
2. One reason there’s no jump from the Penguins in moving one of the top-5 d-men for a center? The Penguins brass and others around the league believe this could be one of the best, if not the best blueline in the Eastern Conference.

Is having a healthy Kris Letang (which is always up in the air) getting overlooked of how good the Penguins blueline could be in 17/18?

One Eastern Conference scout tells me the Penguins projected blueline has the chance to be “scary good” and the best group in the East.

“I think Letang’s going to come back better than ever,” the scout said of Letang. ” When he’s out there, you have a trickle-down effect in slotting Schultz and Maatta where they should be. His presence makes them and others that much better. A lot of their key guys are still young enough where they’re projecting upwards. Everyone thinks offense [hide] with Pittsburgh but they could have the best defense [in the Eastern Conference].”

Penguins Depth Chart
Dumoulin – Letang
Cole – Schultz
Maatta – Hunwick
Pouliot – Ruhwedel

Current Depth Charts of the remaining seven Eastern Conference playoff teams from 2017 postseason:
OTT: Fredrik Claesson-Erik Karlsson | Dion Phaneuf-Cody Ceci | Thomas Chabot-Chris Wideman
WSH: Dmitri Orlov-Matt Niskanen | Christian Dipos-John Carlson | Brooks Orpik-Madison Bowey
NYR: Ryan McDonagh-Kevin Shattenkirk | Brady Skjei-Brenden Smith | Marc Staal-Nick Holden
CLB: Zach Werenski-Seth Jones | Jack Johnson-David Savard | Markus Nutivaara-Ryan Murray
MTL: Karl Alzner-Shea Weber | Jordie Benn-Jeff Petry | Brandon Davidson-David Schlemko
BOS: Zdeno Chara-Charlie McAvoy | Torey Krug-Adam MCQuaid | Brandon Carlo-Kevan Miller
TOR: Jake Gardiner-Nikita Zaitsev | Ron Hainsey-Morgan Reilly | Martin Marincin-Connor Carrick

3. Mark Recchi played a big role in pushing for the Penguins to hire Mike Sullivan as Wilkes Barre coach in the summer of 2015. The two are very close and when Tocchet informed the Penguins last Wednesday he had entered into negotiations with the Coyotes on becoming their new head coach, Recchi became Sullivan’s No. 1 choice.

Despite no coaching experience, the Penguins believe it’s going to be a very smooth transition from Tocchet to Recchi and that Recchi brings similar qualities in how he’ll be demanding but will also be able to handle today’s player.

4. Happy Jaromir Jagr Anniversary.

Today marks the 16th year anniversary of the cash strapped Penguins at the time trading Jaromir Jagr to the Washington Capitals for Kris Beech, Michal Sivek, Ross Lupaschuk  and $3 million+ in cash that will likely always live as the worst trade in Penguins history to about 99% of Penguin fans.

Here is a blurb from the Post-Gazette’s story from July 11, 2001 on the Penguins dealing Jagr to the Capitals:

[In the deal, announced by Penguins general manager Craig Patrick, the Capitals get Jagr and defenseman Frantisek Kucera, and send Kris Beech, Michal Sivek, Ross Lupaschuk to Pittsburgh.
Patrick said he was delighted with the players Pittsburgh received.
He called Beech the key to the deal and a potential franchise player whose skills are similar to former Penguins great Ron Francis.
Before the deal, the New York Rangers were believed to be the front runner to obtain Jagr. However, Patrick said he was never satisfied with any of the offers made for Jagr until talks with the Capitals became serious “within the last day or so.”
Prior to the Capitals’ offer, Patrick said he was becoming concerned that the Penguins would not be able to obtain proper value for Jagr.]

5. Here’s what I’ll argue as a strong runner up as the worst trade in Penguins history, especially with the 1995-1996 season being the last true Stanley Cup opportunity with Mario Lemieux still at the height of his playing ability and in his early 30’s.

July 8, 1995: To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!