TIOPS Daily Five ICE Report

*Rumblings, Musings, Opinions*

buf11. The Penguins have indeed poked around on Jacob Trouba in the past 48 hours, league sources say, but no indication yet that Pittsburgh’s interest can described as “serious” in the standpoint of telling the Jets they’d be willing to be move Olli Maatta who would be coveted in a package for Trouba.

More rumblings continue to emerge on Trouba.

“He wants out of Canada,” one source indicated.

Buzz around the league is Trouba hopes to be traded to the Eastern Conference and would love to play for [hide]Dan Bylsma and the Buffalo Sabres.

The Sabres are considered one of the aggressive suitors.

FullSizeRender (3)2. When the Penguins management staff sat down a few weeks ago prior to training camp to discuss the pending UFA’s and RFA’s on the club for next summer, the most contentious discussions centered around Nick Bonino, TIOPS has learned.

One source described the feeling in the room among top officials on Bonino being 50-50 whether the Penguins should commit the type of contract (5 years – $20-$25 million) it would take to resign Bonino.

Some believe as long as the Penguins are committed to keeping Evgeni Malkin long-term, they need to keep retooling the bottom-2 line center spots with youth or veterans on bargain deals.

The Penguins have prospects to potentially fill that void next season in Oskar Sundqvist and Jake Guentzel, which would allow money to go elsewhere.

This season Bonino and Matt Cullen combine for only a $2.9 million cap hit.

The Penguins had some preliminary discussions with Bonino’s agent Peter Fish this summer and Fish is said to have been throwing Frans Nielsen type numbers out there.

Still, Bonino has support in the organization that a deal in the neighborhood of $4 million a year is the Penguins best route to capitalize on a three to four year window they believe they have.

Bonino’s play in the playoffs and the dominance of the HBK line had a trickle down effect on teams looking to dethrone the Penguins’ this coming season.

The Washington Capitals viewed Bonino’s impact as being what kept them from winning a Stanley Cup, one Capitals source said. It led them to going out and trading for Lars Eller who they see as their missing piece.

I’d argue their bottom-pairing on the blueline is what did them in but what Bonino was able to do from the third line center spot has been a lasting memory for them.

The Penguins front office staff has moved into the mold of being one that makes ‘group decisions’ but this is going to be one that comes down to which direction Jim Rutherford wants to go, those close to the situation say.

3. Matt Murray has an MRI scheduled for next Friday that will dictate whether he can be cleared to start practicing or not for the following week. That is the hope from Murray’s end.

Murray has expressed confidence to teammates he could be practicing before the start of the regular season. While the Penguins have called the injury a broken hand and Murray after a couple pauses  confirmed that Monday, though, the injury is said to be broken bone in the thumb area. Murray is wearing a cast on his right thumb.

He said Monday he was shocked to learn an MRI showed a fracture.

marc-ande-fleury14. Mike Sullivan made it clear today his focus is on getting Marc Andre Fleury ready, much more so than getting Tristan Jarry ready for the backup role.

Because Matt Murray had already had a training camp due to the World Cup, the Penguins had even planned prior to Murray’s injury for Fleury to at least see action in four preseason games.

“We’ll listen to Mike Bales on what we think is best for Marc and getting him to his A-game,” Sullivan said. “We have a little bit of a game plan here going through the exhibition season where we can ramp Marc up so that when the regular season starts, Marc is in the best position to be successful. I don’t want to discount the other goaltenders that are in camp here, and certainly it’s our responsibility to prepare those guys as well, but I think that Marc is certainly a priority for us, and we have to make sure we do everything we can to try to help him kind of re-establish his game.”

5. Around the NHL

— The Chicago Tribune reports winger Artemi Panarin is seeking a six year deal worth more than $6 million per season. Same type of deal Brandon Saad was seeking that got him traded. However, this one is expected to get done.

mariojagr1– The NHL announced today all of the festivities that will kick off their centennial celebration starting in January. One of the more interesting things revealed today will be an announcement of the 100 greatest players of all-time. Will be fascinating where Mario Lemieux gets ranked. Assuming it won’t be as high as he should be.

Wayne Gretzky who will be the ambassador for all of this, made some news in snubbing Lemieux from his All-time team.

Bill Daly told Sportsnet today the NHL could skip the 2018 Olympics and return for the 2022 Olympics. Many in the NHL are happily embracing the prospect of the players not going.