Latest Pens Buzz
*Rumblings, Musings, Opinions
- Rival Teams bracing for Letang to be in play?
- Sale Talks impacted negotiations with key Penguins’ Reps believe
- A Lost Season for 71? Execs wonder if Malkin will make it past the Olympics?
- Penguins moving on from DeSmith?
Even prior to the Penguins pending sale news getting out, there’s been emerging chatter in league circles for a few weeks now that the Kris Letang camp believes more so than ever that Letang will be playing elsewhere next season and that teams have viewed Letang [hide] as the main chip that helps restock the Penguins system if the Penguins don’t look like a contender come February.
— A top contender via trade with with eyes on Kris Letang is the To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!
— One high ranking source directly involved in contract talks with Penguins GM Ron Hextall described talks for the past couple months as “extremely strange” but the breaking news this week of the Penguins pending sale now adds up.
Sources say something changed on Hextall’s end where in late July Hextall initially went from ‘we want to see if we can get something done’ to weeks and now months later of never once discussing numbers with this specific prominent Penguin entering the last year of their contract. A positive first couple discussions turned into talks coming to a halt out of nowhere or as the source described as talks becoming ‘vague’ in nature. What happened here is substantive negotiations with two prospective buyers started to take hold around Mid-August and accelerated in October. A desire of the current ownership group to resign Malkin and Letang was stopped in its tracks due to sale talks progressing.
— While clubs feel Kris Letang could potentially become available, they don’t envision the same thing playing out with Evgeni Malkin. The Olympics are very important to Malkin and if the Penguins are out of contention, a more likely outcome would be Malkin shutting it down for the season and getting right for next season as he’s believed to need another cleanup procedure that would have turned in his recovery into around nine months instead of 5-6 months. Some executives wonder if he’ll make it past the Olympics.
— Worst kept secret around the league over the last week is Pittsburgh scouring the market for an upgrade at the backup goaltender spot. The team feels Casey DeSmith has been better than his numbers but they’re eyeing opportunities to make a change.[/hide]