Penguins are 18th in the NHL in Points Percentage at the Quarter Mark

 

Penguins at the Quarter Mark After Tuesday’s 3-1 loss to the Washington Capitals, the Penguins have hit the quarter mark of the season with a 7-6-1 record. Some in Pittsburgh, including members of the organization were drinking the kool-aid and saw this team as an elite contender entering the season. However, a strong consensus around the league on the Penguins is that they were a middle of the road, fringe playoff team. And through 14 games they’ve lived up to that billing. In a covid world for a league mirrored with a ton of cancellations thus far, don’t waste your time looking at where the Penguins are at in the standings on a day to day basis, whether they shoot up to third place one or fall back to fifth the next day. All of the focus is on points percentage moving forward with doubts the league can get inRead More »

Rumors: Allvin made attempt to re-acquire Fleury + More Noise on 87’s Future in PIT

 

Sidney Crosby only untouchable for New Regime Ron Hextall and Brian Burke enter their first days and weeks at the helm with the entire mindset being on making this a legitimate playoff level team (they’re not right now) and then making the really tough decisions this summer: And to contrast Jim Rutherford’s trading style of sometimes chasing his own tail, Hextall has to try to tweak the edges of the roster without falling into the Rutherford trap of moving one contract for another. Everything after this season is going to be about how to restock the cupboard and keeping Sidney Crosby happy on what the plan will be moving forward. Ron Hextall and Brian Burke didn’t major commitments from ownership with five Ideally would ownership like to see Malkin retire a Penguins? Of course, but the new regime has full reins to do what they have to do to tryRead More »

Latest Pens Buzz: On the Hextall/Burke Arranged Marriage & More Front-Office Upheaval to Come

 

Latest Pens Buzz One of the burning questions around the league is how the arranged marriage of Ron Hextall and Brian Burke evolves over the next year in a half. A growing sense among rival executives is things go well for a stretch but that the two are bound to eventually clash. In the present, though, it’s important the Penguins have fresh eyes in the fold now who have much different views in style of play, personnel than how the team was previously operated. That has a chance to really benefit them. Skill is always the way to go, but a major issue for the organization is how they overlooked the need for those glue type players, who will block shots, are hard to play against below the dots, ect. It’s such a passive, perimeter based lack of physical team top to bottom and it’s been a clear issue forRead More »

Latest Pens Buzz: On Brian Burke running the show & giving the Penguins a likely needed dose of reality

 

The Burke/Hextall Era Begins Less than two weeks after Jim Rutherford just up and quit, the Pittsburgh Penguins today named Brian Burke President of Hockey Operations and Ron Hextall the 11th General Manager in team history. “With these two guys, we have two of the greatest minds in hockey,” CEO David Morehouse said. “Two of the most respected people in hockey. It carries on a tradition of the Penguins that goes back to when we had Badger Bob, Scotty Bowman and Jim Rutherford on to today with Brian Burke and Ron Hextall. The Penguins say Hextall will handle the day-to-day hockey operations, while reporting to Burke. Burke will then report directly to David Morehouse. Of the two hires, let’s start with the biggest one of the day in Brian Burke. No matter how the Penguins wanted to present it today, let’s make this as clear as can be: The 65Read More »

Penguins offer General Manager position to Ron Hextall

 

Hextall tracking to become next GM After a lengthy meeting of over four hours on Monday with former Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall, a meeting that included team owner Mario Lemieux, the Penguins believe they have found their man to replace Jim Rutherford. For the time being, the team has halted second interviews with other shortlist candidates and this morning began directly negotiating with Ron Hextall’s representatives for Hextall to become the Penguins next General Manager. Both sides

Latest Pens Buzz: Most disappointing loss of the season, GM Search Chatter & More Buzz

 

Finding Ways to Lose Pittsburgh’s 4-3 loss to the New York Islanders Saturday night chalks up as their most disappointing loss of the season through 11 games. Falling down 2-1 it looked like it was going to be another night where Tristan Jarry wasn’t going to do enough to put the Penguins in position to win. Then in the second period the tide turned. Jarry had a spectacular second period two that was capped off with Evgeni Malkin tying the game at 2-2 with 15 seconds left in the second period that saw the Malkin line turn defense into offense just inside the Isles blueline. Momentum continued to carry the Penguins way in the early moments of the final frame as Jake Guentzel put the Penguins up 3-2, just 3:19 in the third. The way the Penguins started to take the game over in stretches, especially the top line thatRead More »

Jason Karmanos fired in Oct, officially interviews for Pens GM opening

 

Latest on Penguins GM Search Former Penguins assistant General Manager Jason Karmanos who spent six seasons as Jim Rutherford’s right hand man, is a candidate for the Penguins GM opening and officially interviewed on The twist in the story here is that it wasn’t the Penguins after all that forced Rutherford to fire Karmanos in late October, which was assumed by many due to how close Rutherford and Karmanos had been for years. Multiple sources close to the situation confirm the Karmanos firing was Rutherford 100% driven due to a blow up

Latest Pens Buzz: Covid Outbreaks, 5 vs 5 Scoring, GM Search Latest

 

Can NHL manage Covid outbreak? The worst fear the NHL had prior to the season starting has been a belief among their team of medical advisers and consultants that team to team transmission from the benches being a much higher probability for NHL players than the rarity it’s been for football, basketball. Airborne transmission is a high concern in hockey arenas and the NHL is seeing some early evidence of it being problematic in the latest spread among multiple teams. That will have the NHL making immediate changes to their covid protocols such as installing portable air cleaners behind the benches to try to help decrease the chance of airborne transmission. As expected, the league is going to be forced to adjust covid protocols on a week to week basis. The ability to make bench changes in trying to space players out better like the NBA can isn’t an optionRead More »

Latest Pens Buzz: Power Play Woes, GM Search kicking into high gear

 

Power Play Woes Doom Penguins’ in Loss Deserved a better fate? Maybe but these things usually even out as the Penguins have gotten some W’s so far this season when they shouldn’t have. Without three of their top-5 defensemen as Kris Letang is now on the shelf, the Penguins laid out a blueprint defensively in the first and second period of really how they need to defend whether they have a full roster or not. There were a lot of things to like in how they defended 5 vs 5. For whatever reason, the Penguins always seem to do this when they’re ravished with injuries at certain spots. A light will go off that this is how they need to play but it rarely continues when the roster gets back to full strength. Another storyline out of the loss is a little goaltender controversy is brewing with Casey DeSmith beingRead More »

Latest Pens Buzz: Penguins to hear pitches for President of Hockey Operations & More Buzz

 

Penguins to go the President of Hockey Operations Route? Adjusting to the new trends? We’ll see whether it actually transpires or not, but the Pittsburgh Penguins will go into the interview process this week with an open mind of implementing a major upheaval of the front office structure. There is a growing sense around the league that Co-Owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle will strongly consider a President of Hockey Operations structure with a desire for Team President David Morehouse, while still acting as the liaison to ownership on hockey level dealings, Some are expressing caution that this will actually play out, but it’s something being seriously mulled by Lemieux and Burkle, sources say, and that’s a good thing. That has the Penguins bringing in 3-4 candidates this week to hear pitches on this model and actually be interviewing for President of Hockey Operations, not General Manager. Multiple league sourcesRead More »