Latest Pens Buzz: More Fallout from Rutherford’s Exit & Latest on GM Search

 

The Rutherford Fallout & Latest on the GM Search Worst kept secret around the league right now: Jim Rutherford will be laying the groundwork the next couple months to join a franchise as a President of Hockey Operations with former Penguins Assistant GM Jason Karmanos coming in as General Manager. Karmanos who was Rutherford’s top lieutenant the last couple seasons wasn’t just a puppet for Rutherford. He has been considered an up and coming name in the executive ranks and was a sleeper GM candidate in the Coyotes recent search and also spoke with the Devils for their opening last season. — There is more and more noise from those close to Rutherford that sometime around late October/early November he started to believe a mutual parting AFTER the season was more likely than not, which is a shock to many as it was always assumed Rutherford would be allowed toRead More »

Breakaway Buzz: Noise of Sidney Crosby eventually teaming up with Nathan MacKinnon (In Colorado) growing in league circles

 

TIOPS Breakaway Buzz *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* Wild Speculation surrounds Penguins Future How wild is the speculation surrounding the Pittsburgh Penguins right now beyond the General Manager search? It’s pretty wild. Especially to the point where NHL executives, some top NHL Insiders are buzzing about even Sidney Crosby’s future. Yes Sidney Crosby and we’re not talking Sidney Crosby going off and playing elsewhere once his contract ends. There is legit chatter around the league that don’t think it’s a 100% guarantee Crosby will stick around for his final good to great years in a LA Kings/Chicago Blackhawks type situation. Would the ultimate company man actually end his career elsewhere? It’s been something in Pittsburgh considered unimaginable, but for a number of reasons, some tea leaves are being planted from the Crosby camp……… who is very close to Crosby’s agent Pat Brisson, doesn’t go there “There’s some really strong opinions who thinkRead More »

Latest Pens Buzz: Wake-Up Call, Messaging, Can Penguins alter style of play?

 

Mike Sullivan has his work cut out for himself The Pittsburgh Penguins are a fortunate 4-3-1 after eight games. That’s the good through eight games and that’s about it. The multiple what I’d call fluke come from behind wins have covered up how bad this team has played for a lot of stretches thus far. With a number of injuries on the blueline, Mike Sullivan could have taken the easy way out after the Penguins lackluster 4-1 loss to the Bruins and chalked it up to injuries. He was right not to. We’ve got to play the game the right way,” Mike Sullivan said. “That’s what I think. We’ve got to defend when it’s called upon and not just try to outscore teams. You’ve got to be harder to play against if were going to find success consistently. And we weren’t hard against tonight — Penguins coach Mike Sullivan onRead More »

Rumors: Fitzgerald and Drury gaining early buzz as top candidates on Penguins wishlist

 

Way Too Early Names connected to the Penguins Jim Rutherford’s resignation was so sudden that’s Pittsburgh’s General Manager search is still a few days away from totally getting off it’s feet. Things are in the very early stages from a true list being put together as the Penguins hope to begin conducting some phone interviews next week. Ideally the Penguins want to put a permanent General Manager in place before seasons end, but if there is a top target they have to wait on till after the season, it’s something they’re not going to rule out. My oh my, though, Pittsburgh has fielded a ton of calls already, sources say. There is a ton of interest in the job. 24 hours in, the two names garnering the most buzz around the league is Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald and Rangers assistant GM Ch The sense inside Penguins circles and outside ofRead More »

Latest Pens Buzz: Pettiness, myriad of issues that mirrored Jim Rutherford in his final days as GM

 

Jim Rutherford’s Sudden Resignation — Shocked, stunned, mystified, it is all above for the entire Penguins organization on Jim Rutherford abruptly stepping down as General Manager on Wednesday morning. One high ranking Penguins source best described Rutherford quitting as ‘pettiness’. What has stunned most in the organization is just the way Rutherford up and quit. To put it frankly, the 71 year old decided out of the blue he is just done with the organization. There was no outreach from Rutherford on sticking around in an advisory role until the season is over or anything to that matter, sources say. I’m told top Penguin officials are just left stunned even more so from the standpoint that reasons they feel Rutherford might have quit for were really just lower level type disagreements that the Penguins saw as being fixable after talking things out. Jim, though, had no interest in that. MinutesRead More »

Latest Pens Buzz: On Evgeni Malkin’s struggles & More Buzz

 

Any Change in Penguins long-term outlook for 2021 Season? Pittsburgh has rattled off four straight wins, all come from behind wins and on Sunday secured their first regulation win of the season. Pittsburgh on Sunday was improved in cutting down the grade-A chances, we’ll see if that can continue tonight vs the Bruins. Getting off to the 4-2-0 start compared with the eye test has showed is something else. The record could easily be flipped to 2-4-0 and six games in, I still feel the same way I did before the season started. A likely playoff team but nothing more than a middle of the road team. Top to bottom this is just an uninspiring group 5-on-5 that isn’t built for today’s NHL’s when you try to compare them with some of the NHL’s top tier teams. Penguin management has had this obsession that the roster they’ve put in placeRead More »

Penguins – Rangers What We Learned

 

Penguins – Rangers What We Learned Winning Games you shouldn’t will get you to the playoffs, especially in a shortened season. And here are the Penguins sitting at a very fortunate 3-2-0, 6 pts, after five games, earning six out of a 10 possible points thus far. Like the Washington game on Tuesday night, the Penguins played a more structured game in the third period against the Rangers, but the Penguins have to be careful not to let these rallies overlook the atrocious defensive lapses they continue to have that are eventually going to sink them. Showing resolve, resiliency is great as they’ve shown, but these comebacks continue to be driven by fluke goals. Jared McCann’s power play goal to cut the Rangers lead to 3-2 in the second period saw McCann record his first goal since January 14, 2020, and officially not be awarded a shot on goal asRead More »

TIOPS Breakaway Buzz: Thinking Ahead on a Successor to Jim Rutherford

 

Inside the East Division Rumblings, Musings, & Opinions PHI 3-1-1, 7 pts: Coaches around the league feel Kevin Hayes is one of the most underappreciated players in the NHL. 6 even strength points through 5 games, Hayes has been one of the most dominant two-way players to open the season. If the Rangers could go back, there might be a different decision made on whether to sign Chris Kreider long-term over Hayes ……..Intrigue with the Flyers is the upside with the forward group as the season grows, in particular getting full seasons from Nolan Patrick (1 Goal, 3 Assists) and Oskar Lindblom (2 Goals, 1 Assist)…… The Flyers chased Zdeno Chara in free agency. Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher remains in the market for a solidifying piece on the backend…… NYI 3-1-0, 6 pts: Goal Prevention? The Islanders are elite again in that critical area, allowing six goals through four games.Read More »

Latest Pens Buzz: Whispers in org of the GM being in a ‘sending the message’ mood?

 

Fears inside the room of a coaches favorite being moved? — Mike Sullivan starting Casey DeSmith in consecutive starts was nothing more than Sullivan just believing DeSmith gave them the best chance to win. After the 0-2 start, whispers in the Penguins organization is the coaching staff has feared a knee jerk trade of a prominent . Just a few games into the season and there’s certainly some rumblings in that room already that Rutherford could soon be in the First impressions matter? The decision to scratch Ceci after one game, caught some in the organization by surprise because he was such a favorable signing by Jim Rutherford, but the healthy scratch was building from the poor camp Ceci had. There’s going to be pressure on Ceci to change some opinion’s with the coaches when he gets in. I’ve had more than one individual tell me he’s not a ToddRead More »