NHL Free Agency News: Updates on Svatos, Kennedy, more


Around the NHL *One of the more intriguing wingers left on the free agent market is 28 year old forward Marek Svatos, formerly of the Colorado Avalanche. The 5-10, 185-pound right winger scored 32 goals in 2005-2006 and added 26 goals in 2007-2008. Svatos though has regressed tremendously in the past two years at both ends of the ice after suffering a torn ACL in 2008. Svatos scored just 7 goals and 11 points last season, playing a fourth line role late in the season. He was also a minus-13 in 09-10 and has a combined minus-20 plus/minus rating since the 2008-2009 season. With free agency now into day 35, Svatos is finding it extremely to difficult to land a one-way contract. “Nothing firm yet, ” Rich Evans the agent for Svatos told Inside Pittsburgh Sports this afternoon when asked if Svatos was mulling any one-way offers. Like many EuropeanRead More »

NHL Free Agency Buzz: McKee “reviewing his options”


Like some of his former teammates, Penguins defenseman Jay McKee is patiently waiting out the free agent market. The market for McKee has begun to slowly pick up of late but the 32 year old defenseman is looking for the right fit and willing to wait it out. “Still reviewing options, ” Pat Morris the agent for Jay McKee told Inside Pittsburgh Sports on Thursday of this week when asked if McKee was getting close to picking a destination. Two-to-three options have emerged for McKee in the past week, with the Nashville Predators and Anaheim Ducks emerging as potential suitors. There has also been inquries from Columbus and Washington but neither team has been engaged in negotiations with McKee or have presented a formal offer. One team not in the mix for McKee is Pittsburgh. Morris and Pens GM Ray Shero have had zero contract talks this off-season and noneRead More »

NHL Free Agency: Latest updates on former Pens’ still on the market


Updates on McKee, Guerin, Ponikarovsky, Fedotenko, more Veteran defenseman Jay McKee continues to patiently wait out the market for the right situation. According to a source close to McKee’s camp there has been zero contact since July 1 between Pens GM Ray Shero and Pat Morris, the agent for McKee. Pittsburgh has decided to move on. However,  the Phoenix Coyotes, Chicago Blackhawks, Ottawa Senators and Nashville Predators have expressed preliminary interest in McKee, a league source tells Inside Pittsburgh Sports this afternoon.  McKee prefers to join a contender and have a shot at a title but is also seeking a top-6 role. Alexei Ponikarovsky is among a current group of 4-to-5 wingers (Torres, Frolov) who can have an impact on any team but have seen a very limited market in free agency. Two reasons for that is the demands of their agents and a consensus among GM’s around the league who are showingRead More »

Off-Day Report: Penguins prepare for the surging Islanders


The Pittsburgh Penguins (30-19-1) returned to the ice this morning as the team prepares for a two game homestand that begins Tuesday night. First up for Pittsburgh will be the surging New York Islanders (22-19-8) who won for the fourth straight time this afternoon beating the New Jersey Devils 4-0, behind a 20 save shutout performance from goaltender Rick DiPietro. Former Pittsburgh Penguins draft pick Matt Moulson added goals 18, 19 for the Islanders in their 4-0 win. With Dipietro playing today, he will not play tomorrow night against Pittsburgh and neither will Marc Andre Fleury (fractured finger). A rundown on latest Penguins injury news * As reported earlier, Fleury was limited today, wearing a skaters glove for protection instead of his regular mit. Fleury will not be available to play for at least the next two games.

Goligoski out for tonights game; McKee in


Defenseman Alex Goligoski remains bothered by a lower body injury and will not play tonight against the New York Rangers. Goligoski returned to the lineup Saturday night against New York but did not travel with the Penguins to New York. Goligoski will be replaced in the lineup by Jay McKee who was paired with Kris Letang this morning. Pittsburgh will also be without the services of winger Matt Cooke tonight. Cooke was suspended for two games by the National Hockey League. Cooke is eligible to return to the lineup Saturday night against the Chicago Blackhawks. Cooke will be replaced in lineup by Chris Bourque who will skate on a line with Craig Adams and Eric Godard Marc Andre Fleury will start in goal for the Penguins. Upfront, a good sign for Pittsburgh is that

McKee just days away from returning to the lineup


Ben Lovejoy and Deryk Engellands’ time in the Penguins top 6 rotation will soon be coming to an end. Defenseman Kris Letang could return to the lineup as early as Saturday night against the New York Rangers and defenseman Jay McKee (finger infection) is just “days” away from returning to the lineup. McKee skated today for the second consecutive day. McKee is scheduled to return to the lineup Monday night against the Rangers. As expected Brent Johnson will start in goal for the Penguins this afternoon against the New York Islanders. Penguins @ Islanders Pre-game Notes

Practice Report: Defenseman Jay McKee misses practice, out 2-4 weeks


Gonchar, Orpik close to returning More injuries mounting for the Penguins? Defenseman Jay McKee is not practicing today as the Penguins returned to the ice this morning. Pittsburgh did not practice on Tuesday. *Updated: Dan Bylsma announced after practice that McKee (infection on his finger) will be sidelined for 2-4 weeks. *The good news for Pittsburgh is that the return of Brooks Orpik (lower body) is close. Orpik practiced today for the first time since being injured against Boston and is progressing. His injury to begin with was a two week injury at the max. He’s had a week to rest and count on him returning to the lineup Saturday night against Atlanta.

Johnson to start against Florida; Skoula – McKee pairing?


*The 8-1 Pittsburgh Penguins returned to the ice this morning and went through a 90 minute workout today and there will be a few lineup changes when the Penguins host the Florida Panthers friday night. Goaltender Marc Andre Fleury will get a night off and backup Brent Johnson will get the start against the struggling Panthers. Fleury (8-0) will start Saturday night against the New Jersey Devils. *All eyes will be on defenseman Martin Skoula tomorrow night who will replace star defenseman Sergei Gonchar in the lineup. Skoula was drafted in the first round by the Colorado Avalanche in 1998 and when he first entered the NHL, Skoula was regarded as having the potential to being an elite defenseman. Some scouts even described him as a future Nicklas Lidstrom. Skoula never matched those high expectations and the past two seasons were difficult ones for him. Skoula was a team worstRead More »

Post-Game Notebook: McKee proving his worth


Giguere not in the Leafs plans for now The buzz in Toronto today is the Toronto Maple Leafs goaltending situation. Vesa Toskala has not shown the ability to be a No.1 netminder and that was clear tonight. The Leafs have high hopes for young goaltender Jonas Gustavsson who is currently sidelined for 1-3 weeks with a groin injury. Leafs GM Brian Burke has claimed on many occasions that the Leafs are not in rebuilding mode which has sparked speculation that Burke is looking for a veteran goaltender. Gustavsson is not a sure thing and will go through some learning pains but one goaltender currently not on the Leafs radar is Anaheim goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere. McKee proving his worth