Defenseman Mark Friedman exempt from Expansion Draft


Any talk of the Penguins protecting defensemen Mark Friedman, acquired via waivers last season, is not accurate as Friedman is exempt from the expansion draft and does not qualify toward protection limits. Notable Eligible defenseman to be protected include Kris Letang who must be protected due to his NMC, Brian Dumoulin, Mike Matheson, Marcus Pettersson, Chad Ruhwedel and Cody Ceci, a pending UFA.

Latest Pens Buzz: Kraken have done significant homework on Jason Zucker?


Latest Expansion Draft Buzz Surrounding the Penguins Pittsburgh’s resigning of center Teddy Blueger this week to a 2 year, $4.4 million extension fell right into the ballpark of what a Teddy Blueger extension was projected to be. “Teddy has proven to be a versatile, two-way center, as well as a fixture on the penalty kill. He’s a valuable player for our team,” said General Manager Ron Hextall of Blueger.” Pittsburgh bought out a UFA year and known for his defensive metrics, the new regime see’s Blueger as an ascending player where they think the offensive numbers can fall into the range of 15 goals, 35-40 points next season, though, that might be an optimistic view. Pittsburgh’s top-5 forwards to be protected have been set for a while now, while the final two forwards to protect has been a different story. Sounds like the organization came to an agreement on theRead More »

Latest Pens Buzz: Best Case Scenario for Pens in Expansion Draft


Best Case Scenario For Pens in Expansion Draft The NHL offseason is about to hit high gear. Expansion draft protected lists are officially due into the league office by 5:00 P.M. on July 17 with the expansion draft happening days later on July 21. One major difference between Vegas and Seattle is how much more guarded Kraken GM Ron Francis has been with clubs on who they would take in Scenario A, B or C. There’s going to be some side deals but not to the extent that McPhee sought out in 2017. Seattle has more teams guessing, multiple league sources say. Pittsburgh went the 4-4-1 route in 2017 and will go the 7-3-1 this time around. The Penguins brass in recent weeks has been bracing to lose based off intel they’ve gathered, sources say. A best case scenario for the Penguins? Seattle selects

Latest Pens Buzz: Hextall staying out of trade talks for big names? The Eichel Market & More Buzz


Latest NHL Buzz What do rival executives expect of the Penguins this off-season? Some tweaks around the edges and the team to ‘run it back’. Several weeks after a third straight Round 1 ouster, General Manager Ron Hextall and his group are said to still this group is right their with the Tampa Bay’s and others to compete for a Stanley Cup next season and the possibility of seismic changes is going to get pushed back to next summer. Maybe Hextall has the ultimate poker face going on but good luck finding anyone in the know who has expectations of anything else playing out. With a number of big names available, a major change in how Jim Rutherford operated compared to how Ron Hextall goes about is already being seen. Rutherford was notorious for being in on everything, even if the Penguins had no business in being in the mix.Read More »

Rumblings: Exec’s wonder of a Fleury – Malkin swap


Latest NHL Buzz Pittsburgh and Chicago are said to have held extensive talks surrounding a Matt — Tough break for Rick Tocchet on the coaching market as the sense around the league a month ago is that he would nab one of the available jobs. Tocchet interviewed three times with Seattle and at one point thought he had the job, though, the sense is he finished third in the running behind Dave Hakstol and Tony Granato. Tocchet interviewed twice with the Rangers where he was a strong candidate for the job, also interviewed twice in Columbus, but Tocchet seeking a four year contract at $3 million per season was going to be problematic in having a chance at getting the Jackets job. Then there’s Buffalo, where after Tocchet didn’t get the Seattle job, the Sabres circled back around to Tocchet and weighed strongly in entering negotiations with Tocchet before decidingRead More »

Latest NHL Buzz: Marc Andre Fleury, Kraken Coaching Buzz & More


Latest NHL Buzz The Tampa Bay Lightning are one win away from the Stanley Cup Final with an 8-0 thrashing of the New York Islanders Monday night as the Lightning look primed to repeat as Cup champions. Maybe the resilient Islanders force a game 7 but what a daunting challenge it is for anyone to beat that Lightning team four out of seven times and as expected that’s playing out again this postseason. In a salary cap era, it is something that since the 2008-2009 season, we could now have four multiple Cup Winners during that span with Chicago (3X), Pittsburgh (3X), Los Angeles (2X) and possibly Tampa Bay twice. Not to mention the possibility of two separate back-to-back winners in five seasons if Tampa Bay does repeat. The most fascinating storyline in the conference finals, though, is on the other side with the Vegas Golden Knights and now theRead More »

Evgeni Malkin undergoes Knee Surgery


Penguins center Evgeni Malkin underwent surgery on his right knee, the team announced. The Penguins are vague on a recovery timetable, saying Malkin is expected to be unavailable for training camp in September and that the team “expects to have a more definitive time frame for his return at that time.”

Latest Pens Buzz: Burke, Hextall putting too much weight into the Penguins winning division?


Ron Hextall is driving the bus When the Penguins hired Brian Burke in the midst of a global pandemic by creating a new position of President of Hockey Operations that contractually gives Burke final say on hockey decisions, many around the league had the expectation that Ron Hextall would be doing all the leg work on the day-to-day operations, which has been the case, but that Burke would be more Toronto Maple Leafs Brian Burke than Calgary Flames Brian Burke in being the biggest voice in dictating the direction of the team. That has not played out at all, sources close to the situation say. Maybe things will change a year from now and they very well could, but to this point Ron Hextall has all the muscle in laying out a plan for the short-term and long-term. He’s the de facto No. 1 decision maker, sources confirm. Burke hasRead More »

Latest Pens Buzz: New Regime Taking a risk in putting so much weight into a shortened season


Trying to have the oldest core in the league? Big Three? Is it now a Big Four in Pittsburgh? Despite 3/4’s of the group Ron Hextall now calls the ‘core’ being closer to 40 years old than 30, Hextall see’s no reason not to continue to build around Crosby, Malkin, Letang and now Jeff Carter……….. “We are excited about our group with Letang, Crosby, Malkin and Jeff Carter,” said Ron Hextall at his season ending zoom conference on Wednesday. Hextall lumping Carter into the “core” talk was eye catching and during the presser Hextall also spoke of how after adding Carter he didn’t see any real weaknesses in the Penguins lineup. There’s no question Carter ended up being a fantastic trade deadline addition, but set to turn 37 years old in January, the Penguins are taking quite the optimistic approach that Carter can steadily be an impact player at hisRead More »