2018 Summer Game Plan

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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby FLPensFan on Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:49 pm

More on Skinner....he talked to a radio station this afternoon and said he didn't turn down any offers. He said to his knowledge this (Buffalo deal) was the only offer that was brought to him.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby longtimefan on Sat Aug 04, 2018 2:32 pm

Kingerski gives his take on the Skinner deal, and I personally agree with him.

https://pittsburghhockeynow.com/jeff-sk ... l-hagelin/

More goals are not always better. The Buffalo Sabres acquired Carolina’s goal-scoring left winger Jeff Skinner for a prospect and a compilation of second and third round picks, Thursday night and Penguins fans gritted their teeth at a perceived missed opportunity. But it wasn’t a missed opportunity. Skinner didn’t fit with the Penguins lineup or in the Penguins salary cap structure.



Carolina shed Skinner’s $6 million salary and $5.75 million cap hit but did not take back any salary. In other words, Carolina chopped a chunk of change off their payroll. The Penguins could not afford to take on a salary without a corresponding move to open cap space, and Skinner’s addition would not have outweighed the necessary subtractions.

Would Skinner make the Penguins better than Carl Hagelin does? Through base stat sheet addition of goals it would appear so, but in the larger three-dimensional puzzle of a hockey team, Hagelin’s skillset would be a loss. PHN has written extensively about Hagelin’s importance to Evgeni Malkin’s headline-grabbing season.

Skinner’s defensive work is a problem. First, Penguins fans should imagine a lineup which includes Skinner, Phil Kessel, Daniel Sprong and the regular-season version of Jake Guentzel. Penguins goaltender Matt Murray might hang a white flag above the net with that lineup. The loss of Hagelin would also greatly diminish the Penguins forecheck, puck pressure and puck retrieval unless you think Kessel would go into the corner to battle for puck possession.


Some in the fanbase are still unhappy over defenseman free-agent acquisition Jack Johnson’s contract. The respectable Penguins blog Pensburgh blamed Johnson’s signing for the Penguins inability to add Skinner.

Had the Penguins not added a legitimate defenseman via free agency or trade, Chad Ruhwedel would be the sixth defenseman and Zach Trotman would be the seventh. Both are much more suited to their current role as a seventh and eighth defenseman who only appear when needed. Further, Johnson’s addition will reduce Kris Letang’s minutes which will improve Letang’s play.


He also did a video breakdown and analysis about Matt Cullen's season in Minny.

https://pittsburghhockeynow.com/video-b ... l-have-it/

With only 11 goals and 11 assists in 79 games, Matt Cullen’s numbers from last season look like a 41-year old center who might have had his last hoorah. His point total dropped by ten from the previous two seasons and his ice-time dwindled by two minutes per game. Bruce Boudreau and the Minnesota Wild coaching staff clearly didn’t see a great fit for the 24-year veteran.

Last season, there was no consistency in Cullen’s assignments. The man who made the fourth line his home in Pittsburgh was shuffled around the Minnesota lineup and press box. The bottom-six for the Wild was interchangeable for most of the year, but in the playoffs, he was placed skated Charlie Coyle and Tyler Ennis. On the third line.


The most obvious question PHN had to answer was–At 41-years-old, does Cullen still skate well? The answer was a resounding yes.


It’s easy to critique a move in which a team acquires a soon-to-be 42-year old but Cullen’s cerebral-type game is still effective. And his skates are every bit as good as they were when he was in Pittsburgh. He hasn’t lost a step.

Playing in the East, the conference of speed and finesse, Cullen’s skillset will fit well. He probably won’t post 15 goals, but if the Penguins need to win a weak-side, defensive zone faceoff late in a big game, there is no player better for that situation than Cullen.

If the Penguins choose to do so, Cullen could still more than capably fill the fourth-line center role. This was another win for Jim Rutherford.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby longtimefan on Sat Aug 04, 2018 2:39 pm

John Gibson signed with the Ducks for 8 years at a $6.4M cap hit. That's likely the benchmark for Murray's next contract, depending on what kind of season he has. They locked Gibson up early. He's still has a year at $2.3M.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby Puck-Lurker on Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:10 pm

longtimefan wrote:If the Penguins choose to do so, Cullen could still more than capably fill the fourth-line center role. This was another win for Jim Rutherford.

Got 3 Cs that are an upgrade over Rowney and McKegg last season. That's a serious win.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby LimerickPensFan on Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:32 am

Puck-Lurker wrote:
longtimefan wrote:If the Penguins choose to do so, Cullen could still more than capably fill the fourth-line center role. This was another win for Jim Rutherford.

Got 3 Cs that are an upgrade over Rowney and McKegg last season. That's a serious win.

But we still need to trade Kessel and Letang. </sarcasm>
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby Great58 on Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:23 am

Puck-Lurker wrote:
longtimefan wrote:If the Penguins choose to do so, Cullen could still more than capably fill the fourth-line center role. This was another win for Jim Rutherford.

Got 3 Cs that are an upgrade over Rowney and McKegg last season. That's a serious win.

And yet Rutherford still gets criticized as a GM. NHL radio gave him a C- for the last year into this July, they didn't like his asset management (they gave up Scott Wilson!... and a first).

Some missteps, but he's transformed a 2X Cup winning team that lost 8 lineup players into one that will contend again, on the fly. Injuries and emotional fatigue were the limiters against Washington. Yes, Rutherford gives up first round picks, but he generally doesn't do it for rentals, and he's been successful in getting salary withheld when he wants to make a big splash.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby FLPensFan on Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:08 am

Great58 wrote:
Puck-Lurker wrote:
longtimefan wrote:If the Penguins choose to do so, Cullen could still more than capably fill the fourth-line center role. This was another win for Jim Rutherford.

Got 3 Cs that are an upgrade over Rowney and McKegg last season. That's a serious win.

And yet Rutherford still gets criticized as a GM. NHL radio gave him a C- for the last year into this July, they didn't like his asset management (they gave up Scott Wilson!... and a first).

Some missteps, but he's transformed a 2X Cup winning team that lost 8 lineup players into one that will contend again, on the fly. Injuries and emotional fatigue were the limiters against Washington. Yes, Rutherford gives up first round picks, but he generally doesn't do it for rentals, and he's been successful in getting salary withheld when he wants to make a big splash.

Well, I started writing that a C- was a bit absurd as a rating, but as I started trying to rate some of the different moves, something in the C range is likely warranted.

Negatives
=========
- Signed Matt Hunwick to a 3 year, 2.25M AAV contract
- Signed Conor Sheary to a 3 year, 3M AAV contract
- Traded a 1st and Sundqvist for Reaves and a 2nd
- Traded Pouliot for a 4th and Pedan
- Went almost a month into the season before acquiring a 3C

Positives
=========
- Resigned Hornqvist to 5 years, 5.3M AAV
- Traded 2019 4th for Jamie Oleksiak
- Acquired Derick Brassard, with Vegas retaining large portion of salary
- Drafted two potential 1st round talents in the 2nd round, Addison and Hallander

Longer-term to judge
==============
- Traded Filip Gustavsson as piece to get Brassard
- Signed Jack Johnson to a 5 year, 3.25M AAV

My reasons for the negative ratings:

-- Matt Hunwick didn't work out. Whether it was injury or inability to play on a good team, he didn't work. Yes, GMJR was able to dump him and his salary on BUF, but you don't get extra points for cleaning up your own mistakes.

-- Sheary was given too much money after one season of good play. I think the Penguins would have liked to have kept him, but they needed cap space and he was the casualty.

-- It's not the 20 spots or Sundqvist that is the issue, it's coach and GM not being on the same page. Reaves was great at his role in STL, and great in his role in VGK. He didn't do well in Pittsburgh, and that was more a usage issue than Reaves being a bad player or having a down year.

-- Pouliot wasn't Rutherford's mistake in drafting, but getting a player that your usage caused to leave the organization wasn't a great deal. Pouliot isn't playing at top 4 level d-man for Vancouver, but he is playing much better than he did here in Pittsburgh. Having his depth here would be a good thing. I believe given the proper chance, he'd be an upgrade over Ruhwedel.

-- Rutherford handcuffed the team to start the season by being forced to use McKegg as their 3C. For as many times as Rutherford said "I could make a move right now," he didn't do anything until late October. Part of this, also partially on Rutherford, was GMJR believing Cullen would return and giving Cullen until mid-August to decide. That didn't help their 3C situation, and also caused them to miss out on bringing Kunitz back.

The past 2 off-seasons haven't been as good as previous years. Best I could probably give Rutherford is a B-, but I feel like C+ is probably more appropriate.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby Jim on Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:15 am

The Reaves situation sits 100% squarely on the coach.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby FLPensFan on Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:20 am

Scott Wheeler at the Athletic did a breakdown of the top 50 prospects under the age of 23. His list excluded some players who just turned 23, a few who were under 23 but finished the season in the NHL and are a good bet to return this year (Kapanen was one of those guys). Mainly, these are under 23 players who have not yet made an impact at NHL level.

Penguins lone representative was Daniel Sprong, coming in at #33. 16 NHL teams had only 1 player on this list. NJ had zero. Vancouver was high with 4 (Petterson, Hughes, Juolevi, J. Dahlen)

33. Daniel Sprong, RW, 21 (Pittsburgh Penguins — 46th overall, 2015)
True story: Someone once sent me hate mail for how high I ranked Sprong on my final list in 2015 (he was 16th, which in hindsight will look just fine). Side note: I later found out someone also sent the same message to Marc Dumont, now a colleague at The Athletic. I’ll confess that I really, really like Sprong’s skill set. At the time, he was one of the most explosive, rawly gifted QMJHL prospects I’d watched. He remains one the most aggressively, purely talented young handlers and skaters in hockey. After making the Penguins out of his first training camp, expectations were probably unduly high on how close he was at the time. Last year, after leading all AHL rookies in goals (32), Sprong was named to the all-rookie team and now looks poised to make the jump to the NHL full-time. He’s going to make a lot of plays that really excite Penguins fans.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby Hatrick on Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:11 pm

Great58 wrote:
Puck-Lurker wrote:
longtimefan wrote:If the Penguins choose to do so, Cullen could still more than capably fill the fourth-line center role. This was another win for Jim Rutherford.

Got 3 Cs that are an upgrade over Rowney and McKegg last season. That's a serious win.

And yet Rutherford still gets criticized as a GM. NHL radio gave him a C- for the last year into this July, they didn't like his asset management (they gave up Scott Wilson!... and a first).

Some missteps, but he's transformed a 2X Cup winning team that lost 8 lineup players into one that will contend again, on the fly. Injuries and emotional fatigue were the limiters against Washington. Yes, Rutherford gives up first round picks, but he generally doesn't do it for rentals, and he's been successful in getting salary withheld when he wants to make a big splash.

just because somebody puts a winning team together on the ice does not mean they are free from criticism. In the past year he made some decisions that seemed poor at the time and ended up that way in the end.
Reaves trade, overpaying sheary(and then not getting much in return when trading him), signing hunwick,
some things that seem very questionable right now but are tbd if they will turn out that way or turn out better:
overpaying rust, signing Johnson to a million over hunwick and for 5 years

He has made a lot of good moves but that doesn't make somebody free from criticism.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby longtimefan on Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:20 pm

FLPensFan wrote:
Great58 wrote:
Puck-Lurker wrote:
longtimefan wrote:If the Penguins choose to do so, Cullen could still more than capably fill the fourth-line center role. This was another win for Jim Rutherford.

Got 3 Cs that are an upgrade over Rowney and McKegg last season. That's a serious win.

And yet Rutherford still gets criticized as a GM. NHL radio gave him a C- for the last year into this July, they didn't like his asset management (they gave up Scott Wilson!... and a first).

Some missteps, but he's transformed a 2X Cup winning team that lost 8 lineup players into one that will contend again, on the fly. Injuries and emotional fatigue were the limiters against Washington. Yes, Rutherford gives up first round picks, but he generally doesn't do it for rentals, and he's been successful in getting salary withheld when he wants to make a big splash.

Well, I started writing that a C- was a bit absurd as a rating, but as I started trying to rate some of the different moves, something in the C range is likely warranted.

Negatives
=========
- Signed Matt Hunwick to a 3 year, 2.25M AAV contract
- Signed Conor Sheary to a 3 year, 3M AAV contract
- Traded a 1st and Sundqvist for Reaves and a 2nd
- Traded Pouliot for a 4th and Pedan
- Went almost a month into the season before acquiring a 3C

Positives
=========
- Resigned Hornqvist to 5 years, 5.3M AAV
- Traded 2019 4th for Jamie Oleksiak
- Acquired Derick Brassard, with Vegas retaining large portion of salary
- Drafted two potential 1st round talents in the 2nd round, Addison and Hallander

Longer-term to judge
==============
- Traded Filip Gustavsson as piece to get Brassard
- Signed Jack Johnson to a 5 year, 3.25M AAV

My reasons for the negative ratings:

-- Matt Hunwick didn't work out. Whether it was injury or inability to play on a good team, he didn't work. Yes, GMJR was able to dump him and his salary on BUF, but you don't get extra points for cleaning up your own mistakes.

-- Sheary was given too much money after one season of good play. I think the Penguins would have liked to have kept him, but they needed cap space and he was the casualty.

-- It's not the 20 spots or Sundqvist that is the issue, it's coach and GM not being on the same page. Reaves was great at his role in STL, and great in his role in VGK. He didn't do well in Pittsburgh, and that was more a usage issue than Reaves being a bad player or having a down year.

-- Pouliot wasn't Rutherford's mistake in drafting, but getting a player that your usage caused to leave the organization wasn't a great deal. Pouliot isn't playing at top 4 level d-man for Vancouver, but he is playing much better than he did here in Pittsburgh. Having his depth here would be a good thing. I believe given the proper chance, he'd be an upgrade over Ruhlwedel.

-- Rutherford handcuffed the team to start the season by being forced to use McKegg as their 3C. For as many times as Rutherford said "I could make a move right now," he didn't do anything until late October. Part of this, also partially on Rutherford, was GMJR believing Cullen would return and giving Cullen until mid-August to decide. That didn't help their 3C situation, and also caused them to miss out on bringing Kunitz back.

The past 2 off-seasons haven't been as good as previous years. Best I could probably give Rutherford is a B-, but I feel like C+ is probably more appropriate.


First of all, I enjoy a good point, counter-point debate. So please don't think I'm disagreeing with everything you say. :) My take may be a little different in some respects. I'm going to give JR a B, maybe even a B+. Here's why.

--Dumoulin- A huge omission on your positive list was the long term signing of Dumoulin.

--Hunwick- a mistake, but I don't agree you shouldn't get some credit for being able to clean it up. It was pure wizardry to rid themselves of that full cap hit.

--Sheary- if you recall, there were some estimates that Sheary may get up to $4M in arbitration, which was only a few days away. JR couldn't afford to let that happen with the constant cap gymnastics. I also recall $3M not sounding too crazy, based on the output of the previous season. Regardless, when he lost his shine, they moved on in the Hunwick salary dump. Personally, if it ends up being a 3rd, I think that's probably proper value for Sheary alone.

--Reaves- Bad timing. The lack of a competent center handcuffed the coaches. Reaves requires a strong center, and looked pretty good when he got a chance with Sheahan. But the Pens were too busy trying Kessel with Sheahan. Unfortunately, he ended up being what Vegas wanted to facilitate the Brassard trade. So Reaves never got the opportunity. Which is a shame. In the grand scheme of things, the deal was relatively inconsequential. Although I did enjoy Reaves' encounter with Ovechkin. :)

--Pouliot- I don't think he would have ever succeeded in Pittsburgh. He needed a change of scenery, and was out of options. Chad Ruhlwedel has a special skillset that keeps him around. Namely, he's RH. A concern in the organization. I wish DP the best, but it was time to move on. I was disappointed that Pedan didn't come back. The 4th round pick ended up in the Brassard deal circus.

--As far as handcuffing the team, I won't disagree. On the other hand, it is smart to hold off if you don't think you have the right fit. He didn't want to get a 3C just to say they had a 3C. The Cullen situation did blindside him. I think part of the "I can make a move right now" was the Sheahan situation. I think that deal had been made in principal before the season started, but the Andreas Athanasiou situation put it on hold. I suspect he wanted Cullen to be a place sitter until Sheahan was brought in. Obviously, JR harbors no bad feelings toward Cullen for screwing everything up! :) In terms of bringing Kunitz back, the reality is that he wouldn't have helped the season long issue at center. Although his leadership and grit would have been welcome.

So just some arguments on the other side. Everything this offseason is incomplete, but JR's job is to put together as strong a group as he can to start the season. They are extremely deep up front, have a seasoned defensive group, and an excellent situation in net.

Another oversight on the positive side was the Jarry contract. His stats in a decent sample size were comparable to a lot of $1M+ backups. A 2 way contract this year, and a one way next year. At league minimum. Allowing him to play in WBS this year well DeSmith auditions, and Murray attempts to bounce back. Next year is when you need to decide on Murray, and you'll be able to see what you have in Jarry before making a huge Gibson like commitment to Murray. Regardless, your backup goalie is getting a minimal paycheck.

The reason I bump JR to a B or B+ is the almost never mentioned use of the salary cap. The ability to retain salary in a deal started after the 2012-13 lockout. From everything I have found, JR has used it more than anyone else. Especially on deals with term. He traded Jokinen to the Pens, Scuderi to the Hawks. He ate salary. But his brilliance in getting Toronto to eat $1.2M for 8 years on Kessel is colossal. And getting Brassard for $3M this season was genius. Only seven players in the league have contracts with salary retained. Along with the Luongo contract, the Pens have two of the three most noteworthy.

It's important because JR is working with an effective cap of $82.7M this season. Which exceeds the cap by $3.2M. Allot the money anywhere you want, but that's only $50K less than Jack Johnson's salary this season. Put another way, you can exceed the cap by the combined salaries of Simon, Sprong, Guentzel and Cullen. And have a little over $300K left over. His cap management has allowed him to put together a relatively deep roster. With by far the highest effective cap limit in the league. Somehow, it seems largely overlooked.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby Daniel on Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:59 pm

longtimefan wrote:--Hunwick- a mistake, but I don't agree you shouldn't get some credit for being able to clean it up. It was pure wizardry to rid themselves of that full cap hit.

--Sheary- if you recall, there were some estimates that Sheary may get up to $4M in arbitration, which was only a few days away. JR couldn't afford to let that happen with the constant cap gymnastics. I also recall $3M not sounding too crazy, based on the output of the previous season. Regardless, when he lost his shine, they moved on in the Hunwick salary dump. Personally, if it ends up being a 3rd, I think that's probably proper value for Sheary alone.

--Reaves- Bad timing. The lack of a competent center handcuffed the coaches. Reaves requires a strong center, and looked pretty good when he got a chance with Sheahan. But the Pens were too busy trying Kessel with Sheahan. Unfortunately, he ended up being what Vegas wanted to facilitate the Brassard trade. So Reaves never got the opportunity. Which is a shame. In the grand scheme of things, the deal was relatively inconsequential. Although I did enjoy Reaves' encounter with Ovechkin. :)


I think the Sheary/Hunwick trade gets an incomplete for now, because it was really a trade for Jack Johnson. JR had to evaluate the return for Sheary/Hunwick versus what Jack Johnson will bring to the team. He might have been able to get some players back, but do they have the cap space to sign JJ?

As for Reaves, I'd rather look at the Reaves trade as Sundvist going out and Brassard coming back and nothing matters until you get to the playoffs. From that perspective, the Reaves trade was a huge win.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby Puck-Lurker on Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:01 pm

Daniel wrote:
longtimefan wrote:--Hunwick- a mistake, but I don't agree you shouldn't get some credit for being able to clean it up. It was pure wizardry to rid themselves of that full cap hit.

--Sheary- if you recall, there were some estimates that Sheary may get up to $4M in arbitration, which was only a few days away. JR couldn't afford to let that happen with the constant cap gymnastics. I also recall $3M not sounding too crazy, based on the output of the previous season. Regardless, when he lost his shine, they moved on in the Hunwick salary dump. Personally, if it ends up being a 3rd, I think that's probably proper value for Sheary alone.

--Reaves- Bad timing. The lack of a competent center handcuffed the coaches. Reaves requires a strong center, and looked pretty good when he got a chance with Sheahan. But the Pens were too busy trying Kessel with Sheahan. Unfortunately, he ended up being what Vegas wanted to facilitate the Brassard trade. So Reaves never got the opportunity. Which is a shame. In the grand scheme of things, the deal was relatively inconsequential. Although I did enjoy Reaves' encounter with Ovechkin. :)


I think the Sheary/Hunwick trade gets an incomplete for now, because it was really a trade for Jack Johnson. JR had to evaluate the return for Sheary/Hunwick versus what Jack Johnson will bring to the team. He might have been able to get some players back, but do they have the cap space to sign JJ?

As for Reaves, I'd rather look at the Reaves trade as Sundvist going out and Brassard coming back and nothing matters until you get to the playoffs. From that perspective, the Reaves trade was a huge win.

It gets complicated, you can't stack Hunwick/Sheary against Johnson. Raises for other players also factor in. It's probably more accurate to say it's Sheary for Johnson and Hunwick to make cap space for the free agents.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby FLPensFan on Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:01 am

longtimefan wrote:
Spoiler:
FLPensFan wrote:
Great58 wrote:
Puck-Lurker wrote:
longtimefan wrote:If the Penguins choose to do so, Cullen could still more than capably fill the fourth-line center role. This was another win for Jim Rutherford.

Got 3 Cs that are an upgrade over Rowney and McKegg last season. That's a serious win.

And yet Rutherford still gets criticized as a GM. NHL radio gave him a C- for the last year into this July, they didn't like his asset management (they gave up Scott Wilson!... and a first).

Some missteps, but he's transformed a 2X Cup winning team that lost 8 lineup players into one that will contend again, on the fly. Injuries and emotional fatigue were the limiters against Washington. Yes, Rutherford gives up first round picks, but he generally doesn't do it for rentals, and he's been successful in getting salary withheld when he wants to make a big splash.

Well, I started writing that a C- was a bit absurd as a rating, but as I started trying to rate some of the different moves, something in the C range is likely warranted.

Negatives
=========
- Signed Matt Hunwick to a 3 year, 2.25M AAV contract
- Signed Conor Sheary to a 3 year, 3M AAV contract
- Traded a 1st and Sundqvist for Reaves and a 2nd
- Traded Pouliot for a 4th and Pedan
- Went almost a month into the season before acquiring a 3C

Positives
=========
- Resigned Hornqvist to 5 years, 5.3M AAV
- Traded 2019 4th for Jamie Oleksiak
- Acquired Derick Brassard, with Vegas retaining large portion of salary
- Drafted two potential 1st round talents in the 2nd round, Addison and Hallander

Longer-term to judge
==============
- Traded Filip Gustavsson as piece to get Brassard
- Signed Jack Johnson to a 5 year, 3.25M AAV

My reasons for the negative ratings:

-- Matt Hunwick didn't work out. Whether it was injury or inability to play on a good team, he didn't work. Yes, GMJR was able to dump him and his salary on BUF, but you don't get extra points for cleaning up your own mistakes.

-- Sheary was given too much money after one season of good play. I think the Penguins would have liked to have kept him, but they needed cap space and he was the casualty.

-- It's not the 20 spots or Sundqvist that is the issue, it's coach and GM not being on the same page. Reaves was great at his role in STL, and great in his role in VGK. He didn't do well in Pittsburgh, and that was more a usage issue than Reaves being a bad player or having a down year.

-- Pouliot wasn't Rutherford's mistake in drafting, but getting a player that your usage caused to leave the organization wasn't a great deal. Pouliot isn't playing at top 4 level d-man for Vancouver, but he is playing much better than he did here in Pittsburgh. Having his depth here would be a good thing. I believe given the proper chance, he'd be an upgrade over Ruhlwedel.

-- Rutherford handcuffed the team to start the season by being forced to use McKegg as their 3C. For as many times as Rutherford said "I could make a move right now," he didn't do anything until late October. Part of this, also partially on Rutherford, was GMJR believing Cullen would return and giving Cullen until mid-August to decide. That didn't help their 3C situation, and also caused them to miss out on bringing Kunitz back.

The past 2 off-seasons haven't been as good as previous years. Best I could probably give Rutherford is a B-, but I feel like C+ is probably more appropriate.

First of all, I enjoy a good point, counter-point debate. So please don't think I'm disagreeing with everything you say. :) My take may be a little different in some respects. I'm going to give JR a B, maybe even a B+. Here's why.

--Dumoulin- A huge omission on your positive list was the long term signing of Dumoulin.

--Hunwick- a mistake, but I don't agree you shouldn't get some credit for being able to clean it up. It was pure wizardry to rid themselves of that full cap hit.

--Sheary- if you recall, there were some estimates that Sheary may get up to $4M in arbitration, which was only a few days away. JR couldn't afford to let that happen with the constant cap gymnastics. I also recall $3M not sounding too crazy, based on the output of the previous season. Regardless, when he lost his shine, they moved on in the Hunwick salary dump. Personally, if it ends up being a 3rd, I think that's probably proper value for Sheary alone.

--Reaves- Bad timing. The lack of a competent center handcuffed the coaches. Reaves requires a strong center, and looked pretty good when he got a chance with Sheahan. But the Pens were too busy trying Kessel with Sheahan. Unfortunately, he ended up being what Vegas wanted to facilitate the Brassard trade. So Reaves never got the opportunity. Which is a shame. In the grand scheme of things, the deal was relatively inconsequential. Although I did enjoy Reaves' encounter with Ovechkin. :)

--Pouliot- I don't think he would have ever succeeded in Pittsburgh. He needed a change of scenery, and was out of options. Chad Ruhlwedel has a special skillset that keeps him around. Namely, he's RH. A concern in the organization. I wish DP the best, but it was time to move on. I was disappointed that Pedan didn't come back. The 4th round pick ended up in the Brassard deal circus.

--As far as handcuffing the team, I won't disagree. On the other hand, it is smart to hold off if you don't think you have the right fit. He didn't want to get a 3C just to say they had a 3C. The Cullen situation did blindside him. I think part of the "I can make a move right now" was the Sheahan situation. I think that deal had been made in principal before the season started, but the Andreas Athanasiou situation put it on hold. I suspect he wanted Cullen to be a place sitter until Sheahan was brought in. Obviously, JR harbors no bad feelings toward Cullen for screwing everything up! :) In terms of bringing Kunitz back, the reality is that he wouldn't have helped the season long issue at center. Although his leadership and grit would have been welcome.

So just some arguments on the other side. Everything this offseason is incomplete, but JR's job is to put together as strong a group as he can to start the season. They are extremely deep up front, have a seasoned defensive group, and an excellent situation in net.

Another oversight on the positive side was the Jarry contract. His stats in a decent sample size were comparable to a lot of $1M+ backups. A 2 way contract this year, and a one way next year. At league minimum. Allowing him to play in WBS this year well DeSmith auditions, and Murray attempts to bounce back. Next year is when you need to decide on Murray, and you'll be able to see what you have in Jarry before making a huge Gibson like commitment to Murray. Regardless, your backup goalie is getting a minimal paycheck.

The reason I bump JR to a B or B+ is the almost never mentioned use of the salary cap. The ability to retain salary in a deal started after the 2012-13 lockout. From everything I have found, JR has used it more than anyone else. Especially on deals with term. He traded Jokinen to the Pens, Scuderi to the Hawks. He ate salary. But his brilliance in getting Toronto to eat $1.2M for 8 years on Kessel is colossal. And getting Brassard for $3M this season was genius. Only seven players in the league have contracts with salary retained. Along with the Luongo contract, the Pens have two of the three most noteworthy.

It's important because JR is working with an effective cap of $82.7M this season. Which exceeds the cap by $3.2M. Allot the money anywhere you want, but that's only $50K less than Jack Johnson's salary this season. Put another way, you can exceed the cap by the combined salaries of Simon, Sprong, Guentzel and Cullen. And have a little over $300K left over. His cap management has allowed him to put together a relatively deep roster. With by far the highest effective cap limit in the league. Somehow, it seems largely overlooked.

Can't disagree with most of what you said. Looking back again, I still may have gone a bit lower rating wise than I would today. The Dumoulin contract was a good find, as I missed that one in my transaction history, and so was the # of retained contracts around the league.

I'd probably revise today to a B- or a B.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby FLPensFan on Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:14 am

Corey Pronman at the Athletic is doing a detailed breakdown of each team's farm system, and ranking them. He has some different requirements in terms of NHL games played in a single season or total NHL games played eliminating some prospects, but is going deep, team by team, with his rankings. Looks like he is going to do 2-3 teams a day, in reverse order. Capitals come in at #31, and Tampa at #30. Will update this when the Penguins are up, and what he has to say about their prospects. I'm expecting them to be up in the next couple of days (as my guess is they are 20th at best).
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby dark_forces on Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:52 pm

Anyone have the lowdown on the latest TIOPS article?
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby Great58 on Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:19 pm

Hatrick wrote:
Great58 wrote:
Puck-Lurker wrote:
longtimefan wrote:If the Penguins choose to do so, Cullen could still more than capably fill the fourth-line center role. This was another win for Jim Rutherford.

Got 3 Cs that are an upgrade over Rowney and McKegg last season. That's a serious win.

And yet Rutherford still gets criticized as a GM. NHL radio gave him a C- for the last year into this July, they didn't like his asset management (they gave up Scott Wilson!... and a first).

Some missteps, but he's transformed a 2X Cup winning team that lost 8 lineup players into one that will contend again, on the fly. Injuries and emotional fatigue were the limiters against Washington. Yes, Rutherford gives up first round picks, but he generally doesn't do it for rentals, and he's been successful in getting salary withheld when he wants to make a big splash.

just because somebody puts a winning team together on the ice does not mean they are free from criticism. In the past year he made some decisions that seemed poor at the time and ended up that way in the end.
Reaves trade, overpaying sheary(and then not getting much in return when trading him), signing hunwick,
some things that seem very questionable right now but are tbd if they will turn out that way or turn out better:
overpaying rust, signing Johnson to a million over hunwick and for 5 years

He has made a lot of good moves but that doesn't make somebody free from criticism.

No, he's not immune to criticism, but when GMs like Jeff Gorton of the Rangers get a B+ after having to write a letter to their fans saying their plan failed and they are blowing up the team, the criteria clearly isn't consistent. Yeah, Gorton got a good haul on his trades, but that fails to account for the fact that the state of the Rangers was terribly wrong, BECAUSE of Gorton. I think they gave Yzerman a B+ in Tampa for "being aggressive" for the now, despite trading away their future, then criticized the Penguins for having not had a first round pick since Kapanen, who Rutherford then traded. Even ignoring the Cup wins, at least Rutherford's approach has resulted in playoff appearances in each of his last four years, something Stevie Y can't say.

I think criticism of Rutherford's previous offseason is warranted given what the lineup was to start the season, but only to a degree. Winning two straight Cups makes all of your UFAs more expensive, and he therefore had more holes he needed to fill than he otherwise would have. And as a team with salary cap restraints, he couldn't even spend for UFA replacements, and they didn't want to blow up their lineup for a trade to acquire someone like Duchene or Turris. To me, flipping the center depth weakness they started with into an absolute strength during the course of one season without overpaying or breaking up key aspects of any of the Cup winning teams that were left was pretty significant. I'd give the year as a whole for Rutherford a "B". If Jack Johnson can't make a breakout pass next year, I'll consider downgrading, but I think he's improved what Sullivan wants his D to do while moving on from Hunwick and Cole.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby FLPensFan on Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:33 pm

dark_forces wrote:Anyone have the lowdown on the latest TIOPS article?

-- There was one article that stated Jeff Skinner's interest in joining the Penguins was "lukewarm." Says that despite what Skinner has said publicly, that BUF deal was only deal brought to him, sources say he nixed at least 3 trade proposals from the draft to this past week. Skinner's team list was very short. According to TIOPS, Skinner was a top target, and at the draft Carolina had Pittsburgh of 1 of 3 final teams likely to get Skinner. Says Pittsburgh refusing to include Rust in the trade made things difficult, however, when Carolina went back to Skinner's reps before the draft, his desire to play in Pittsburgh wasn't that great, and all discussions with PIT stopped.

--Same article says Sullivan is motivated to make Brassard work at 3C, and not a move to top 6 wing. Says the coaching staff wasn't happy a possible test at wing was leaked, as they aren't really thrilled about going that way. Says one line kicked around that wasn't tried last season is Hagelin-Brassard-Hornqvist

--Says Cullen is pegged to be starting 4th line LW. TIOPS wonders if Cullen-Sheahan-Sprong could be a thing, but says coaching staff would probably trust Cullen-Sheahan-Grant in key situations.

--Says Jarry camp had no problems taking two-way deal this year. His camp knows fastest way for him to get to NHL is by having a "lights out" season in the AHL. Says Carolina took a hard look at Jarry this summer, and the Islanders to a smaller extent. But neither were going to offer the assets required to get him.

=================================================
Most recent article:

--League sources say the Kessel trade market died before the NHL entry draft. Says PIT aggressively tried to find a star for star trade, and offered him to a Western Conf. team for a star defenseman. Also said that as the draft closer, PIT had some scenarios that would have netted them 2-3 2nd/3rd tier level NHL players. Says when Penguins arrived in Dallas to pursue one of those scenarios, trade discussions went dark on the other teams end. TIOPS said 2-3 teams were really interested at the idea of Kessel, but when time came to put a package together, the clubs got cold feet and bailed. Said a few teams couldn't get coaching staffs on board with acquiring Kessel.

--TIOPS says best non-Penguins offer for Jack Johnson was DET, 1 year, 4M. Detroit was willing to go 2 years if Mike Green signed somewhere else. Says Rutherford didn't care that he may have been bidding against himself, as his view is he got a top 4 defenseman for 3.25M. One source says Rutherford believes Johnson is "head and shoulders" above Ian Cole.

--Says Hagelin is motivated to have big year in contract season. They aren't expecting 25 goals, but think he could get back in the 16-18 goal range. Says don't write off him returning after this year, as he is close with Hornqvist and Crosby, and Penguins believe there is more left in Hagelin.

--Increasing talk that Penguins will approach Guentzel's camp next month on an extension. Would be wise to get deal done now, before Guentzel possibly puts up another big season and drives up the price. TIOPS mentions Pastranak contract might be comparable for Guentzel camp. Pastranak averaged .71 points per game over his first 3 seasons, and got 6 years 40M total. Guentzel sits at .66 points per game through 1st 2 seasons. If he got 65 points this year, he'd raise that to .72 points per game. There's also the little fact that Guentzel is currently a 1.14 points per game player in the playoffs. There's some incentive for Penguins to try a Murray-like bridge deal, but also incentive for Guentzel to play out the season and drive up his value.

(My thought is if Guentzel can hit 60 points this season, he is pretty much guaranteed to get 6M a year)
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby Ericf on Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:24 pm

The going rate for a 60-point wing appears to now be $7 million unfortunately....see Kane, JVR, Stone

If the Pens can lock up Jake on a multi-year contract for $6 million or less, they should do it now
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby FLPensFan on Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:18 am

FLPensFan wrote:Corey Pronman at the Athletic is doing a detailed breakdown of each team's farm system, and ranking them. He has some different requirements in terms of NHL games played in a single season or total NHL games played eliminating some prospects, but is going deep, team by team, with his rankings. Looks like he is going to do 2-3 teams a day, in reverse order. Capitals come in at #31, and Tampa at #30. Will update this when the Penguins are up, and what he has to say about their prospects. I'm expecting them to be up in the next couple of days (as my guess is they are 20th at best).

Through the first 6 teams, Penguins have not made the list of farm team rankings, starting from the worst to best. My guess is 22nd.....

31. Washington
30. Tampa
29. Calgary
28. Winnipeg
27. Boston
26. Nashville
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby thehockeyguru on Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:05 am

FLPensFan wrote:
dark_forces wrote:Anyone have the lowdown on the latest TIOPS article?

-- There was one article that stated Jeff Skinner's interest in joining the Penguins was "lukewarm." Says that despite what Skinner has said publicly, that BUF deal was only deal brought to him, sources say he nixed at least 3 trade proposals from the draft to this past week. Skinner's team list was very short. According to TIOPS, Skinner was a top target, and at the draft Carolina had Pittsburgh of 1 of 3 final teams likely to get Skinner. Says Pittsburgh refusing to include Rust in the trade made things difficult, however, when Carolina went back to Skinner's reps before the draft, his desire to play in Pittsburgh wasn't that great, and all discussions with PIT stopped.

--Same article says Sullivan is motivated to make Brassard work at 3C, and not a move to top 6 wing. Says the coaching staff wasn't happy a possible test at wing was leaked, as they aren't really thrilled about going that way. Says one line kicked around that wasn't tried last season is Hagelin-Brassard-Hornqvist

--Says Cullen is pegged to be starting 4th line LW. TIOPS wonders if Cullen-Sheahan-Sprong could be a thing, but says coaching staff would probably trust Cullen-Sheahan-Grant in key situations.

--Says Jarry camp had no problems taking two-way deal this year. His camp knows fastest way for him to get to NHL is by having a "lights out" season in the AHL. Says Carolina took a hard look at Jarry this summer, and the Islanders to a smaller extent. But neither were going to offer the assets required to get him.

=================================================
Most recent article:

--League sources say the Kessel trade market died before the NHL entry draft. Says PIT aggressively tried to find a star for star trade, and offered him to a Western Conf. team for a star defenseman. Also said that as the draft closer, PIT had some scenarios that would have netted them 2-3 2nd/3rd tier level NHL players. Says when Penguins arrived in Dallas to pursue one of those scenarios, trade discussions went dark on the other teams end. TIOPS said 2-3 teams were really interested at the idea of Kessel, but when time came to put a package together, the clubs got cold feet and bailed. Said a few teams couldn't get coaching staffs on board with acquiring Kessel.

--TIOPS says best non-Penguins offer for Jack Johnson was DET, 1 year, 4M. Detroit was willing to go 2 years if Mike Green signed somewhere else. Says Rutherford didn't care that he may have been bidding against himself, as his view is he got a top 4 defenseman for 3.25M. One source says Rutherford believes Johnson is "head and shoulders" above Ian Cole.

--Says Hagelin is motivated to have big year in contract season. They aren't expecting 25 goals, but think he could get back in the 16-18 goal range. Says don't write off him returning after this year, as he is close with Hornqvist and Crosby, and Penguins believe there is more left in Hagelin.

--Increasing talk that Penguins will approach Guentzel's camp next month on an extension. Would be wise to get deal done now, before Guentzel possibly puts up another big season and drives up the price. TIOPS mentions Pastranak contract might be comparable for Guentzel camp. Pastranak averaged .71 points per game over his first 3 seasons, and got 6 years 40M total. Guentzel sits at .66 points per game through 1st 2 seasons. If he got 65 points this year, he'd raise that to .72 points per game. There's also the little fact that Guentzel is currently a 1.14 points per game player in the playoffs. There's some incentive for Penguins to try a Murray-like bridge deal, but also incentive for Guentzel to play out the season and drive up his value.

(My thought is if Guentzel can hit 60 points this season, he is pretty much guaranteed to get 6M a year)


Do you think the 1 for 1 with Kessel was for Ryan Ellis? I think that trade would have benefited both teams but I can see why Nashville would hesitate. They are in a tough spot because Rinne will be 36 in November and is in the last year of his deal. Also Ellis won't be cheap to resign and will make a huge jump from the 2.5M he's making now.

If I'm GMJR I offer Ellis 9M for 7 years if he hits free agency and move Letang.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby Jim on Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:45 am

FLPensFan wrote:
dark_forces wrote:Anyone have the lowdown on the latest TIOPS article?

-- There was one article that stated Jeff Skinner's interest in joining the Penguins was "lukewarm." Says that despite what Skinner has said publicly, that BUF deal was only deal brought to him, sources say he nixed at least 3 trade proposals from the draft to this past week. Skinner's team list was very short. According to TIOPS, Skinner was a top target, and at the draft Carolina had Pittsburgh of 1 of 3 final teams likely to get Skinner. Says Pittsburgh refusing to include Rust in the trade made things difficult, however, when Carolina went back to Skinner's reps before the draft, his desire to play in Pittsburgh wasn't that great, and all discussions with PIT stopped.

--Same article says Sullivan is motivated to make Brassard work at 3C, and not a move to top 6 wing. Says the coaching staff wasn't happy a possible test at wing was leaked, as they aren't really thrilled about going that way. Says one line kicked around that wasn't tried last season is Hagelin-Brassard-Hornqvist

--Says Cullen is pegged to be starting 4th line LW. TIOPS wonders if Cullen-Sheahan-Sprong could be a thing, but says coaching staff would probably trust Cullen-Sheahan-Grant in key situations.

--Says Jarry camp had no problems taking two-way deal this year. His camp knows fastest way for him to get to NHL is by having a "lights out" season in the AHL. Says Carolina took a hard look at Jarry this summer, and the Islanders to a smaller extent. But neither were going to offer the assets required to get him.

=================================================
Most recent article:

--League sources say the Kessel trade market died before the NHL entry draft. Says PIT aggressively tried to find a star for star trade, and offered him to a Western Conf. team for a star defenseman. Also said that as the draft closer, PIT had some scenarios that would have netted them 2-3 2nd/3rd tier level NHL players. Says when Penguins arrived in Dallas to pursue one of those scenarios, trade discussions went dark on the other teams end. TIOPS said 2-3 teams were really interested at the idea of Kessel, but when time came to put a package together, the clubs got cold feet and bailed. Said a few teams couldn't get coaching staffs on board with acquiring Kessel.

--TIOPS says best non-Penguins offer for Jack Johnson was DET, 1 year, 4M. Detroit was willing to go 2 years if Mike Green signed somewhere else. Says Rutherford didn't care that he may have been bidding against himself, as his view is he got a top 4 defenseman for 3.25M. One source says Rutherford believes Johnson is "head and shoulders" above Ian Cole.

--Says Hagelin is motivated to have big year in contract season. They aren't expecting 25 goals, but think he could get back in the 16-18 goal range. Says don't write off him returning after this year, as he is close with Hornqvist and Crosby, and Penguins believe there is more left in Hagelin.

--Increasing talk that Penguins will approach Guentzel's camp next month on an extension. Would be wise to get deal done now, before Guentzel possibly puts up another big season and drives up the price. TIOPS mentions Pastranak contract might be comparable for Guentzel camp. Pastranak averaged .71 points per game over his first 3 seasons, and got 6 years 40M total. Guentzel sits at .66 points per game through 1st 2 seasons. If he got 65 points this year, he'd raise that to .72 points per game. There's also the little fact that Guentzel is currently a 1.14 points per game player in the playoffs. There's some incentive for Penguins to try a Murray-like bridge deal, but also incentive for Guentzel to play out the season and drive up his value.

(My thought is if Guentzel can hit 60 points this season, he is pretty much guaranteed to get 6M a year)


:thumbdown:
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby FLPensFan on Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:51 am

thehockeyguru wrote:
FLPensFan wrote:
dark_forces wrote:Anyone have the lowdown on the latest TIOPS article?

-- There was one article that stated Jeff Skinner's interest in joining the Penguins was "lukewarm." Says that despite what Skinner has said publicly, that BUF deal was only deal brought to him, sources say he nixed at least 3 trade proposals from the draft to this past week. Skinner's team list was very short. According to TIOPS, Skinner was a top target, and at the draft Carolina had Pittsburgh of 1 of 3 final teams likely to get Skinner. Says Pittsburgh refusing to include Rust in the trade made things difficult, however, when Carolina went back to Skinner's reps before the draft, his desire to play in Pittsburgh wasn't that great, and all discussions with PIT stopped.

--Same article says Sullivan is motivated to make Brassard work at 3C, and not a move to top 6 wing. Says the coaching staff wasn't happy a possible test at wing was leaked, as they aren't really thrilled about going that way. Says one line kicked around that wasn't tried last season is Hagelin-Brassard-Hornqvist

--Says Cullen is pegged to be starting 4th line LW. TIOPS wonders if Cullen-Sheahan-Sprong could be a thing, but says coaching staff would probably trust Cullen-Sheahan-Grant in key situations.

--Says Jarry camp had no problems taking two-way deal this year. His camp knows fastest way for him to get to NHL is by having a "lights out" season in the AHL. Says Carolina took a hard look at Jarry this summer, and the Islanders to a smaller extent. But neither were going to offer the assets required to get him.

=================================================
Most recent article:

--League sources say the Kessel trade market died before the NHL entry draft. Says PIT aggressively tried to find a star for star trade, and offered him to a Western Conf. team for a star defenseman. Also said that as the draft closer, PIT had some scenarios that would have netted them 2-3 2nd/3rd tier level NHL players. Says when Penguins arrived in Dallas to pursue one of those scenarios, trade discussions went dark on the other teams end. TIOPS said 2-3 teams were really interested at the idea of Kessel, but when time came to put a package together, the clubs got cold feet and bailed. Said a few teams couldn't get coaching staffs on board with acquiring Kessel.

--TIOPS says best non-Penguins offer for Jack Johnson was DET, 1 year, 4M. Detroit was willing to go 2 years if Mike Green signed somewhere else. Says Rutherford didn't care that he may have been bidding against himself, as his view is he got a top 4 defenseman for 3.25M. One source says Rutherford believes Johnson is "head and shoulders" above Ian Cole.

--Says Hagelin is motivated to have big year in contract season. They aren't expecting 25 goals, but think he could get back in the 16-18 goal range. Says don't write off him returning after this year, as he is close with Hornqvist and Crosby, and Penguins believe there is more left in Hagelin.

--Increasing talk that Penguins will approach Guentzel's camp next month on an extension. Would be wise to get deal done now, before Guentzel possibly puts up another big season and drives up the price. TIOPS mentions Pastranak contract might be comparable for Guentzel camp. Pastranak averaged .71 points per game over his first 3 seasons, and got 6 years 40M total. Guentzel sits at .66 points per game through 1st 2 seasons. If he got 65 points this year, he'd raise that to .72 points per game. There's also the little fact that Guentzel is currently a 1.14 points per game player in the playoffs. There's some incentive for Penguins to try a Murray-like bridge deal, but also incentive for Guentzel to play out the season and drive up his value.

(My thought is if Guentzel can hit 60 points this season, he is pretty much guaranteed to get 6M a year)


Do you think the 1 for 1 with Kessel was for Ryan Ellis? I think that trade would have benefited both teams but I can see why Nashville would hesitate. They are in a tough spot because Rinne will be 36 in November and is in the last year of his deal. Also Ellis won't be cheap to resign and will make a huge jump from the 2.5M he's making now.

If I'm GMJR I offer Ellis 9M for 7 years if he hits free agency and move Letang.

I'd say that is a pretty solid guess, Ellis. Penguins were rumored to have interest in him, and he's a RD who could have helped take minutes away from Letang. Honestly, if Penguins got Ellis, while he is not a true number one, I think he would make a good number 1 guy along side Dumoulin for the Penguins. One thing I didn't realize is that Ellis is only 5'10". He seemed to play a much bigger, physical game that I recall from the Cup finals battles 2 years ago.

Can we get Nashville to do a PK for Letang swap? LOL Repeated reports that they wanted to move PK to make room for Ellis contract. PK for Letang would save them almost 2M in cap space.

Yeah, Nashville really needs to start looking for a Rinne heir apparent. He has good regular seasons, but other than the Cup final year, he tends to turn into Bobrovsky in the playoffs.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby ville5 on Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:13 pm

9 million per year for Ryan Ellis? Capfriendly lists 1 d-man with a hit that high. PK.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby FLPensFan on Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:29 pm

Seems Alexei Kovalev is not a fan of the current NHL. Said today's game is boring, in a 40 second segment the puck is on player sticks 10 seconds of that time, and a lot of it comes from coaches who are too afraid to let players make mistakes on the ice. He also apparently wasn't a Dan Bylsma fan, stating "When I returned to Pittsburgh for 2nd time, Bylsma would look at me and say 'Do that one more time and I'll bench you.'" This was referring to Kovalev skating the puck into the zone rather than dump and chase. Kovalev would respond he's not dumping and chasing....why do that when he has the skill level to get it into the zone himself while retaining possession.

This was in a recent interview in Russain sports site, talking about him coaching in the KHL and other topics.
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