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Category: Pittsburgh-Penguins

Team Chemistry Was An Issue For The Pittsburgh Penguins

from Tim Benz of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

“We were a very tight-knit team, and I didn’t see that this year, almost from Day 1,” Rutherford said, referencing the championship teams of 2016 and 2017. “I didn’t see a point where our guys came together as a team.”

Often, a comment like that from a general manager can be viewed as an indictment of the coach — that his bench boss failed to bring the team’s roster together to tug on the same rope.

Instead, Rutherford decided to deflect the blame onto the players for failing to heed his coach’s message, praising his coach for the job he did keeping the locker room together to the degree that he was capable.

For his part, Sullivan acknowledged the assertion that chemistry was a problem last year.

“I do agree with it. It’s something that we’ve talked about,” Sullivan said when Madden broached the chemistry concerns. “We just didn’t quite come together as we hoped we would.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Afternoon Line- Matt Cullen

I may have skated my last shift, but I'm not hanging up my skates just yet. After all, there is a sheet of ice in Minnesota that needs to be flooded every night. That's where you'll find me, sipping my thermos. Maybe, even using the hot water to get the surface nice and smooth so the next day me and my three boys can have our own little intense 2-on-2 tournament with a malt on the line, skating in the open air, on the outdoor rink, under the hanging lights, under the Minnesota stars.

For me to be able to take them to the rink and play with them on the ice, as a dad, that's as good as it gets. I couldn't ask for more. That's what I had as a kid and to be able to share it with my kids is my greatest joy.

It's funny. When I was a kid, I used to hate making those malts. Nowadays, it's not so bad.

-Matt Cullen.  Much more from Cullen at the Pens' website.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: matt+cullen

The Pittsburgh Penguins Have Extended The Contract Of Mike Sullivan

from the Pittsburgh Penguins,

The Pittsburgh Penguins and head coach Mike Sullivan have agreed to a four-year contract extension, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

The extension will kick in at the conclusion of the 2019-20 campaign, and run through the 2022-23 season.

"Mike has done a great job delivering four, 100-plus point seasons with our team," Rutherford said. "To win back-to-back Stanley Cups in this era speaks volumes of him as a coach. His instincts in managing the inter-workings of our team both on and off the ice has been impressive."


Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+sullivan

The Plan In Pittsburgh

from Tim Benz of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

Let’s not put Jim Rutherford on an aircraft carrier with the “Mission Accomplished” sign behind his head just yet.

But it appears the Penguins general manager has taken many of the steps he wanted to take this offseason.

During his season-ending press conference in April, Rutherford said he wanted to make the team hungrier, tougher to play against and one that was easier for Mike Sullivan to coach.

Those were goals Rutherford stated directly. Other goals he didn’t state as directly:

• Get faster

• Trade Phil Kessel

Rutherford is following that plan. Let’s see if he got the right guys to do it.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

About The Phil Kessel Trade

from Jonathan Bombulie of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

The Penguins are trying to bounce back from an embarrassing first-round playoff exit by “changing the culture” and becoming harder to play against, and they feel subtracting Kessel will help in that regard. They added a player six years younger who makes almost $2 million less.

Kessel, who had a restrictive no-trade clause that allowed him to be moved to only eight teams without his permission, wanted to be traded to Arizona, where he will play for coach Rick Tocchet. Kessel had a good relationship with Tocchet while he was a Penguins assistant.

They didn’t exactly see eye to eye on the way out the door, though, specifically regarding who initiated the break-up.

“He asked to be traded a few times over the course of time,” Rutherford said. “Of course, then a little time would go by, and maybe he wasn’t quite sure if he wanted traded. But there have been times where he felt that going somewhere else might be in everybody’s best interest.”

“I’m not sure that’s exactly what happened,” Kessel said. “Jim came to me one time and said … I’ll never be a Penguin again. I think he’s mistaken a little bit there. But I don’t want to get involved in that. I’m not here to tell what really happened and the real truth, but whatever Jim wants to say.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, d, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: phil+kessel

It’s That Time Of Year (Pittsburgh/Arizona Trade)

added 7:37pm,



added 7:51pm, multiple sources confirm.

added 8:31pm, Arizona release is below.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+galchenyuk, phil+kessel

The Pittsburgh Penguins Send Olli Maatta To Chicago

added 8:12pm,


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: olli+maatta

Trade Plans In Pittsburgh Have Changed

from Matt Vensel of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Jim Rutherford said Tuesday that he expects Phil Kessel, who last month nixed a trade to the Minnesota Wild, to be with the Penguins next season. It also sounds as if Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang aren’t going anywhere either.

“There will be a few changes made. It’s what I expected when the season ended. But we’re also talking about a team that got 100 points last year through a season of inconsistency,” the Penguins general manager said in a phone interview. “So there’s no reason why this team can’t compete at a high level.”

After the Penguins got swept out of the first round of the playoffs by the New York Islanders, the organization discussed the possibility of trading Kessel, Malkin and Letang, among others, sources told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Moving Phil Kessel And Vegas Cap Issues

from TSN,

- A Kessel to the Wild trade may be dead, at least for now, but TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun wrote last week that Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford is still discussing a Kessel trade with teams around the league and added that, "it's a question of when, not if, for Kessel to be dealt but where exactly remains to be determined."

With that in mind, Josh Lile of the Dallas Morning News wonders if the Stars could be a landing spot for the 31-year-old. The Stars have $16.4 million in cap space on a projected $83 million cap and Lile writes Kessel "easily fits" in the team's cap picture....

- The Vegas Golden Knights are facing a cap crunch this summer and currently sit over the projected $83 million salary cap for next season, including David Clarkson's $5.25 million salary which can be shelved on long-term injured reserve.

Justin Emerson of the Las Vegas Sun believes the team will need roughly $10 million to sign restricted free agents William Karlsson, who he projects to receive a six year, $39 million deal, and Nikita Gusev this off-season and will still have three roster spots to fill. 

Emerson notes that reports have indicated defenceman Colin Miller is on the trade block and believes the team could look to move Cody Eakin and Ryan Reaves as well to free space.

more on each of the above...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: phil+kessel, vegas+golden+knights

Report- Pittsburgh Penguins Trade Talk Involving Phil Kessel

from Josh Yohe of The Athletic,

The Penguins and Minnesota Wild have a trade proposal on the table with Phil Kessel as the centerpiece, numerous sources confirmed to The Athletic....

However, Kessel ultimately will have some say in this decision, as he is the owner of a partial no-trade clause that allows him to name only eight teams he can be traded to....

However, numerous sources confirmed that Kessel is unsure if he wants to play in Minnesota. He did research on Minnesota and the Wild during the past week, the sources said. Kessel is very close friends with Ryan Suter. Both are natives of Madison, Wisconsin, and played internationally together for Team USA.

It is believed Jason Zucker, the speedy Wild forward who scored 76 goals the past three seasons, would be part of the deal. Minnesota made it clear to other franchises that Zucker, 27, is available.

more (paid)...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com


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