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Category: Pittsburgh-Penguins

Video- Save Of The Night Candidate

Casey DeSmith


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The Pittsburgh Penguins Need This Evgeni Malkin

from Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Earlier this season, in a ZOOM session with reporters, Malkin mentioned that he did not have his usual offseason because of the pandemic and maybe didn’t try hard enough to find open gyms back home in Russia.

It showed.

As February progressed, however, you could see the legs returning. The smile soon followed. So did the points. Malkin has nine of them in six games in March, with at least one in each game, and the Penguins are 5-1.

The backdrop here is Malkin’s contract situation. He has one year left on his current deal. If he keeps playing like this, the Penguins’ new braintrust of Ron Hextall and Brian Burke will feel a lot better about the idea of extending him.

Did you happen to see Malkin’s ZOOM call after the 5-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday? He looked 10 years younger in his Penguins ballcap and was clearly feeling like himself again. Which is to say, light-hearted, thoughtful and witty.


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

Cup Run Is Over In Pittsburgh

from Mark Madden of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

The Penguins were legit Cup contenders from 2008-18, winning thrice. That’s impressive.

But now they’re disintegrating organically, just like multiple Cup-winners before them in Detroit, Chicago and Los Angeles. Aging out. Nobody should be blamed. Nobody should be mad.

There’s no trade to be made that can fix the Penguins. No more of the future can be mortgaged, anyway. It would be throwing good after bad.

The Penguins refuse to change how they play. To wit, the power play is exactly the same no matter who coaches it. But adjusting their method wouldn’t help enough.

The Penguins are just an average team now. They are determined. That’s why they’re 12-9-1 despite all their flaws. But they’re not very good.

With all due respect to Jim Rutherford and what he accomplished, Hextall is a better GM for this job.

Hextall plays the long game. He did that at his last GM job, Philadelphia, and the Flyers are reaping the benefits — with him gone. That’s why a lot of GMs and coaches don’t play the long game. Hextall’s Flyers made the playoffs in two of his four seasons, so perhaps he can engineer rebuilding even as the Penguins stay decent (but don’t contend). That’s not an easy task.

Let’s look at what Hextall said that most ignored.


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

Video-Celebrating Sidney Crosby’s 1000th Game

Eight minutes to watch.



added 9:11pm, A message to Crosby from #19.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sidney+crosby

Brian Burke’s In Charge

from Ray Ratto at Defector.com,

Brian Burke is not just the square-headed cartoon of the map of Ireland that he has played on television, though in honesty that role is probably his truest calling. He is that, but he is also a bunch of things that seem utterly opposed to each other, and now that he has become the Pittsburgh Penguins’ new brain in a jar, he is the indefatigable firehouse dog. Someone asked him to help run a shop, and even though he was doing just fine as a more digestible version of Don Cherry on Hockey Night In Canada and isn’t particularly analytics-driven, Burke took the gig without much negotiating: “Only as long as it is less secure than my TV contract and allows me to perfect my imitation of Pat Quinn.” Burke wouldn’t have done it for free, but it seems likely that he’d have at least considered accepting it for minimum wage.

Burke is going to run the Penguins with another Rottweiler impersonator in new general manager Ron Hextall, and together they will inherit the back end of Sidney Crosby’s career as well as those of Geno Malkin and Kris Letang. It seems an imperfect fit at first glance, given that Burke traditionally likes teams that will headbutt locomotives and fistfight tractors and the Penguins have been the stereotypically elegant team, with the singular exceptions of Crosby-v.-Alexander Ovechkin and Steve Downie v. any mammal you’ve got.


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The New Management Team In Pittsburgh

from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

The hiring of one-time Penguins villain Ron Hextall as general manager was no surprise. He had been linked to the position from the moment Jim Rutherford resigned last month. Hextall is a terrific hire. He proved his worth in Philadelphia even though he was fired there in November 2018, largely building a Flyers team that is capable of winning the Cup this season.

On the other hand, the hiring of hockey lifer Brian Burke as president of hockey operations — Hextall’s boss — was shocking. At 65, he seemed entrenched as a popular analyst who was glib in front of a television or radio microphone for Rogers Media in Canada. His work running the franchises in Hartford, Vancouver, Anaheim, Toronto and Calgary received mixed reviews. He won a Cup with Anaheim in 2007 after acquiring Hall of Fame defensemen Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer. He failed in Toronto after trading two No. 1 picks and a second-round pick to Boston for Phil Kessel, who couldn’t handle being the big fish in a huge hockey pond.

It also was surprising that the Penguins went from having one man head their hockey ops to two.

“It’s the people,” team president/chief executive officer David Morehouse said. “With these two guys, we have two of the greatest minds in hockey. Once I saw we had this opportunity, I think I would have been a fool not to take it.”

The question now:

Can “Hexie” and “Burkie,” as they repeatedly referred to each other Tuesday, play nice together?


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

Brian Burke Will Be President Of Hockey Operations In Pittsburgh

added 2:27pm, also removed 'Report" from the headline.


added 2:33pm, Statement from Brian Burke below.

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Jim Rutherford Resigns As The GM For The Pittsburgh Penguins

from the Pittsburgh Penguins,

Jim Rutherford has resigned as general manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins, citing personal reasons, the team announced today.

Patrik Allvin, the Penguins' assistant general manager, has been promoted to interim GM, and the search for a new GM will begin immediately.

Rutherford, 71, has been GM of the Penguins since the 2014-15 season, making the playoffs every year and leading the team to back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in 2016 and 2017. He was named to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2019.

"It has been a great honor to serve as general manager of the Penguins, and to hang two more Stanley Cup banners at PPG Paints Arena," Rutherford said. "I have so many people to thank, beginning with the owners, Ron Burkle and Mario Lemieux, and team president David Morehouse. There always has been so much support from everyone involved with the Penguins, both on the hockey and business staffs, and, of course, from a special group of players led by Sidney Crosby. The fans here have been tremendous to me and my family. I know it's a little unusual to have this happen during a season, but just felt this was the right time to step away."


added 2:02pm, Bob McKenzie on Rutherford is below.

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

They Face Each Other Again Today

from Tom Gulitti of NHL.com,

Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin have had many memorable showdowns over their first 15 NHL seasons.

Peter Laviolette was previously restricted to observing and admiring those battles between the Pittsburgh Penguins center and Washington Capitals forward from afar. So the new Washington coach is looking forward to his first up-close look at the rivalry when Crosby and the Penguins host Ovechkin and the Capitals at PPG Paints Arena on Sunday (noon ET; NBC, SN).

It will be the first of eight games between Washington and Pittsburgh in the MassMutual East Division this season and the 78th time Ovechkin and Crosby will play each other in the NHL, including the regular season and the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"For so long when these two teams, Pittsburgh and Washington, have squared off, it made noise and it made noise because of these guys," Laviolette said. "They've been elite for a long time, and I think that always makes for good hockey. It makes for a good story."

Part of the story this time is the Penguins are desperate for a win after opening the season with two losses to the Philadelphia Flyers. Crosby scored a goal in each of those defeats.


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

Video- Jared McCann Will Have A Hearing Today

via NHL.com,

Jared McCann will have a hearing with NHL Department of Player Safety on Saturday.

The Pittsburgh Penguins forward is facing discipline for elbowing Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Travis Sanheim on Friday.

Watch the elbow below.

update 3:52pm, He was fined 10K, see the comments.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, 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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