Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Pittsburgh Penguins,
The Pittsburgh Penguins have agreed to terms with defenseman Kris Letang on an eight-year, $58 million contract extension, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero.
The deal begins with the 2014-15 season and runs through the 2021-22 campaign, and has an average annual value of $7.25 million.
SAN JOSE - San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the club has acquired forward Tyler Kennedy from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a 2013 second round draft selection (50th overall).
"Tyler is a highly-competitive forward who plays with speed and has a history of scoring big goals," said Wilson. "He has played in a lot of playoff games over the last past five seasons, won a Stanley Cup and we think he fits in perfectly with our group and how we want to play the game."
Kris Letang will have UFA status July 2014.
from Craig Custance of ESPN (paid subscription),
As of Thursday afternoon, Letang's camp hadn't heard from Shero but anticipated that negotiations would get serious within the next week.
In his comments to the media on Thursday, Shero made it clear that his priority is to sign Letang, but he didn't completely rule out a trade. It's going to come down to negotiations and how much of a discount Letang is willing to provide Pittsburgh to stay with that group. If he hits the market, his ticket would be huge.
As a free agent, the starting point would be $7-8 million per season at max length. To stay in Pittsburgh, it may have to be an eight-year deal closer to $6.5 million. Letang understands that the best deal will come on the open market; it's just finding out how big the difference is going to be. Those are conversations the two sides still need to have. And executives around the league will be watching closely.
The feeling from those I spoke with on Thursday is that Letang will sign an extension with Pittsburgh. It's a similar situation to Staal in that the best move would be to trade him if there's not a deal to be struck, but it's different in that the Penguins don't have two other world-class defensemen already on the roster the way they did at center last year.
"He's just entering the prime of his career," one Western Conference executive said of Letang. "He's an impact defenseman who generates offense, plays on your power play and is a competitive guy. They're going to try to get something done. These are hard players to find."
(Pittsbugh, PA June 13,2013) The Pittsburgh Penguins have agreed to terms with forward Evgeni Malkin on an eight-year $76 million contract extension, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero.
The deal begins with the 2014-15 season and runs through the 2021-22 campaign, and has an average annual value of $9.5 million. He will earn $9.5 million for each of the eight seasons.
Ray Shero, GM for the Pittsburgh Peguins will hold a post-season press conference at 11:00am ET.
Watch the live stream below... and right now it is on autoplay, so be advised.
from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Dan Bylsma talked Sunday as if he knows he will be coaching the Penguins next season. He flat said of Marc-Andre Fleury, "He's our No. 1 goalie. He will be going forward. ... He's going to play great. There's no question about that. He's going to win a lot of hockey games for this team." Bylsma went on to say that Tomas Vokoun will return to his backup role next season. It's hard to believe he went public with that information without approval from general manager Ray Shero. Actually, it's hard to believe Shero didn't tell him to say it considering Bylsma had no confidence in Fleury in these playoffs and played him in relief in just one of 11 games after benching him for Vokoun after Game 4 of the first-round series against the New York Islanders.
Bylsma, whose job security has been the No. 1 topic around town since the Penguins were eliminated Friday night by the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference final, said he had not talked to Shero about his future. That's also hard to believe. Shero was unavailable for comment because of a personal situation and won't address the media until Wednesday. It won't be surprising if he announces a contract extension for Bylsma, who's believed to have one year left on his current deal. No one wants a coach in that situation.
Extending -- not firing -- Bylsma will be the right thing for Shero to do.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
The word "dynasty" rolled off peoples' lips. And who could blame them?
Except is hasn't exactly turned out that way.
Crosby's injuries, and injuries at critical times to other key personnel saw. the Penguins win just one playoff round in the three years after the Cup win.
But buoyed by the addition of veteran leaders like Brenden Morrow, Douglas Murray and Jarome Iginla, the sky seemed the limit this spring for a Penguin team that had finished first in the Eastern Conference during the lockout shortened season.
Instead they ran into a brick wall of a team in the Bruins and they folded in shocking fashion in the conference final losing in four games, scoring just twice, being shut out on the power play and never owning a lead.
"It's almost embarrassing being out and about. Expectations that we've had on ourselves and then to not be there it's tough, it's not an easy time of the year," Morrow said.
"Some guys you may never see again, so this week is bittersweet," he said.
In a paid subsciption, Craig Custance of ESPN discusses the possibility of paying and/or moving Malkin.
I've tried to post the most important part here...
Evgeni Malkin, who was arguably the Penguins' best player in Game 3, is entering the final year of his contract that pays him $8.7 million next season. He can sign an extension in July, and those negotiations will be fascinating because he'll become the biggest star to work out a new deal under the restrictions of the CBA.
Pittsburgh can't drive down the annual salary cap hit with extra years on the end of the contract because of the new rules regarding contract length under the new CBA. The longest Malkin can sign with the Penguins is eight years, and that option drops to seven years if Malkin hits the market in 2014. According to Article 50.6 of the new CBA, the yearly salary of a player can't exceed 20 percent of the upper limit at the time the standard player contract is signed. So that's $14 million under the current salary cap of $70.2 million and $12.86 million when it drops to $64.3 million next year.
Malkin may be the first player to test those limits. He's a franchise center who is still just 26 years old. He also has the threat, if he doesn't get a deal to his liking from the Penguins, of playing in the KHL, a league that doesn't have the same restrictions on salaries for its stars the NHL has. An annual salary in the $15 million range is something Malkin could demand in the KHL.
If he hit the open market next summer, he'd be the best free agent in years. Better than Zach Parise, Brad Richards, Ilya Kovalchuk or Ryan Suter -- all players who landed huge contracts in free agency.
There's no reason to expect he deserves anything less than what Crosby got last year when Crosby signed a 12-year contract extension worth $104.4 million. The problem is, the contract is capped at eight years, which would work out to $13 million per season if the total dollar amount is the same.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
The customary bellowing for scalps is in full roar now that the Pittsburgh Penguins managed the unthinkable, getting swept – swept, for crying in a sink – by the Boston Bruins.
Fire head coach Dan Bylsma and blow up the roster. So it goes in an age when everyone in the media, both conventional and social, tries to yell the loudest in hopes of being heard.
However, given that the Penguins have now come apart in the playoffs every year since winning the Stanley Cup in 2009, which includes consecutive first-round exits in 2011 and 2012 plus this year’s embarrassment in the Eastern Conference final, some big decisions lie ahead. Bylsma is one of them, the future of goaltender Marc-André Fleury is another, and the really big one may have to be dealt with sooner rather than later even if they both have one year left on their contracts: Can the Penguins keep both Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang and stay under the NHL’s salary cap?
But there is still no reason to pull this team apart. It is too deep in talent and its best players are still young. Sidney Crosby is 25, Malkin and Letang are both 26.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org