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Expect Changes In Pittsburgh

from Paul Zeise of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

The Penguins have been the gold standard for the NHL over the past decade and half, but it seems like that run is over now and it is time to retool.

There is a new ownership group and it seems eager to put its own front office in place. That probably means the end for Brian Burke as team president and perhaps even the end of Ron Hextall’s run as general manager. Those two things may not happen, but it sure seems like they are on the table.

Mike Sullivan appears to be safe for now, but in the volatile world of hockey coaching, who knows? We have seen plenty of Stanley Cup-winning coaches fired in the past, and while Sullivan is one of the best in the business, he hasn’t had his magic touch in the last four playoff series.

Malkin, Letang and Bryan Rust are all probably going to be priced out of town, as all three are free agents and will come with a hefty price tag. Maybe one of them takes a hometown discount to stay with the Penguins, but that seems like a long shot. They have all won Stanley Cups, so there is no need for them to go championship hunting and take lesser deals, which is why I expect at least two of them to be gone.

The Penguins also have to make decisions about Rickard Rakell, Danton Heinen, Evan Rodrigues, Casey DeSmith, Brian Boyle and Kaspari Kapanen.

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

Comments

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I just don’t know how you evaluate a team
that had to play its 3rd-string goalie almost
all of a seven game series - and lost its captain
in part of game five and all of game six to a suspendable head shot the league of course ignored.

Of course there is no guarantee Pittsburgh advances with Jarry in net.
But the way Shesterkin was struggling, they had a very good chance.

Doesn’t change their issue with needing to re-sign or replace three important
players. Doesn’t mean they have the right mix.

But I have to give this team credit in the sense they cobbled together a pretty good
group out of a mix of veterans who achieved collectively.

Posted by lefty.30 on 05/16/22 at 06:35 PM ET

Chet's avatar

The “gold standard” in the past 15 years is enough of this writing to make my eyes glaze over. Chicago won the same number of Cups. Tampa is looking like a possible dynasty. Neither team had Crosby and Malkin. Whatever with this guy. Pittsburgh is over and they should start moving pieces or load up for one more run, which, how?

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 05/17/22 at 05:59 AM ET

Avatar

The biggest mistake being made is suggesting the Penguins are still close. Even if they had won the series against the Rangers, there were still going to be underdogs against the likes of Carolina, Tampa/Florida and Colorado/Calgary/St Louis/Edmonton.

There is a reason they have failed to get out of the first round 4 straight years. Sure they can continue to make the playoffs but is that the real goal? Frankly, that can be done without re-signing Malkin and Letang as long as Crosby is still around. The right move would be to get younger, restock the minors (they are very thin when it comes to prospects) and let Crosby serve a mentorship role while listening to all offers.

Plus, I’m sure the first time they miss the playoffs, Bettman will arrange for the balls to fall their way.

Posted by evileye on 05/17/22 at 09:43 AM ET

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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.

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