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Time For The Pittsburgh Penguins To Make Some Hard Decisions

from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

It’s time the team moves on from Malkin and Letang after 16 tremendous seasons, including three Stanley Cups. No other three teammates have been together that long in NHL history. But it’s time to end the streak.

I believed that going into these playoffs. The Penguins’ fourth consecutive first-round exit eliminated the last of any lingering doubts I might have had. It seems crazy to bring the same core back for another season. What do they say about those who don’t learn from history? Beyond the postseason failures, Malkin and Letang aren’t getting younger. Malkin will be 36 on July 31. Letang is 35. Each becomes a free agent on July 13.

I’m not sure the Penguins can bring Letang back even if they make re-signing him a priority. He should be coveted on the open market. He made $7.25 million this season and should get a big raise. His long-time agent, Kent Hughes, is the new general manager of the Montreal Canadiens. Letang is French-Canadian. Montreal just seems like the perfect fit for him.

Malkin’s age and injury history bother me. I’m not really interested in bringing him back even if he takes a pay cut from the $9.5 million he made this season.

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

Comments

SauceBoss's avatar

Kent Hughes, is the new general manager of the Montreal Canadiens. Letang is French-Canadian. Montreal just seems like the perfect fit for him

All these writers thinking these French Canadians (Letang, Bergeron, etc) are going to flock back to MTL. I think Danault proved that not many of these guys want to go/stay home to play there and deal with everything that goes with it

 

Also Malkin was a ppg player this year and Letang quietly had one of his best seasons, they aren’t the reasons PIT keeps getting bounced.

Posted by SauceBoss on 05/17/22 at 12:11 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Kansas City

Posted by ilovehomers on 05/17/22 at 01:14 PM ET

Avatar

Also Malkin was a ppg player this year and Letang quietly had one of his best seasons, they aren’t the reasons PIT keeps getting bounced.

No but both their contracts are up, they both aren’t young and both are going to want $$$ and/or term. Re-signing them will not leave much room to make the adjustments that ARE necessary to improve. The competition around the Pens is mostly getting stronger. If the Pens stay the status quo, they’ll get passed by.

The one thing the Penguins better not do is re-sign them to untradeable contracts or hand out NTCs. They have to at least have flexibility going forward.

Posted by evileye on 05/17/22 at 04:39 PM ET

SauceBoss's avatar

Posted by evileye on 05/17/22 at 04:39 PM ET

Yeah everyone’s aware of that but it’s not gonna break the bank to keep them. Letang should get a raise, if he asks for crazy money let him walk but I would say between 8-9. Malkin won’t get close to 9.5 hes makin now with his age and injury history but he’s not taking a huge pay cut either.

They should still have around 13/14 mil give or take in cap space to retool and sign players not counting any trades that are likely to happen

They gotta find a way to bring Fleury back too cuz not having Jarry, and a capable backup even though Desmith got hurt, lost them that series

Posted by SauceBoss on 05/17/22 at 06:29 PM ET

Avatar

If malkin hits the market hell absolutely make more money.  GMs can’t help themselves.  Only thing that could limit how much more is dependent on their cap situations but he’s the type of player teams will do some gymnastics to get.

Posted by ThatGuy on 05/17/22 at 06:43 PM ET

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It’s the 3 to 4 years Malkin wants that would worry me.

Posted by evileye on 05/17/22 at 07:32 PM ET

Kaszycki and his Krew's avatar

Don’t the Penguins have new ownership?  Have they taken the wheel yet?  It would be interesting to see who will be making these decisions - Brian Burke and Ron Hextall or someone else?  We know about Letang and Gino.

Rust UFA at 3.5 cap hit now is due a raise.  UFA

Rodrigues at 1.1 mm cap hit same UFA

Rakell at 2.2 mm UFA

Heinen 1.3 mm RFA

Casey DeSmith is a free agent too.

Lots of decisions.  PIT hung onto their first overall pick and I would think they might use it this time. 

Will be interesting to see if new ownership wants to give these guys a go.  If Gino and Letang leave - maybe it’s time to blow it up a bit? 

I doubt the Isles can afford him - but Letang would be a great pickup in terms of fulfilling the puck carrying D-man the team sorely lacks. 

I am tired of these guys, but Bettman will find a way to take care of them

Posted by Kaszycki and his Krew on 05/17/22 at 08:49 PM ET

Thag's avatar

I’m sure they will - as always - wait for the best season to tank.

Posted by Thag from DC on 05/18/22 at 07:39 AM ET

Thag's avatar

I’m sure they will - as always - wait for the best season to tank.

Posted by Thag from DC on 05/18/22 at 07:40 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.

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