NHL Rumors V: Pittsburgh Penguins – Expect Changes

  • Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Expect big changes in Pittsburgh. Kovacevic expects Dan Bylsma and Ray Shero to be fired. Kovacevic has been told that changes would be primarily based on the organizations failure to support and protect Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. The team’s inability or unwillingness to do so.

    “Obviously, I would have liked to score more, contribute more,” Crosby said after the game, when he also affirmed one final time he was healthy. “It wasn’t a lack of effort or competing. But it doesn’t make it any easier, I’ll tell you that.”

    Shero didn’t bring any tough, even dirty players, to add depth to their third or fourth lines. The Penguins brought little toughness. Tanner Glass was scratched for five games and Deryk Engelland didn’t dress.

    Crosby and Malkin are not, and shouldn’t be going anywhere. They need to get “bigger, stronger, meaner, faster and deeper”. To bring a coach that brings “tightness, discipline and passion.”

  • Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Penguins ownership will consider a sweeping overhaul that could involve management and the coaching staff. Source saying ownership is concerned with “a perceived lack of accountability for players, overall team toughness and unproductive drafts.” Sources also added that ownership may not want front-office changes this close to the draft. They won’t be in a rush to make a decision.
  • David Pagnotta: If the salary cap is at $71.1 million, the Penguins have about $16 million in cap space with 13 UFAs on their roster. GM Ray Shero has more than his coach to worry about.
  • Josh Rimer: Thinks the Penguins could look to re-acquire Jordan Staal. It’s been tough for the Penguins to replace him since he left.
  • Corey Pronman: The Penguins may just need to add some smaller pieces to increase their depth. They don’t need to make a panic move.
  • Spector’s Hockey: Dan Bylsma is likely gone. Who are they going to move? Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin should be the only untouchables. Management can’t sit on their hands as it’s been five years since they won the Stanley Cup, and are not closer to winning the Cup again. For those saying the Penguins should move Malkin, he has a no-movement clause, and unless he asks to be traded, he won’t be going anywhere.
  • Sam Carchidi: Dan Bylsma has likely coached his last game for the Penguins. John Stevens name will likely be a rumored candidate to replace him.
  • Hope Smoke: Darren Dreger: “The Pens have a lot of money locked up into that core. It might be time to move Malkin out.” … “There are those, close to Crosby, who say he thinks it’s time to get him better wingers”

What do you think the Penguins should do?


  1. Dj Dukes

    05/14/2014 at 11:57 am

    The notion to move Malkin out is complete ludicrous! He was the best forward for Pittsburgh during these playoffs. Perhaps instead of moving players at do contribute regularly how about moving/trading players who aren’t!? Doesn’t that make more sense?

  2. Andrew

    05/14/2014 at 12:05 pm

    “organizations failure to support and protect Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. The team’s inability or unwillingness to do so.”

    -2008 marian hossa, pascal dupuis
    -2009 chris kunitz, eric tangradi
    -2011 james neal
    -2012 brendan sutter
    -2013 brenden morrow, jarome iginla, jussi jokinen
    -2014 lee stempniak, marcel goc

    they are just so unwilling to acquire talent to play with crosbaby and malkin. i mean come on. they get a serious impact player almost every deadline and can not go deep. I am not sure why Ray Shero is taking the blame for this. Granted not all these players panned out but they at least attempted to acquire talent.

  3. DC

    05/14/2014 at 12:47 pm


    2008. Pens got beat by a more experienced playoff team. Hossa left for Detroit.
    2009. Won the Cup. Bylsma inherited Therian’s team. Young and energetic and he used Therian’s system. Implemented his own the following season.
    2010. Disco Dan decides that he wants to be the players’ friend instead of coach.
    2011. Neal plays with Malkin.
    2012. Brandon Sutter is not Staal. He is getting better, but not even close. He wasn’t to be Crosby or Malkin’s winger.
    2013. Brought in too many players. Disrupted chemistry. Disco Dan played Iginla on the wrong wing. Jokinen hardly played in the playoffs, which was a mistake.
    2014. Stempniak and Goc were brought in to be 3rd liners, but Bylsma and Shero think that anyone can play with Crosby i.e. Gibbons. Dupuis was injured, and he wasn’t having that great of a year anyway. He needs to go.

    Almost every other team drafts forwards who end up playing regularly in the NHL for the team that drafted them. Not Shero, he drafts defensemen.

  4. hotwings

    05/14/2014 at 1:24 pm

    Lundqvist vs Fleury. Enough said.

  5. hotwings

    05/14/2014 at 1:26 pm

    @andrew.. good post… also, stempniak had a good playoffs, so it’s not like they busted on their acquisitions this year….. the comments by the analysts are ridiculous, off the wall and borderline amateurish.

  6. Eakieness

    05/14/2014 at 1:27 pm

    Yeah you simply dont move Malkin
    but Blysma
    oh yeah fer sure.

    Trade Letang and resign Niskanen

  7. Canucks fan

    05/14/2014 at 1:48 pm

    Agree with hotwings though people don’t often think of how the goalie makes his team player as opposed to him simply stopping the puck. Team confidence is so important in the playoffs and the goalies have to make timely saves and the King did that all season; heck all throughout his career and he proved again this series why he’s the second best goalie in the NHL after Quick

  8. MarioComeBack!

    05/14/2014 at 1:56 pm

    So what happened, what needs to happen, and what can contractually happen? Here’s my take…the underlying causes, the problems that came about gradually overtime and not in the course of one game or series were 1) inability to draft and/or develop young players for second third & fourth line production at a reasonable cost. The role players who stepped up to help Pittsburgh win cup five years ago not replaced. No character, no grit, no out-of-the-blue Tyler Kennedy goals, no protection for stars. I think it can be worthwhile to take some penalties to beat the crap out of the guy who just crosschecked your concussion-cursed star in the back of the head. Of course this is also a matter of… 2.) Coaching. I’m not there at practice but something seems to be wrong here. I read that Bylsma wants to be the players’ friend. Who knows. When Crosby’s getting roughed up (though that wasn’t his only problem) and that problem isn’t remediated quickly, I can only think ‘with friends like these…’ Yeah you have to be disciplined in the playoffs, but from a morale standpoint some penalties are well worth taking.

    I think those were the two big systemic problems. Kinda like being really fat. Doesn’t necessarily kill you today, but sets the stage for a lot of bad stuff to happen.

    Now for the more immediate causes. Things that happened (or didn’t) during one or more games. 1.) Crosby’s face on a milk carton. Why was he AWOL? If he wasn’t injured (and there’d be no point in denying it now) I’m going to leave the ice for a moment and venture a guess that it’s a personal problem. My money’s on girl trouble but who knows. He’s a very young 26 year-old man dealing with an atypical life and a lot of pressure; he’s seemed like a nice hockey robot for years. It’s about time. When you read sports stars memoirs, none of them seem to deny that personal difficulties affected their play. He’ll be back. 2.) Crosby took Neal with him when he went AWOL. Neal is one of the guys who need to score when Thing 1 and Thing 2 aren’t . He didn’t. Choke. Trade. 3) Kunitz. Basically the same. I’ve always liked him but maybe this is an age thing though playing with struggling Crosby no help. Expendable. 4) Orpik/Letang. Skilled but older, beat-up and making huge bucks. Orpik definitely gone, Letang a possiblility. I like Gibbons, Sutter, Bennett, Niskanen. Bring up defensemen that have been drafted in recent years. Good heavens by now someone’s got to be ready. Trade for youth/skill up front and let a new team with new chemistry gel. Fleury in same boat as Letang. Could be kept or traded depending on what is available to be gained. Always liked Dupuis but yeah time for him to be moved.

    In all honesty I don’t like the Crosby and Malkin on the same roster. Both great players but somehow it’s always seemed like this town town ain’t big enough for the two of them so to speak. But given that they both have no trade clauses there doesn’t seem to be much to be done.

  9. MarioComeBack!

    05/14/2014 at 2:09 pm

    Wow! You’re a total idiot, MarioComeBack! You don’t know what you’re talking about!

    [ Just figured I’d save all you guys the trouble. 😉 ]

  10. eakieness

    05/14/2014 at 2:13 pm

    Im not a Pens fan per se but you make sense to me Mario.

  11. hotwings

    05/14/2014 at 11:06 pm

    thank you mario for that brain scrambled, autistic analysis

  12. GP Hockey Happens

    05/14/2014 at 11:27 pm

    Must be nice to have a great ownership like Pittsburgh does. Here in San Jose Failure is accepted. How long do you suppose a tandem that has failed for 6 straight season despite having spent to the cap limit, would last in say a real hockey market.

  13. Karsten

    05/15/2014 at 2:51 am

    It is easy:
    – keep Shero, sent Bylsma to WBS, promote J.Martin to head coach
    – try to extend ufa Jokinen, Sutter (he looks great with Sid), Stempniak and Goc
    – get rid of Letang (they need the cap space) for sure and maybe Fleury, too, if you get a good offer (maybe EDM would be a good spot for both)
    – let Orpik (let him make his last big bucks somewehere else & thanks for his support all the years) and Niskanen (he will get 5-6m$/y and he is not worth so much in the long term)
    – Promote Zlobin, Bennett, Despres, Pouliot and Despres – they are ready for the next step
    – try to sign Z.Konopka and trade for Z.Kassian and a right-handed d-man

  14. Make it happen

    05/15/2014 at 4:03 am

    Despres&Orpik for Parenteau&Brad Malone. Problems solved for everyone.

  15. bigg

    05/15/2014 at 9:06 am

    I wish all you arm chair analysts would take two seconds to do some research. 1. Crosby, Malkin, and Letang have NO MOVEMENT CLAUSES 2. Orpik is a UFA and is no way, no how going to be resigned. 3. Jokinen is going to get north of 5 million a year, and thanks to a crap contract like scuderi, he cant be afforded, ditto with Niskanen.

  16. Cole

    05/15/2014 at 10:13 am

    There’s no need to blow anything up!! The penguins have been one of the best teams in the regular season over the past few seasons and they need some playoff guys. Look at Montreal for instance. Montreal made it farther than Pittsburgh cause they have guys that show up in the playoffs when Pittsburgh by far was the better team in the regular season. Perhaps Bylsma should be fired but not Shero. Shero has been one of the best GMs in years and he just needs to think more about the future than of the present. Scuderi’s and Dupuis’ contracts were stupid but Letang earned that money. Shero did not know that Letang would have a stroke, and Letang bounced back and that shows what kind of person he is. Malkin and Crosby remind me of Lemieux and Jagr. One day Malkin (like Jagr) will leave and never come back but I don’t see that happening for years. The Pens need to keep low budget guys like Bennett and should go for guys like Weise.

  17. Matt

    05/15/2014 at 10:39 am

    Great read! Here are my opinios/predictions going into this offseason.
    1 Fire Bylsma
    2 Trade Letang – big tough winger(kesler???), 1st round 2015, 2nd round 2016
    3 Trade Fleury – good two way 3rd line player, 2nd round 2016
    4 Trade Neal – solid D man to replace Martin or solid wing prospect, gritty 4th line pk guy and 3rd round 2015
    5 Let Orpik walk
    6. Let Niskanen Walk – unless good discounted deal to stay
    7 Play Borts, Matta, Martin, Dumoulin, Harrington, and Pouliot as starting D with Samuelsen or Despres as 7 (trade despres for wing prospect if not)
    8 Move Engellend to 4th line wing for grit and toughness
    9 Send Scuds down and hope someone claims him off waivers
    10. Sign Hiller for goalie and let Zatkoff back up or give Hartzell a shot at backup.

    Given this scenario gives some cap room to play with, there are a few spots open for bigger tougher wingers.
    Sign Paul Bissonette and/or Derek MacKenzie (Bissonette would be cheaper) to fill bottom 6
    Would like to see Bissonette Sill Engellend 4th line next season. (big body checking line)
    And I’m not a fan but why not go after Callahan if he will take 4.5 mill for 4-5 years.(can’t remember what he turned down in New York)

    Let me know what you all think is realistic or you feel definitly won’t happen…

  18. ChrisB

    05/15/2014 at 10:46 am

    Technically, Letang’s doesn’t kick in til July 1st, when his new deal starts. Even then, its a modified NTC. He can submit a 12 team no-trade list prior to each season.

    NMC or not, I can’t see any of those three going any wear. They weren’t the problem. Trading any of those three is just masking a huge problem the Pens have had for the past 5 years, at least.

    Pens ownership needs to take a hard look at their scouting(pro and amateur) and development staff, because they haven’t been cutting it. Not even close. Bennett and Maata are really the only two homegrown players that stick out from over the past 5 or so years.

    Going the UFA and trade routes are fine, if done smartly and sparingly, but eventually you absolutely need your own drafted talent to be integrated into the lineup. Whether they end up being top 6/bottom 6, 1st/2nd/3rd pairing etc. It don’t matter, its the cost controlled aspect they bring that you don’t usually get from trades, and definitely not from UFA’s.

  19. MarioComeBack

    05/15/2014 at 12:56 pm

    Dear Hotwings,

    Lighten up, Francis. Tell me where you disagree with me rather than resorting to name-calling.

    Actually with your Cro-Magnon diction and ad hoc punctuation (holy ellipsis, Batman!), and the fact you seem uncomfortable expressing thoughts that go beyond a sentence fragment or two leads me to think that your in fact it’s your mirror neuron count that’s dipping into range of autism.

    It’s just a game, little camper.

    Have you ever kissed a girl?

  20. Joseph

    05/15/2014 at 7:45 pm

    Ok, here goes. I think the Penguins should trade Sidney Crosby to the Washington Capitals for Alexander Ovechkin.
    I want to seethe 2 best Russians on the same line with Yussi Yokedin. Also, get rid of Mark Andre Fluery

  21. kingkingme

    05/17/2014 at 1:13 am

    Penguins should do whatever it takes to win duh