NHL Rumors II: Penguins Checklist and the Oilers

  • Dean Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review: A checklist for the new GM whenever he is hired.

    1. Fire the coach.

    2. Hire a coach – Kovacevic suggests Rick Tocchet.

    3. Trade Kris Letang – Letang’s limited no-trade clause starts on July 1st. Trading Letang’s eight-year, $58 million contract would free up money for concerns in other areas.

    4. Trade James Neal – You have to give up something to get something. The Penguins have to many perimeter scorers and not enough drive the net types. Neal is only 26-years old with a $5 million cap hit.

    5. Sign Matt Niskanen – they must re-sign him and possibly have the new coach put a letter on his sweater.

    6. Wish Brooks Orpik and Jussi Jokinen well – both are UFAs and should not be brought back.

  • David Staples: If the Oilers are going to be looking to sign a big, slow, hard hitting bottom pairing defenseman, Matt Greene is better than Deryk Engelland. GM Craig MacTavish should be able to do better though.
  • Jonathan Willis: Anton Belov said he was offered a contract by the Oilers, but he decided not to sign it. David Staples: Staples was sent a transcript from Adler that said Belov was not offered a contract. Dmitry Chesnokov: From an interview before the World Championships: When asked if he was offered a contract by the Oilers before signing with SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL.

    “Yes… And another point is that not to re-sign with Edmonton means having to wait until July 1. And going to the World Championships I wanted to be under contract. Coming back to Russia was the only way out.”

    Also added:

    “The other point is that I could have re-signed with Edmonton, but I didn’t want to stay with that coach [Dallas Eakins]…”


  1. Alex

    May 30, 2014 at 9:58 am

    1) I don’t think there are better coaches out there when compared to Bylsma.

    2) See above

    3) His contract is virtually untradeable with his health scare, and to top it off he looked lost in the playoffs when he did come back, not sure which team would give up assets to get him.

    4) James Neal is a hack, his numbers are not a $5mil a year without Malkin, so does that mean he can play elsewhere? Maybe, but I’ll say no.

    5) He should run! The team is stuck with 4 big contracts and can’t build a team around that. Your stars need to take a paycut to help the cause and the Penguins did not do that. But with what I said above, I do not think they will be able to resign him financially.

    6) Agreed, Jokinen maybe but I see them both walking.

  2. Ryan

    May 31, 2014 at 4:29 am

    Its a good thing Kovacevic isn’t running the show in Pittsburgh.

    1.) Agreed. Bye bye Bylsma.

    2.) Find a real coach who will make the Penguins play

    3.) Good luck finding a sucker for that contract.

    4.) Maybe if you can find even value for less cap, but there is no sense in trading him for nothing.

    5.) Pittsburgh can’t afford to resign Niskanen. Let him go.

    6.) Re-signing Jokinen is a must. He is as close to depth scoring as the Penguins have.

  3. craig

    May 31, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    Bylsma needs fired asap.
    I’d go with Ulf Samuelson
    no team will take letang
    someone may trade for neal and he should go
    niskanen is gone. Pens have too many young dmen to sign another to a mega deal right now.
    All ufas should hit the road