Few teams endured more upheaval over the summer than the Pittsburgh Penguins. In a shakeup of seismic proportions, the black and gold replaced their long-time coach and GM, allowed several key performers to depart through free-agency, and traded away a 40-goal man.
It may have been worth it.
While the 2014-15 NHL season is only a month old, t [...]
Back in the day, Ivory Soap boasted that it was so pure it wouldn’t leave a bathtub ring. As presently constructed the Penguins’ defense could make a similar claim. It won’t leave a mark.
Losing rugged Robert Bortuzzo to injury certainly hasn’t helped. In his absence GM Jim Rutherford assembled a defense that’s built for the Autobahn, not NHL [...]
Noted philosopher and poet George Santayana once wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
There’s another famous quote, one uttered by hockey legend Conn Smythe. “If you can’t beat ‘em in the alley, you can’t beat ‘em on the ice.”
Don’t count the black and gold among the teams that subscribe to Smythe’s time-hon [...]
Daniel Carcillo’s career has come full circle. When the two-time NHL penalty king signed a tryout contact with the Penguins on September 4, he returned to the organization that drafted him over a decade ago.
“He’s played with a lot of different teams,” Penguins GM Jim Rutherford said. “You wonder why that is. But at the same time, when [...]
I give new Penguins GM Jim Rutherford high marks for his off-season moves. Faced with dire cap constraints, he refused to overpay the team’s free agents, signed skilled defenseman Christian Ehrhoff to a bargain contact, and inked key RFAs such as Brandon Sutter and Nick Spaling to new deals. Along the way JR significantly upgraded the team’s [...]
I’ll never forget the day then-Penguins GM Craig Patrick chose defenseman Brooks Orpik with the 18th overall pick at the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.
Having been fed a steady diet of Robert Domes, Milan Krafts, and Konstantin Koltsovs the selection of Orpik signaled an abrupt change in the Pens’ drafting philosophy.
“In the past, we haven’t emphasiz [...]
In the wake of Ray Shero’s dismissal in May, Penguins owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle repeatedly stressed the need to add more grit and character to their hockey team.
On the first day of free agency new GM Jim Rutherford devised a novel approach for addressing that need. He let the Pens’ grit-and-character guys bolt.
In a mass depa [...]
It didn’t take long for new Penguins GM Jim Rutherford to swing his first high-impact trade. On June 27 he pulled off a classic two-fer, shipping All-Star right wing James Neal to Nashville for right wing Patric Hornqvist and left wing Nick Spaling.
The deal signals a significant shift in the Pens’ paradigm. “We wanted to change the mix of th [...]
With the NHL free agent signing period set to begin July 1, here’s a list of Penguins free agents by category.
Unrestricted free agents (such as Jussi Jokinen and Matt Niskanen) may sign with any team without compensation. Under certain conditions restricted free agents may sign with other teams. The Pens then would receive compensation in t [...]