- Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Penguins GM Jim Rutherford said that ownership would not hold them back on potential buyouts, with Rob Scuderi and Chris Kunitz as possible candidates.
“I have full support from ownership to do what’s necessary going forward to give this team a better chance to win,” Rutherford said.
An offseason priority for the Penguins will be getting more players on two-way deals to help create more roster flexibility. Brian Dumoulin, Scott Harrington and Taylor Chorney (if they can re-sign him) will be given the opportunity to make the team out of camp.
- Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Penguins GM Rutherford on their top-six winger issue and how they plan to fix it.
“Well, it’s not a great free-agency crop,” he said. “I do believe we have to continue to look for these players. Hornqvist is one, whether he plays with Sid or Geno. To try to get a little more skill and maybe get one or two more wingers who are more complementary to those players is something that’s been a goal of this franchise for a while and continues to be. So we will start looking and see what’s out there, trade-wise. I think it’s going to be more apt to be in a trade than it will be in free agency.
“I’m well aware that’s something we have to continue to look for, and that’s what we’ll do.”
Free agent options could include Michael Frolik or Jiri Tlusty (a Rutherford favorite). The Pens don’t have a lot of prospect assets to trade, and have moved a lot of draft picks in past years. Roster candidate that could be moved is center Brandon Sutter.
- Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Penguins GM Jim Rutherford isn’t going anywhere.
“I have a better lay of the land,” he said. “I have a much better handle on the team. I don’t know. How long do I plan on staying here? I don’t know. But I certainly plan on being here as we speak, going into next season.”
“I have had 100 percent support from ownership,” Rutherford said, “even 20 minutes after our final game. If ownership thinks there is a better way of doing things, I understand that. I’ve had a long, good career.”
Rutherford occasionally questions himself on Ben Lovejoy – Simon Despres trade.
- Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Penguins management has let Craig Adams know that he won’t be brought back next year. Pending Penguins UFAs include: Blake Comeau, Maxim Lapierre, Steve Downie, Daniel Winnik, Paul Martin, Taylor Chorney, Christian Ehrhoff and Thomas Greiss. Rutherford said he’ll be aggressive to re-sign some of their free agents.
“We will look at some,” Rutherford said. “Not all. But I don’t know who and I don’t know how the negotiations will go.”
They’ll extend qualifying offers to RFAs Beau Bennett and Ian Cole.
- Mike Johnston of Sportsnet: Six possible trade destinations and trade chips for Evgeni Malkin if the Penguins change their minds and look to move him. (and if Malkin is okay with being traded)1. Blues – Jaden Schwartz, T.J. Oshie, David Backes, Patrik Berglund, Alexander Steen, Jay Bouwmeester, Robby Fabbri, Dmitrij Jaskin, Ivan Barbashev, Petteri Lindbohm.
2. Predators – Roman Josi, Seth Jones, Ryan Ellis, Kevin Fiala, Colton Sissons, Craig Smith, Colin Wilson
3. Sharks – Joe Thornton, Tomas Hertl, Matthew Nieto, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Mirco Mueller
4. Flames – Sam Bennett, T.J. Brodie, Dennis Wideman, Joe Colborne, Tyler Wotherspoon, Mikael Backlund
5. Canucks – Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Jake Virtanen, Brendan Gaunce, Nicklas Jensen, Jared McCann, Sven Baertschi, Hunter Shinkaruk
6. Panthers – Nick Bjugstad, Jonathan Huberdeau, Vincent Trocheck, Dmitry Kulikov, Erik Gudbranson, Michael Matheson