Pittsburgh Penguins Weekly Rumor Roundup – The Action Begins


Pittsburgh Penguins General Manager Jim Rutherford has a plan, folks. And, we should be happy as Pens fans, at least up to this point, with what we’ve seen and heard from the organization this summer. Of course, except for that whole selling the franchise thing.

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Over the past week, we’ve had multiple reports regarding the status of Pittsburgh Penguins UFA’s, as well as currently rostered players and possible targets.

We all know by now that Elliotte Friedman stated that Evgeni Malkin is unhappy in Pittsburgh and would welcome a change of scenery. He has since discussed that conversation with Pensburgh and basically apologized for starting a wild fire. It’s obvious that Malkin isn’t going anywhere.

There have been multiple reports regarding current Pittsburgh Penguins that will become unrestricted free agents on July 1.

Many have wondered about Maxim Lapierre‘s future with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and it looks like we have some clarity on their plans for him. Now, remember that there’s always the possibility of him re-signing after testing the market if Pittsburgh still sees a fit similar to Marcel Goc last summer, but it’s highly unlikely.

As far as Paul Martin and Christian Ehrhoff, no one expects either to return next season. Ehrhoff has already put his Pittsburgh home up for sale. However, Jason Mackey of the Trib stated that no decision has been made on Martin, despite that tweet from Marc Antoine Godin. We’ll keep an eye on that situation, but I’d assume we’ve seen the last of Paul Martin in a Pittsburgh Penguins jersey.

Of course, Jim Rutherford has denied those reports as expected. There’s no reason to show your hand this early in the game.

Kneel Before General Saad!

Pittsburgh native Brandon Saad is having himself another impressive playoff series in the Stanley Cup Final. Speculation started a few months ago that Pittsburgh may be interested in submitting an offer sheet for him and Pierre Lebrun from ESPN reported the same thing recently. I’ve discussed this in a little more depth, but I don’t believe there’s any way the Pens could actually pull this off. In my opinion, there’s nothing to see here so let’s move on.

Could Sergei Gonchar return to the Pittsburgh Penguins next season?

There have been rumblings that Sergei Gonchar would like to return to Pittsburgh. Mark Madden confirmed that rumor yesterday on the air and stated that a reliable source has said that Gonchar would be willing to play in Pittsburgh next season for around $1 million. While that move clearly doesn’t fit into Rutherford’s  “younger and faster” initiative, it’s tough to argue signing him if he does indeed cost $1 million, as he would offer enough to the Pens’ struggling power play to be worth that contract. That is, as long as he still has something left in the tank.

The Pittsburgh Penguins may be targeting Alexander Radulov for Malkin’s wing.

This is another rumbling that has cycled through hockey circles and was addressed by Madden. He stated that he has received information that the Pens are looking to sign Alexander Radulov, who has been playing in the KHL since 2012 after playing nine games with the Nashville Predators in 2011-12. Radulov led the KHL in points last season with 71 points (24g, 47a) in 46 games. He possesses some serious skill and finishing ability, and I’d assume that if Malkin is actually frustrated at all in Pittsburgh, a Radulov signing would remedy that very quickly.

I also see Viktor Tikhonov as a possible fit for Pittsburgh as he plans on returning to the NHL and will become unrestricted on July 1. Either way, it’s clear that there will be a lot of different avenues for Jim Rutherford to address his wing situation.

Is David Perron being shopped for a first-round draft pick?

It sounds like Jim Rutherford may have some regrets on this acquisition and could be looking to trade Perron in order to move back into the first round of this summer’s NHL Entry Draft. It isn’t that far-fetched, as Perron is highly talented and carries a very cap friendly salary. Also, this is possibly the most talented draft in the last decade so getting into the first round would be a solid move.

My personal opinion is that David Perron can still excel on this team. And if you trade him, you’re stuck having to address another top-six spot.

The buyout period for the NHL begins two days after the Stanley Cup Final concludes so we should have more information on whether or not the Pittsburgh Penguins plan to use a buyout this summer. Rob Scuderi is the best candidate for one but don’t panic if it doesn’t happen immediately, as Rutherford will likely try to trade him first.

Thanks for reading. Keep it here and follow me on Twitter at @Michael29Angelo for more hockey talk and all the latest rumors from around the league.

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