PENS REPORT'S SIGNING SEASON UPDATES: JUNE 28TH
The latest in Penguins related Free Agency moves and gossip. All in one spot and sourced from only the most reliable NHL insiders. This series will appear here from now through the opening of the 2019 Free Agency Frenzy on July 1st.
-THE LATEST GOSSIP-
ON THE PENS:
-Josh Yohe (The Athletic): Rutherford is still talking trades, Kessel is still in play, and the Pens are locked on trying to get younger, faster, and changing up the team culture. It also appears rumors linking Perry & Simmonds to the Pens might be bunk.[Paywall]
-Rob Rossi (The Athletic): Joins Yohe in confirming the team still want to part with Kessel and more background as to why. [Paywall]
-John Shannon (Sportsnet): The Hurricanes and their affiliate Charlotte Checkers have parted with their Calder Cup winning coach Mike Vellucci. And Sportsnet's John Shannon believes he could be a possibility to join the Penguins org as the coach of the WBS Penguins. Current WBS coach Clark Donatelli was unexpectedly thrust into the role when Mike Sullivan was abruptly promoted to Pittsburgh mid-season in 2015 and has struggled to produce strong playoff results. It seems like the time is right to make a change there. Bringing championship pedigree to the championship hungry Baby Pens is a fantastic idea in my book. Please come join us, Mike!
Update: 6/28/2019 at 10:29PM
Mike Vellucci has indeed joined the Penguins organization as the new Head Coach of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Further details from the Tribune Review HERE.
-Brian Compton (NHL.com): A new name enters the rumors as possibly landing with the Pens- 37-year-old (good lord) Jason Williams. Not exactly “younger and speedier” like the Penguins claim to want, so take that for what you will. The Pens were also named as a possible landing spot for Wayne Simmonds in that column, but see the very first entry from Yohe for an update on that one.
-Frank Seravelli (TSN): 4 familiar names show up on TSN’s latest Trade Bait list of the top 30 most eligible trade pieces in the NHL. #3- Phil Kessel and #28-Jack Johnson. And 2 former Pens made the ranks too- #23- Ryan Reaves and #24- James Neal.
-Lance Lysowski (Buffalo News): Former Pens exec Jason Botterill is looking more towards trades to make additions this off-season. But the Sabres will explore a bit in free agency.
-In particular, they might be readying to hold a full on 2015-2017 era Pens reunion and bring in Derrick Pouliot and/or Tom Kuhnhackl. (Pouliot is of course one of my picks for a great bargain find this year.)
-Derrick Brassard may also be of interested to Buffalo.
-Bob McKenzie (TSN): The guru of free agency wonders if NJ’s Ray Shero could the renegade GM with the chutzpah to make someone an offer sheet, since he has all the economic and futures logistics in place to try. From his time in Pittsburgh I think we can all agree that’s total feasible with Renegade Ray. (Remember the year he traded for all the league’s captains?! Good times.)
-Chris Johnston (Sportsnet): The Maple Leafs really want to re-sign Ron Hainsey but are possibly going to be priced out by a number of suitors after him. Go figure.
-Pierre Lebrun (TSN): And 38-year-old Hainsey apparently has no intention of retiring as long as he’s getting interest from teams. And that seems to be happening quite a bit. So it looks like Ron’s gonna keep on playing.
-Elliotte Friedman (Sportsnet): An off-ice rumor here, #21 of these "31 Thoughts" that Stu Barnes’ name is in the mix as a potential assistant coach for the Senators.
-THE LATEST MOVEMENTS-
-NHL.com: Kasperi Kapanen has re-signed with Toronto for 3 years at a bargain of $3.2 million per year with some additional signing bonus incentives per the Leafs.
-IIHF: Not playing related, but Miroslav Satan has been named President of the Slovak Ice Hockey Federation per the IIHF.
-CapFriendly: A bunch of former Pens are headed to free agency after not being qualified as restricted free agents- including current Pens’ asset Jeff Taylor, Derrick Pouliot, Joe Morrow, Tobias Lindberg, and Josh Archibald. Per various team sources, find the updated UFA list on CapFriendly.
That does it for today. Also remember I'll be back on Sunday with the final full Pens Transaction Recap entry before Free Agency day. It has every single signing over the past 2 weeks in review.