Posts Tagged ‘pittsburgh penguins’

The Chicago Blackhawks have acquired defenseman Olli Maatta from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for forward Dominik Kahun and a 2019 fifth-round draft pick, the team announced Saturday.

Mattaa, a 24-year-old, left-shot defenseman, should bolster the blue line for a Blackhawks team that ranked 30th in the league with 292 goals against last season.

The 6-foot-2 rearguard helped the Penguins capture back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017. He has three years remaining on his current contract and carries an annual cap hit of just over $4 million.

Kahun enjoyed a productive rookie campaign with the Blackhawks last season, contributing 13 goals and 37 points while playing in all 82 regular-season games.

The fifth-round pick helps a Penguins club that does not hold its own second-, third-, or fourth-round selections in this year’s draft. The deal also freed up approximately $3.15 million in cap space for Pittsburgh, according to CapFriendly.

Entering the offseason, a Phil Kessel trade appeared to be a foregone conclusion. But now, it appears the 31-year-old forward will be staying with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“I think that’s the way things are headed at this point in time,” Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford told The Athletic’s Josh Yohe. “I expect Kessel will probably play for Pittsburgh next season.”

Kessel’s contract includes a list of eight teams of his choosing he can be traded to. He reportedly flexed those muscles last month when he nixed a move to the Minnesota Wild due to concerns over the team’s competitiveness.

“You have to understand that he has a no-trade clause and a lot of leverage,” Rutherford said of Kessel. “In situations like this, it usually doesn’t work out so well for the team. That’s just the way it is.”

Kessel’s name first popped up in rumors last summer due to a reported rift between him and head coach Mike Sullivan. The Penguins then tested the market again in December.

Despite Kessel’s productivity over the past two seasons and his integral role in Pittsburgh’s back-to-back Stanley Cups, moving out his $6.8-million cap hit (through the 2021-22 season) would create much-needed financial flexibility. The Pens are set to have just $3.2 million in cap space this summer, while defenseman Marcus Pettersson will headline a short list of RFAs due for raises.

“Well, we’re going to have to move some people to clear up cap space,” Rutherford said. “A couple of players, probably.”

With Kessel likely staying put, the GM hinted that someone from Pittsburgh’s stable of defensemen could be on their way out.

“I think it’s fair to assume that there will be different people there,” Rutherford said, referring to the blue line. “It’s something we have to consider. We just have some extra bodies there right now. So it’s fair to suspect that there will be changes on the blue line.”

Overall, while the Penguins may not make the kind of splash that was expected this offseason, Rutherford was adamant that there will be roster turnover.

“Changes are coming,” he said. “Changes are in order, for sure. At this point in time, I don’t know exactly what they are going to be. It’s hard to say right now, but changes are coming. I’ll say this, though. I don’t think we’re going to make any changes that I would refer to as massive. I’d say I’m looking to retool more than anything.”

It’s no secret that the Pittsburgh Penguins have made an effort to move Phil Kessel, but a trade out of the Steel City doesn’t seem as certain as it once did.

The Pens have let Kessel know that they’re “more than happy” to keep him if a trade can’t be worked out, The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun reports.

Kessel’s name has been surfacing on the rumor mill since a reported rift between him and head coach Mike Sullivan made headlines last offseason. The Penguins tested the market for him before this year’s trade deadline. He recently used his modified no-trade clause to nix a deal to the Minnesota Wild that would’ve sent Jason Zucker the other way.

The 31-year-old played an integral role in Pittsburgh’s two Stanley Cup victories in 2016 and 2017. He followed up back-to-back stellar playoff performances with the most productive two-year stretch of his career, tallying 174 points in 164 games over the last two seasons.

Kessel has three years left on his contract at a $6.8-million cap hit.

Details about the potential blockbuster trade between the Minnesota Wild and the Pittsburgh Penguins that fell through last week are starting to come to light.

Penguins forward Phil Kessel, who owns an eight-team “yes” trade list, nixed a deal that would’ve sent him to the Wild, sources confirmed to The Athletic’s Michael Russo. The veteran sniper apparently has a couple of concerns about playing for Minnesota – the biggest one being his belief that the club isn’t close to contending for a Stanley Cup, several people close to Kessel told Russo.

Moreover, Kessel is concerned about who would get him the puck, and wasn’t swayed by a phone conversation with Wild general manager Paul Fenton – who tried talking up the team’s young players – sources told Russo.

Kessel is coming off a productive 82-point season and has three years remaining on his contract with a $6.8-million cap hit.

The 32-year-old has ties to Minnesota. He grew up in nearby Madison, Wis., and played one year at the University of Minnesota before turning pro.

However, the Wild finished last in the Central Divison this past season, ending their six-year playoff streak in the first year under Fenton. The new GM wasted little time putting his fingerprints on the roster, trading away Nino Niederreiter, Mikael Granlund, and Charlie Coyle – all of whom were considered core players by the previous regime.

Jason Zucker, who signed five-year, $27.5-million extension with the Wild last summer, was reportedly the main part of the package heading to Pittsburgh in exchange for Kessel before the trade fell through. Zucker has a 10-team no-trade list that kicks in on July 1.

This wasn’t the first time Fenton came close to dealing Zucker. At the trade deadline, a deal to send the 27-year-old forward to the Calgary Flames reportedly fell through.

The Penguins and Flames don’t appear to be giving up on their hopes of landing the former 30-goal scorer, though. They’re both among a list of teams – joined by the Vancouver Canucks, Arizona Coyotes, and Anaheim Ducks – that are interested in Zucker, sources told Russo.

In Zucker talks, the Wild have inquired about Christian Dvorak and Christian Fischer in Arizona, Sam Bennett and Michael Frolik in Calgary, and Jonathan Marchessault with the Vegas Golden Knights, according to Russo.

Zucker tallied 21 goals and 21 assists in 2018-19, but his shooting percentage dropped over 5 points from his previous 33-goal campaign.

The Minnesota Wild have a trade proposal on the table that’s centered on Pittsburgh Penguins sniper Phil Kessel, sources told The Athletic’s Josh Yohe.

Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford has said publicly he’s willing to shake up his roster, while Kessel’s name has frequently been mentioned in rumors. 

Kessel helped the Penguins win back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017, but the team was swept out of the first round by the New York Islanders this postseason.

The 31-year-old has three years remaining on his current eight-year deal and carries an annual cap hit of $8 million.

In terms of what the Penguins can expect in exchange, it’s believed that talented winger Jason Zucker would be part of the trade, reports Yohe. The 27-year-old’s speed would fit the Penguins’ run-and-gun style and he’s hit the 20-goal mark in four of the past five seasons.

The two sides also apparently discussed Penguins defenseman Jack Johnson and Wild forward Victor Rask, both of whom are signed to long-term deals.

Kessel – a Madison, Wis., native – played one season with the University of Minnesota in 2005-06 before turning pro.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov, Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, and Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid have been named the 2019 finalists for the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player, the league announcedSunday.

Kucherov claimed the Art Ross with a dominant 128-point campaign, the highest mark the NHL has seen since 1995-96. The 25-year-old was also nominated for the Ted Lindsay Award, which goes to the league’s most outstanding player as voted by his peers. 

Crosby is up for MVP for the seventh time in his career, and if he gets selected, it will be the his third Hart Trophy and first since 2014. Sid was a two-way force for the Penguins this season and finished fifth in the NHL with 100 points in 79 games. 

McDavid recorded his third consecutive 100-point season, notching a career-best 116 in 78 contests. He shined for the Oilers, who missed the playoffs for the second year in a row, and logged 22:50 per game – the highest mark in the league among all forwards. If he wins the award, he’ll join Wayne Gretzky as the only players in NHL history to win multiple MVP’s before turning 23.

The Pittsburgh Penguins reportedly view just two of their players as unavailable to other clubs in potential deals.

Only Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are considered “untouchable” when it comes to a potential Penguins trade, a team source told The Athletic’s Rob Rossi.

However, the source said Pittsburgh is very unlikely to part with forward Jake Guentzeland goaltender Matt Murray, too, and that signing the netminder to a contract extension is “the No. 1 thing to get done” in the offseason.

Following a 3-1 loss to the New York Islanders that swept the Penguins out of the playoffs Tuesday night, Phil Kessel was asked if he expects to be dealt.

“That’s a tough question to start, but I don’t know at this point,” the forward said, according to Rossi. “We’ll see how it goes this summer. I’ve never worried about it. Obviously, two years in a row it didn’t go the way we wanted it to. We’ll see.”

The Penguins explored trading Kessel last summer, and he was agreeable to playing for the Arizona Coyotes, multiple sources told Rossi.

Crosby and Malkin both have full no-trade clauses and are signed through 2024-25 and 2021-22, respectively. Guentzel inked a five-year, $30-million extension with the club in December and Murray is under contract through 2019-20.