Posts Tagged ‘pittsburgh penguins’

Phil Kessel‘s name made headlines this week because the Pittsburgh Penguinsreportedly tested the trade market for the winger, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman on Wednesday.

Captain Sidney Crosby addressed those rumors following the Penguins’ 6-2 victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday night.

“There’s always going to be talk,” Crosby told The Athletic’s Josh Yohe. “And there’s always going to be some things said outside of this room, the kind of stuff that we don’t really have any control over. All I know is, we appreciate all the things he brings to this team.”

Kessel’s name has surfaced in trade talks before. Last offseason, he was reportedly open to playing for the Arizona Coyotes, a team that former Penguins assistant coach Rick Tocchet leads behind the bench. There was also a reported rift this summer between Kessel and Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan.

Last month, Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford spoke candidly about possibly shaking up the roster if the team didn’t improve. He made a couple deals, shipping out Carl Hagelin and Daniel Sprong in exchange for Tanner Pearson and Marcus Pettersson in two separate trades. Pittsburgh is now third in the Metro Division.

Kessel is on pace for a career-high 100 points after recording a personal-best 92 last season. His value to the Penguins is clear, and especially to Crosby, who skated on a line with Kessel during the club’s win on Thursday. The two have rarely played together at 5-on-5, but they combined for seven points against the Isles.

“We definitely appreciate all the things he can do for us,” Crosby said. “Look at what he does, look at how much he produces, how dangerous he can be every night.”


Phil Kessel can’t seem to escape the rumor mill.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Pittsburgh Penguins “tested the market” on a possible trade involving the high-scoring winger.

While a deal never came to fruition, the Penguins have been active in the trade market in recent weeks, parting with Carl Hagelin and Daniel Sprong while bringing in Tanner Pearson and Marcus Pettersson.

Prior to the deals, general manager Jim Rutherford floated the possibility of a roster shakeup if there wasn’t improvement on the ice. The Penguins currently sit two points back of a playoff position in the Metropolitan Division.

As for Kessel, it’s not the first time his name has surfaced in trade talks. Last offseason, a report indicated that the 31-year-old was open to a move to the Arizona Coyotes. Arizona, of course, is coached by Rick Tocchet, who was an assistant in Pittsburgh during the team’s Stanley Cup wins in 2016 and 2017.

Kessel is owed $8 million for three more seasons, but $1.2 million of his salary is retained by the Toronto Maple Leafs. His contract also allows him to grant a trade to just eight teams of his choosing.

Across part of four seasons with the Penguins, Kessel has picked up 93 goals and 157 assists in 272 games.

Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray will be out “longer-term” due to a lower-body injury, head coach Mike Sullivan said Thursday.

Murray has been placed on injured reserve, the team announced.

“This was not something that we expected,” said Sullivan, according to Josh Getzoff of PensTV. Sullivan added Murray has been dealing with the ailment for “a couple of weeks.”

The two-time Stanley Cup champion has struggled to keep the puck out of his net this season, sporting an .877 save percentage and a 4.08 goals-against average in 11 games.

Casey DeSmith has been the more effective goalie for the Penguins with a .924 save percentage and a 2.39 goals-against average through 13 appearances.

Pittsburgh has recalled Tristan Jarry from the AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on an emergency basis.

Paul Martin is calling it a career.

The longtime defenseman retired from professional hockey, the University of Minnesota confirmed Wednesday morning.

Martin explained his decision in an interview with The Athletic’s Michael Russo, in which the veteran blue-liner said he wants to finish his college degree and start a family.

His agent, Ben Hankinson, tried to land the unrestricted free agent a job for this season, but Martin didn’t want a tryout and wasn’t interested in continuing his career in Europe, according to Russo.

Martin played parts of 14 seasons in the NHL with the New Jersey DevilsPittsburgh Penguins, and San Jose Sharks.

He represented the United States multiple times on the international stage, earning a spot on the Olympic team on three occasions (in 2006, 2010, and 2014), but he saw no action in the 2006 Games and missed the 2010 event with a broken arm.

The Sharks bought out Martin’s contract in June.

The Pittsburgh Penguins inked general manager Jim Rutherford to a three-year contract extension Wednesday that will keep him with the team through the 2021-22 season.

The 69-year-old is in his 25th year as an NHL general manager and his fifth with the Penguins.

During his tenure with Pittsburgh, he’s helped build the team into a perennial contender, with four 100-plus-point seasons and back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017.

“We think Jim Rutherford is one of the best general managers in all of sports and, during his tenure in Pittsburgh, arguably the best GM in the NHL,” Penguins co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle said in a statement. “His goal every year is to win the Stanley Cup and that kind of commitment to excellence is what drives us all.”

Rutherford won his first Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006. Stan Bowman of the Chicago Blackhawks is the only other GM to win three championships in the salary-cap era. Rutherford ranks eighth all time among general managers in both wins (850) and games managed (1,834).

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby wasn’t at practice Wednesday as he’s being evaluated for an upper-body injury, head coach Mike Sullivan told reporters.

The circumstances surrounding the injury weren’t disclosed, and Crosby’s status for Thursday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning is unknown.

Wes Crosby


When asked if Crosby could miss tomorrow, Sullivan repeated Crosby is being evaluated for an upper-body injury.

Wes Crosby


Sullivan: Crosby is being evaluated for an upper-body injury. #Pens

He played 21:32 in Tuesday’s game against the New Jersey Devils, second among Penguins forwards behind Evgeni Malkin.

The 31-year-old superstar hasn’t missed a regular-season game since the 2016-17 campaign.

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin will not face supplemental discipline for his hit on Washington Capitals forward T.J. Oshie on Wednesday, according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston.

Malkin was deemed to have been bracing for impact just before making contact with Oshie and didn’t change the angle of his elbow or his stick prior to the collision, Johnston notes.

The Pittsburgh center was ejected from the game and assessed a match penalty on the play. Oshie had the last laugh, as he returned to the game and scored the game-winning goal with just over a minute left in regulation.

Oshie said postgame that after picking up the 2-1 win, he wasn’t concerned about Malkin’s hit and didn’t care whether the league determined it required discipline.