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Penguins Wrap: Sullivan Gets New Roles; Player Signings Begin



Mike Sullivan 4/2/23

Even though the Pittsburgh Penguins’ offseason will continue for the better part of four more months, they are starting to make some moves that will affect their 2024-25 season.

Oh, sure, the headline events of the summer — the NHL Draft June 28-29 and the start of the free-agent signing period July 1 — are still to come, but a few players who could challenge for spots on the major-league roster in the fall already have signed new contracts.

And despite the Penguins’ failure to qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs for the second year in a row, three of their players still are competing as members of their national teams at the world championship tournament in Czechia.

Here’s a look at how the past seven days played out for the Pittsburgh Penguins:


Rick Curran, a veteran player representative, says that Pittsburgh is an attractive landing spot for free agents, and lays out the reasons for it.

Mike Sullivan is selected to coach Team USA at the 2026 Olympics and the Four Nations Faceoff in 2025.


Brayden Yager, the Penguins’ first-round draft choice in 2023, is having a strong season and could make a run at a job in the NHL this fall. (+)


Three former Penguins forwards who are free-agents-to-be merit consideration for a return.

Erik Karlsson has been piling up points for Sweden at the world championships in Czechia.


There are plenty of coaching jobs open with the NHL teams, including two with the Penguins — a replacement for Todd Reirden and the head coach of their farm team in Wilkes-Barre.

Defenseman Jack St. Ivany and forward Jonathan Gruden agree to multi-year contract extensions.

The Penguins sign free-agent defenseman Filip Kral, who was drafted by Toronto when Kyle Dubas was GM there.


Penguins players won’t win any league-wide awards for their work in 2023-24, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be recognized.

Sheldon Keefe is hired as coach in New Jersey, ending speculation about a reunion with his former boss in Toronto, Kyle Dubas.


Several Penguins prospects are candidates to contend for jobs on the major-league roster in the fall.


These three things should be high on Kyle Dubas’ to-do-list.

Potential candidates to replace fired associate coach Todd Reirden offer a variety of credentials.