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Penguins Live Chat: Available UFAs, Kyle Dubas, and the Power Play

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(PHN Studio) — The Pittsburgh Penguins live chat jumped off the rails early, and the breadth of topics readers wanted to discuss ranged from Kyle Dubas’s GM style to P.O Joseph and Owen Pickering’s future with the club. It was an impressive array of discussions. With host Dan Kingerski, the editor-in-chief of the Sports Now Group and Pittsburgh Hockey Now behind the mic, the live chat moved quickly and hit on some controversial topics.

Dubas is currently being raked over the coals on social media in Toronto for letting Zach Hyman slip away via free agency. Hyman has 14 goals in 18 playoff games on the Edmonton Oilers magical playoff run and is within shouting distance of the NHL record (19) of goals in a single postseason.

Since Dubas was the Toronto GM and allowed Hyman to leave in 2021, Dubas is getting quite a bit of criticism. However, many fans forget that Edmonton was roundly mocked for signing Hyman to a seven-year deal well above the value that Toronto could offer.

After the pleasantries and tee-up, readers wanted to know why Dubas made the Alex Nylander for Emil Bemstrom trade (11:30), which led to more discussion about Nylander and why he didn’t succeed in Pittsburgh; PHN also discussed or debated P.O. Joseph’s next contract, whether he’s a top-four NHL defenseman and a pushback on the Penguins’ analytics.

Then, readers asked about Teuvo Teravainen, Sam Reinhart, and the type of free agents the Penguins should be looking for. Reinhart has been a pillar of the Florida Panthers lineup but is projected to make over $11 million next season. Some online sports betting sites list the Penguins as a betting favorite for Terravainen, and Kingerski dove into the pros and (mostly) cons. To date, there has not been a credible report that the Penguins are interested in Terravainen.

We finished up the middle segment with a real look at why the NHL Stanley Cup Final schedule is extremely unfair to the Florida Panthers and Edmonton Oilers’ front offices as they prepare for the offseason.

At the 32:30 mark, can 2022 first-round pick Owen Pickering make an impact soon, the trade value for Rickard Rakell (35:20) can Ryan Graves turn it around (38:15), should Drew O’Connor stick on Sidney Crosby’s left-wing or should Kyle Dubas target an LW for Crosby (40:50).

Who are the available UFAs who could fill the Penguins’ top-six winger roles? Dan discusses several names, including Matt Duchene, Jonathan Drouin’s potential personal fit, and Chandler Stephenson. Kingerski ends with a couple of names to cross off the list, including Jake DeBrusk and why Dan doesn’t think Max Domi is a guy to circle (47:00) either.

A reader asked if Dubas can be trusted to right the Penguins, which led to a greater discussion about how Dubas operates as the Penguins’ boss (49:00).

In the final 15 minutes, Kingerski answered a reader’s assertion that the Penguins should put Brayden Yager in the top-six next season so he can gain valuable experience, changes to the Penguins’ power play and Erik Karlsson’s role, and finally, a deeper dive into Joseph’s career struggles.

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