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5 Penguins One-Timers: Pettersson Trade Chatter, Islanders Deception

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Pittsburgh Penguins Marcus Pettersson evgeny kuznetsov

Leave it to Lou Lamoriello to find a completely legal but entirely dirty way to gain an advantage. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman officially put Marcus Pettersson’s name on the NHL trade block, perhaps Jason Zucker, too, but I’m going to strongly caution about doing a victory lap or spending that cap money before the Pittsburgh Penguins have it.

This is why I laid out the Penguins lines last weekend. In a bubble, you can forget the big picture. Looking at the Penguins lines should give no hope that they’re a strong contender. As the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers get better, the playoffs seem more in doubt than ever, unless Jeff Carter maintains his 40-goal pace.

The analytics crowd will be stunned when the Flyers don’t fall into oblivion. One must assume Carter Hart will be much better, too.

Anyway…

Pittsburgh Penguins One-Timers

1. Marcus Pettersson, NHL Trade Rumors Aren’t What We Think

Elliotte Friedman, on his 31 Thoughts podcast, stated the Penguins have interested parties for Pettersson. There are a couple of teams who like his style.

Now, hold your horses. As we’ve cautioned before, if there were a good deal or even an acceptable deal for Pettersson on the NHL trade front, it would have been done already. Pittsburgh Penguins GM Hextall most probably would have done it before the expansion draft, which cost the Penguins Brandon Tanev and Jared McCann. Hextall would have done a deal before the NHL draft so the Penguins could recoup a pick or two. It would have been done before free agency, so Hextall had what my grandfather used to call “some flinching money.”

I’m not sure what my Grandfather was doing in his younger days that it was called “flinching money,” but it means to have some cash in your pocket if you need it.

Read the tea leaves here. Hextall is most likely faced with the choice of giving up draft choices or a prospect to move Pettersson because of his $4.025 million salary. Losing draft picks or prospects is a choice Hextall has thus far rejected. The play here is to wait for a team to give up on the UFA market or other options and come to the table straight up.

Just remember, the Vegas Golden Knights dealt the reigning Vezina Trophy winner Marc-Andre Fleury for no tangible return because of his salary.

2. Lou Lamoriello Believed to be Not Reporting Contracts

If true, the New York Islanders are absolutely violating the spirit of the rules. An NHL GM is not reporting contracts, so his team has a stronger negotiating position? I think at this point, there are enough credible reports, from Sportsnet to TSN to New York media, that we can accept this one as fact.

We can also accept that is dirty pool. It’s akin to hiding poker chips in your pocket. That kind of deceptive behavior would get a card player in serious trouble back in the Wild West. It’s dishonest. It’s secretive dealing in a public entertainment business. If you haven’t noticed, the hockey crowd goes wild for trade and player movement, including free agency.

A soap opera without drama is just lame theater on a cheap soundstage. A hockey without player movement drama is hockey with a LOT fewer fans.

And the NHL will probably find no fault with it.

So, get ready for less and less news on July 1, as teams agree to deals but sit on the paperwork, so no one knows who signed where and we get to guess at rosters. Heck, if they’re secret deals, why not agree to them weeks before July 1?

The Islanders can technically exceed the salary cap by a mile on the NHL trade front because some contracts are not on the books. They can then make additional moves without other teams holding their feet to the fire. They could blow past the 10% salary cap excess limit because the other contracts are hushed.

Lamoriello is a shrewd GM who is a good judge of talent and knows how to build a winning roster. The other silliness like throwing a reporter out of his office for not wearing a tie or not having reading Vince Lombardi’s biography, barring staff from having facial hair, and this CIA-level secrecy is also maniacal control.

In 2013, Lamoriello also came under scrutiny for creative ways to get Ilya Kovalchuk off his books after signing him to a monster 15-year contract in New Jersey. Kovalchuk “retired” to play in the KHL with 12 years remaining, then come back to the NHL five years later, as a free agent. New Jersey was free and clear.

The NHL and NHLPA need to step in and nip this one in the bud. If the Islanders have signed Kyle Palmieri, Travis Zajac, or anyone else, those chips need to be on the table.

3. The Chicago Blackhawks Will Release the Findings of Their Independent Investigation

In 2010, Chicago’s video coach allegedly sexually assaulted a couple of players, though the “IF” the assaults occurred isn’t really being questioned. The primary questions are–What did Chicago management know, when did they know it, and why didn’t they do anything about it?

After one season, Chicago GM Stan Bowman fired the video coach, Brad Aldrich, but gave the coach a positive recommendation to coach a high school team. You can guess the horror that happened next.

Blackhawks CEO Danny Wirtz has pledged full transparency and to release the findings of the organization’s report.

It’s 2021. No matter what it says, will anyone believe it? If it’s the worst-case scenario, people will dispute it. If it’s light on facts and absolves much of the Chicago org, people will condemn it.

I had a high school teacher back in 1992. He was a hippie sort (I mean that genuinely) and our religion teacher. He tried to explain there was no truth, only personal perspectives. I argued with him. I’m still right, but his side won. We live in a post-truth world, and there are no ways to convince people because someone only needs others to support their opinion for it to be valid.

Apply that corollary as you will.

In the end, this Chicago situation is going to be ugly.

4. The Penguins Will Miss/Make the Playoffs?

Their lines are not good enough to compete with the top teams in the Eastern Conference. That much looks pretty clear when you lay them out. We can debate where Zach Aston-Reese or Evan Rodrigues fits, if Sam Poulin or Filip Hallander may draw in, but to expect any of those players to be substantial difference-makers would be using hope as a strategy.

Hextall has work to do.

5. Jim Rutherford Really Hamstrung the Pittsburgh Penguins

I know. Water is wet. Kylie Jenner is ridiculously rich, with emphasis on ridiculous.

But where Rutherford specifically erred was not the carousel of player movement that some harp upon. No, it was dishing hefty contracts to young defensemen who lacked a purebred pedigree.

John Marino was a sixth-round pick acquired for a sixth-round pick. Marcus Pettersson was a pressbox defenseman in Anaheim. Each had exciting first years with the Penguins, followed by an expiring contract. In Pettersson’s case, he had to sign his qualifying offer because the Penguins simply didn’t have the money for a long-term deal–until January.

By then, Pettersson had settled into the player he is today, which doesn’t have the same luster or potential as when he arrived for Daniel Sprong in December 2018. However, Rutherford dished the long-term contract with a $4.025 AAV anyway.

I like Marino very much. He had a sophomore slump but really shined when called upon as a top-pairing defender. The book is not yet written on Marino, but he’s being paid as if he’s an established defenseman.

Rutherford splashed the cash but didn’t get a bargain on either one. Rutherford’s penchant for being “fair” cost the Pittsburgh Penguins here. The team didn’t use their leverage, and now it will likely cost them a player.

In the fall of 2019, the Penguins’ logjammed defense was broken by dumping Erik Gudbranson on the NHL trade market. That wasn’t Rutherford’s first choice–recall the Jack Johnson trade report that didn’t come to pass. We could see a similar Penguins trade scenario with Pettersson, in which Marino becomes the unintended sacrificial lamb.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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Katz
Katz
1 month ago

‘No, it was dishing hefty contracts to young defensemen who lacked a purebred pedigree.’
——————
Also please delineate for the less informed the total cost of the Brassard trade beginning with the acquisition of Reaves.

Also in hindsight, (but not for all). not moving Malkin 3 years ago . Any fair evaluation including the last three 1st Round loses could dispassionately agree Malkin and his contract are , let’s say, not great value.

Yes GMJR emptied the cupboard . But the question of ownership’s desires need to be placed in context.

Cal
Cal
1 month ago
Reply to  Katz

I’ve maintained the beginning of the Penguins regression was at the time of the Reaves/Cole/etc, etc trade for the vastly overrated Brassard. It seemed like the team lost its mojo overnight when they left. Those types of hard nose players have a place on a winning team, and I’m not talking about winning the division…big whoop if you win the division if you get beat in 3 straight first rounds.

Frank
Frank
1 month ago

There is no way that Rutherford cannot be blamed for much of what lies ahead for the team. And that Hextall is being viewed as fiddling while Rome burns. But it is hard to imagine that both were/are working in a vacuum. I find it hard to believe that ownership (and that includes Lemieux) had no input while GMJR was handing out draft picks and contracts like Halloween candy . . . or that Hextall has not been given his marching orders when it comes to the “core.” Rutherford was an all in riverboat gambler and Hextall is more like… Read more »

Ken Colligan
1 month ago

Hate to say it , but I agree with
everything that has been said above. No reason to jump the gun on Marino, Petterson deals. Tampa used their leverage and signed Cernak for 2.9. Certainly not an easy team to GM for. Rutherford followed Zucker for two years with the intention of playing him with Crosby. Initially it seemed to work out well. But Sid wanted Guentzel. So Zucker ends up with Malkin who he is ill suited to play with. Has to be frustrating for management. Sooner or later, there needs to be one voice.

J Lami
J Lami
1 month ago
Reply to  Ken Colligan

I think when 87 went down injured the other year and Geno was with Guentzel and Rust that line looked awesome why not spread the wealth put Sid with Zucker and Kapanen could rejuvenate Geno

Ken Colligan
1 month ago
Reply to  J Lami

Agree

Vittorio Di Stazio Jr
Vittorio Di Stazio Jr
1 month ago
Reply to  Ken Colligan

I ask again who’s going to tell Sid this? When your the best player you dictate who’s on your wings. Sid likes Jake and Rust and what Sid likes he gets. Any player the caliber of Sid’s gets to choose who he wants on his wings. Furthermore say you put Kap and Zucker on Sid’s line and it don’t work, cause that is a real possibility then what? Remember when it was said multiple times that Sid didn’t want HQ as his RW but a majority of fans didn’t want to listen? These comments by J.Lami and you Ken Colligan… Read more »

Kencolligan
1 month ago

Completely agree. Sid has earned major input. Players like that are more like corporations. Makes things very complicated. When you win everything is fine. However, when you perform during the last three playoff rounds as Sids line has questions must be asked. Bigger question comes after the season. Sid salary drops from 9 mill to 3mill per for the next three years. Not sure he will want to play for that on a non playoff team.

J Lami
J Lami
1 month ago

Oh it’s broken alright have you not tuned in to last 3 post seasons? We where unlucky with the 3 peat season there was a point in that series against the caps that we had them but it wasn’t to be since then it’s not been good enough. There are many different combinations and it’s a long season but if 87 is a true team player Geno should be given the chance to ride shotgun it’s about the team not any one player.

Vittorio Di Stazio Jr
Vittorio Di Stazio Jr
1 month ago
Reply to  J Lami

Geno has always been given guys that Sid doesn’t want. Sully did try Kap with Sid after he was reacquired but nothing manifested itself, where as when Kap was with Geno they found a connection. Sid is a true team player but he’s also the face of the franchise and gets a say in who he wants. Can you honestly that Mario didn’t do that or Gretzky didn’t? A wise man once said “You have to keep your Superstars happy” Sid is happy with Jake and Rust because both can keep up with him on both ends of the ice… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Vittorio Di Stazio Jr
Rob
Rob
1 month ago

What’s done is done. Time to move on. The dead horse is dead, so stop beating it. All of these decisions are being seen through hindsight. They all seemed like good moves at the time they were done. Had they traded Malkin, would Crosby play the first line and second line center positions? Why not lock up promising young defenseman? Maybe he paid a little too much, but i am sure he couldn’t see into the future and anticipate the flat cap coming. Pettersson isn’t terrible and still has room to grow. Marino will get even better. Zucker needs to… Read more »

Hatrick Pornqvist
Hatrick Pornqvist
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

Also need to remember that Pettersson’s contract was based on the team doing the right thing after MP took a team friendly deal the previous season. He took $874,125 the previous year to help the team cap wise in 19-20 season and then $4,025,175 for a 5 year deal after that. Do the math and it’s exactly $21,000,000 over 6 years, or exactly $3,500,000 per season over 6 years. At 3.5M for six years, he seemed like a pretty good deal at the time, and it’s not terribly far off from what he’s probably worth. Still young. Just needs to… Read more »

Web1350
1 month ago

GMJR mortgaged the future giving up high draft picks and every one of them made my blood boil. Granted, not every pick will be a superstar or maybe even make the NHL, but with how many he sacrificed some of them were bound to succeed. This past draft, which was rife with talent, the Pens had no pick(s) and didn’t get their first selection till late in the second. This is unacceptable in any sport. Not only did GMJR mortgage the future as well as make bad trades, he allowed Sullivan to basically pigeonhole Ryan Reaves. If GMJR had “a… Read more »

Reg Dunlop
Reg Dunlop
1 month ago

Wah wah… Lou Lamoriello plays all the same games GMs play. Just doesn’t show the hand out of common sense, and doesn’t have to.

Bob
Bob
1 month ago

I think someone’s upset Pitt can’t get passed the Isles….again

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob

*past

Congrats on the stanley cup btw…oops, you didn’t win?!?! Good trash talk bro

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[…] Pittsburgh: What’s up with the Marcus Pettersson trade? Are the New York Islanders cheating? The answers may surprise you. […]

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[…] Is Lamoriello’s not announcing contracts shrewd, or dirty? Or both? [Pittsburgh Hockey Now] […]

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[…] From the Pittsburgh Penguins shopping defenseman Marcus Pettersson to accusations that the New York Islanders are cheating, Dan Kingerski rips five one-timers for hockey fans. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now) […]

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[…] From the Pittsburgh Penguins shopping defenseman Marcus Pettersson to accusations that the New York Islanders are cheating, Dan Kingerski rips five one-timers for hockey fans. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now) […]

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[…] Are Lamoriellos not announcing contracts smart or dirty? Or both? [Pittsburgh Hockey Now] […]

Tim
Tim
1 month ago

Quit b…..n about the Islanders. The minute the league doesn’t allow what the Lightning to do they can address the Islanders. Bury someone on LTIR all season, sign/trade for players during the season for $17m over the cap, and bring a player back to put them $17m OVER the cap for the playoffs is “violating the spirit of the rules in the NHL” and I would also add the Lightning have no integrity when they did that.

Abe
Abe
1 month ago

The suggestion that Petterson’s contract is some sort of an anchor demonstrates a lack of knowledge as to current NHL defensemen contracts, or an intentionally obtuse angle taken for agenda advancement. It is commensurate. He can certainly be traded, but of course no one’s throwing can’t miss offers around. The cap is real tight. Of course teams are going to take the temperature of the FA market where they give up nothing but the salary of the player. That’s just simple logic. If Rutherford had signed him for 3.5, which he wouldn’t and shouldn’t have taken, we’d be in exactly… Read more »

Islanders > Penguins
Islanders > Penguins
1 month ago

Islanders living rent free in Pittsburgh writers head! Stop crying that the Pens are getting older and slower and blaming it on completely legal and normal GM practices! Like someone else on here said, you are only complaining about it because your GM wasn’t smart enough to do the same thing Lou is potentially doing. Also has something to do with the Pens not being able to get past the Islanders lately too!

Crosby a cry baby on the ice, this writer is a crybaby off the ice!

trackback

[…] des chroniqueurs critiquer cette possible stratégie. Plusieurs s’avancent même à dire que Lamoriello agit légalement, mais d’une façon plutôt ratoureuse en cachant les informations des contrats déjà […]

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[…] From the Penguins perspective, perhaps Minnesota GM, former Penguins AGM, Bill Guerin, is a fan of Marcus Pettersson? […]

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