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Reader Poll: Hextall Job Performance? Contracts? Crosby’s Future & More



Pittsburgh Penguins, Jeff Carter, Tristan Jarry

It’s time for another PHN reader poll in which we take your temperature (orally, of course) and get a sense of where Pittsburgh Penguins fans are at with the offseason. We’re also curious how little dent we’ve made with some analysis and how prevalent some opinions have become. Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, and Bryan Rust are due contracts before July 1, 2022, and their value has already proven to be a divisive topic.

So, strap in, feel free to argue in the comments; it’s not like we stop you anyway!

This offseason has been unique in its truncated timeframe and the ferocity with which teams snapped up their players both on the NHL trade market and free agency. Then all teams seem to have hit a lull. It seemed to be 0-100mph, then back to 0 in a matter of days.

The Pittsburgh Penguins front office addition of Alec Schall as the Director of Hockey Operations should be interesting. Schall had a few high-profile clients, including James van Riemsdyk. Schall negotiated that big deal for van Riemsdyk to leave Toronto for Philadelphia (and Hextall) in 2018 and got his client a very healthy $7 million AAV.

However, we don’t know much about Schall’s style. Is he a shrewd negotiator, a guy who plays hardball, or one who specializes in coming to agreements? That will play into the Penguins’ next deals with core players Letang, Malkin, and Rust.

We’re also curious about your interest level in the Xs and Os. From time to time, PHN breaks down plays, power plays, and finer points of the game. We know they’re not for everyone (especially when they show an unpopular truth), but is that a point of the game you’d like more or less coverage?

PHN wants always to make sure we’re the full-service outlet, and it seems the Penguins will make a little less news than other teams for the foreseeable future.

So, be honest…

PHN Pittsburgh Penguins Reader Poll:

Question 1, and away we go.

Has Penguins GM Ron Hextall been too conservative?

  • Yep (49%, 514 Votes)
  • Nope (15%, 158 Votes)
  • Just Right (36%, 376 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,048

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What will Kris Letang's next contract be worth?

  • Below $6 million (35%, 376 Votes)
  • About or more than $8 million AAV (6%, 62 Votes)
  • $6.5-$7.5 million (59%, 634 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,072

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What will Evgeni Malkin's next contract be worth?

  • Between $4-6 million (50%, 536 Votes)
  • Below $4 million AAV (7%, 73 Votes)
  • Above $7 million AAV (43%, 467 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,076

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If Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin are no longer Penguins, will that affect your Penguins fandom

  • Yes, positively (4%, 43 Votes)
  • Yes, negatively (20%, 200 Votes)
  • NO (75%, 736 Votes)

Total Voters: 979

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If the Penguins begin missing the playoffs

  • I'm still with them, every game (84%, 795 Votes)
  • I'm out (0%, 4 Votes)
  • I'll check in occasionally (14%, 128 Votes)
  • Call me when they're Stanley Cup contenders again (2%, 15 Votes)

Total Voters: 942

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Jeff Carter will score

  • I'm not optimistic (6%, 56 Votes)
  • 20 goals (54%, 514 Votes)
  • 15 goals (40%, 384 Votes)

Total Voters: 954

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Sidney Crosby will play until

  • Until he's almost 40 (56%, 561 Votes)
  • Past 40 (23%, 232 Votes)
  • Look out Jaromir (4%, 36 Votes)
  • A few more years (18%, 176 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,005

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Hockey Xs and Os

  • Who cares, put the puck in the net (9%, 84 Votes)
  • I'm pretty knowledgeable (65%, 616 Votes)
  • I try. Places like PHN help (26%, 242 Votes)

Total Voters: 942

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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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4 months ago

I am surprised at how many people want Geno and Letang gone. Do they not understand this means a full rebuild if that happens, Including trading Crosby? Why would Crosby want to stick around if that happens? Generational players and future hall of famers like Sid, Geno, and Tanger don’t grow on trees. The penguins fan base has been incredibly spoiled and there are no Guarantees that they will get players of this calibur again for a long time. So why rush their exodus? It will be time for them to go eventually, i agree with that, but the time… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Robert Shoemaker
4 months ago
Reply to  Rob

I think you are reading into the Geno and Letang question. It asked if it would affect your fandom, not if you wanted them gone. I for one am still a Pens fan if they are here or gone, so I responded accordingly. I do agree with you though that losing them would not be an upgrade.

4 months ago
Reply to  Nick

It really shouldn’t be a question at all in my opinion. That was kind of what i was getting at and, for whatever reason, a good chunk of Penguins fans would like both of them gone.

4 months ago
Reply to  Rob

I don’t think that the responses indicate that the fans saying that they’ll still be fans want Geno and Letang gone. But I also don’t think that many fans realize how it will be impossible to replace those two. And when they’re gone the team will really struggle. And when it struggles, a lot of those people saying “we’ll still be fans” will drift away until the team gets better – regardless of what they say now. As for me, if the team cuts them loose rather than resigning them for one more contract then I’ll quit following the team… Read more »

4 months ago

It is really hard to find those complimentary players, you just have to hope for the best in a strapped capped era. It seems to be players you least expect and the ones you expect, never seem to pan out. That’s why you never give up, cause you just never know. I still like Malkin and Letang, when the team is on their game, the core players really shine.

4 months ago

I think there is a segment of Penguin fandom that is obsessed nearly to a level of mental illness with the futures of Letang and Malkin . . and to a degree . . . Crosby. Sid is going nowhere unless he demands a trade and is vocal about it. That said I have never seen a moment in his career here that leads me to believe he would do that. He is here for the duration . .. unless . . . the Penguins fall so far in the next 3 years that he wants one more Cup at… Read more »

Peter Hoffman
Peter Hoffman
4 months ago

I think it would be a huge mistake to re-sign 58 or 71 before next June. Make this a “show me” year. If they can help us get past the first round then pay them. If we miss the playoffs or get bounced in the first round (for the fourth time) then let them walk and use all that cap space on young hungry free agents. Every year we are up against cap limit and can’t do much. Extending these guys before the end of next season just ensures that we wont have any $$ to act in the off… Read more »

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