Connect with us


Penguins Notebook: Early Granlund Grade, Playoffs & P.O Joseph (+)



Mikael Granlund, Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said with finality, “this is our roster.”

He said it Saturday before the Penguins lost to the Florida Panthers, before fourth-line center Nick Bonino made his re-debut, and before he placed newly acquired Dmitry Kulikov in the top-six defense pairings at Monday’s practice ahead of youngster P.O Joseph.

But the Penguins roster is final. Barring injuries, the 23 players on the roster today is the army that Sullivan will take into battle toward the franchise’s 17th consecutive playoff berth. The organization and fanbase now know what we’re dealing with.

And the roiling consternation from the outside has stretched nearly an entire week.

At the deadline, GM Ron Hextall simultaneously shed two bad contracts in Kasperi Kapanen and Brock McGinn but hamstrung his future cap structures by acquiring Mikael Granlund at full boat.

To say outside analysts, including PHN, raised an eyebrow or dished some criticism for the latter might be an understatement. However, the acquisitions of Nick Bonino and Dmitry Kulikov softened the outcry, and even upset fans shouted, “Bonino, Bonino, Bonino!”

It was one of Hextall’s finest acquisitions, and Bonino should fortify the fourth line, which was shaky after trading Teddy Blueger to the Vegas Golden Knights for a third-rounder and a depth minor leaguer.

We have a couple of games by which to judge Granlund, and the results, predictably, are mixed.

This content is for PHN+ subscribers only. Join us and get access to our entire network for only $4.49 per month, or get a yearly subscription for just $34.99!
Join us!