The timeline for potential Pittsburgh Penguins trades and big decisions is now a moving target.
Last month, Penguins president of hockey operations/GM Kyle Dubas clarified comments from his team-hosted radio show that the early December trip through Florida would give him a good idea of where the team was headed.
The Penguins lost all three games on that road trip, which began with an OT loss in Philadelphia, before losing persuasively in Tampa Bay and being robbed by goalie Sergei Bobrovsky in Florida. On Dec. 11, Dubas refined his soft deadline to make big decisions on the Penguins team and presumably the future of several big-name players to the All-Star break.
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Tuesday, TSN analyst Chris Johnston reported communication with Dubas that further extended pushed the timeline to nuke, patch, repair, or hold firm the Penguins roster.
“On reaching out to him on this day, it doesn’t sound like as though that was a hard deadline, that on Jan. 27, he would know that direction,” Johnston said on the Canadian sports channel. “So, Dubas, even after the two games to end the first half for the Penguins, is going to keep watching beyond that point. He insists his team will make decisions for him.”
The Penguins did not send a strong message on their two-game desert trip, first imploding in the third period against the Vegas Golden Knights and then continuing the flatline with a no-show loss in Arizona.
Johnston reported the Penguins will not have clarity on the direction of the team in the next week or two.
One of the biggest decisions facing Dubas is the future of winger Jake Guentzel, who, with Sidney Crosby, continues to lead the Penguins in scoring. Guentzel is a UFA after this season.
You can view the full segment with Johnston, Pierre LeBrun, and Darren Dreger on the TSN website here.