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Pens Points: Calm before the developmental storm

News and notes around the Pittsburgh Penguins and the NHL for Thursday 7/9/2015

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome, summer gang. A look at happenings around the Pittsburgh Penguins and NHL. Figured it's been a while since a Pens Points, so here's a Hooks summer edition.

"We all see what he does: He skates fast to the puck, he shoots the puck, he can make things happen. But when the game’s on the line, if he can get a goal for you, that’s about all he’s gonna do. As far as winning battles and the extra mile, it did become, for me as a teammate, a little bit frustrating at times." -- Colby Armstrong on his former teammate Phil Kessel [Sportsnet]

Colby be damned, Kessel ranked here as best fit for his new team across the league this off-season. [CBS Sports]

Pittsburgh's bid to host the 2018 World Junior Championships boosted by Senator Bob Casey. [Tribune Review]

Some optimism about Chris Kunitz regaining his scoring touch. Not sure whether to buy or sell yet - while it is good that Kunitz's underlying numbers are still solid (but hey, playing mostly with Sidney Crosby that's a given) it gives pause that Kunitz was still getting chances but failing to score. Are the legs still there? The hands? He chunked quite a few good chances from point-blank last season that he easily scored in previous years. Hopefully it's bad luck that he'll start converting again next season.  [Hockeybuzz - Wilson]

Old "friend" Eric Tangradi signs with the Detroit Red Wings . Which actually isn't spot for him to be, and it will probably benefit their AHL team too. [Winging it in Motown]

Staying with ex-Penguin/current-AHL plugs, Paul Bissonnette is staying with the LA Kings AHL team for next season. [Twitter]

Wrapping up the Pens alum news, a congrats to John Slaney, who has been named an assistant coach for the Arizona Coyotes. [ProHockeyTalk]

A very thorough look at the 8 year, $60 million contract for Vladimir Tarasenko and what it could mean for the rest of the league. [Grantland]

Tarasenko's monster extension reminds Tampa fans that Nikita Kucherov is up for a new contract after next season. [Raw Charge]

Speaking of getting paid, can the arbitration bound Derek Stepan pull down $6 million annually? Shoot for the stars, Derek! [Blueshirt Banter]

Alex Galchenyuk and the Canadiens are also negotiating, with a 2 year bridge contract in the $3.0-$3.5 million a year range expected. [EOTP]

Back to Tampa, Steven Stamkos ' agent says there's no expectation or timing for extension talk (he is a UFA next summer). Now, I'm not GM of the year Steve Yzerman or anything, but I might push that up a little into priority status. [ProHockeyTalk]

Dion Phaneuf might be better than expected next season for Toronto. [The Score - Bourne]