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Pens Points: Busy Week Ahead

Expansion hits high gear as protection lists are made public by league. Rust, Hagelin, and Fleury highlight exposed Penguins. New goaltending coach for Murray and youngsters. Another happy but short offseason for the players. Cap space is there but could evaporate quickly with new deals.

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins-Championshp Parade Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

This time last week we were waking up and basking in the glow of the Penguins winning back-to-back Stanley Cup championships. The past week has just been celebration and looking back on the season that was and everything the Pens accomplished. Now, with all that out of the way and the players gone for the summer, it’s time to get back to business for the Pens management. A big week lies ahead with the NHL Awards, the Vegas expansion draft, and NHL Entry Draft set to take place in the next few days.

Sunday morning, the NHL released the expansion protection and exposed lists for each NHL team. Protected by the Pens were Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel, Patric Hornqvist, Kris Letang, Justin Schultz, Olli Maatta, Brian Dumoulin, and Matt Murray. Notable exposed players included Bryan Rust, Carl Hagelin, Ian Cole, and Marc-Andre Fleury. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

A somewhat surprising move went down over the weekend when news broke that goaltending coach Mike Bales had been hired to the same position with the Carolina Hurricanes organization. Shortly after the Bales news broke, Jim Rutherford named Mike Buckley as the new goaltending coach. [Penguins]

Once Buckley was named as the new goaltending coach and details leaked surrounding the circumstances of the situation it became clear why the move took place. Buckley has a close relationship with Matt Murray and other young goalies in the Penguins’ system. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Winning the Cup is great and something that you want to do every year but with that comes the reality of a short offseason to rest and recover. While the players will celebrate all summer, they’ll only have around 100 days until they’re back in Pittsburgh starting all over again. [Trib Live]

If you follow Pittsburgh radio host Colin Dunlap on Twitter you have no doubt seen tweets about his daughter Darran who is battling cancer. Darran is a huge Penguins fan and on Saturday got surprised at her home by a visit from the Stanley Cup. [ESPN]

With Fleury moving on and several contracts expiring, the Penguins find themselves with a chunk of cap space heading into the offseason. However, with holes to fill and players to resign, that space could disappear quickly. [Trib Live]

For most of its history hockey has been Canada’s game and rightly so. Now the pendulum is beginning to swing as the league is seeing a growing influx of stars from the United States. A leading example of this trend are the Penguins, who used 15 American born players during this season’s Cup run, tying their own record from one year ago. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

After two years a consulting work with the Penguins and helping them win back-to-back Stanley Cups, Sam Ventura has been brought on full time as the Director of Hockey Research with the franchise. [Penguins]

News and notes from around the NHL...

Here is the expansion protected and exposed list for all 30 NHL franchises. The selections will be announced on Wednesday night during the NHL Awards ceremony in Las Vegas. [NHL]

Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee has made it very clear to teams that they can work a deal to protect additional players from being selected in the expansion draft. The only catch is, the deal will be costly. [CBS Sports]