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Pens Points: Change in Focus

With the expansion and entry draft behind them, Rutherford and staff switch focus to free agency facing holes at center. Trying to understand the Reaves trade. Matt Murray helps Preds super fan pay off Stanley Cup wager during concert.

NHL: Stanley Cup Final-Media Day Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

A busy weekend in Chicago at the NHL Entry Draft for the Penguins caused some controversy amongst the fan base and saw the team add six new prospects to the franchise via the draft.

The biggest news coming from the Pens camp over the weekend was the controversial trade with the St. Louis Blues that saw them give up a first round pick and Oskar Sundqvist for tough guy Ryan Reaves and a second round pick. While most disagreed with the move, general manager Jim Rutherford made it no secret he was looking to beef up his team for added protection. [NBC Sports]

While the Reaves trade garnered most of the attention, the Penguins still added six new prospects to the organization on the second day of the draft with a heavy focus on the blue line. [Penguins]

Now that the expansion and entry drafts are in the rear view mirror, Rutherford and his staff can turn their attention to free agency which officially opens at noon on July 1st. Even with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on the roster, Rutherford is still facing a glaring hole at the center position with the status of Nick Bonino and Matt Cullen up in the air. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Another question the Pens may look to answer early in free agency is the back up goalie situation. With Matt Murray the clear number one and Marc-Andre Fleury now in Las Vegas, the Pens will need a number two behind Murray. They have an in house answer in Tristan Jarry but they may also look to bring in a veteran to allow Jarry more time to develop in the AHL. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Country music super star and die hard Nashville Predators fan Dierks Bentley played a concert in Pittsburgh on Saturday evening and had a bet to pay. Bently, who sung the national anthem prior to Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, went on stage wearing a Matt Murray jersey fulfilling his promise to wear Pens swag at his concert should the Pens beat his beloved Predators. [Sportsnet]

If you’re in town this week and looking for something to do consider checking out the Penguins development camp to be held at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex from June 28 to July 1. [Penguins]

Coming off the success of hosting last season’s NWHL All-Star Game, the Penguins announced they will be hosting a regular season NWHL this coming season once again to be played at the Lemieux Sports Complex. [Trib Live]

News and notes from around the NHL...

Following what seems like years of rumors, the New York Islanders parted ways with defenseman Travis Hamonic, dealing him to the Calgary Flames in exchange for a slew of picks including the Flames’ first round selection in 2018. [Yahoo! Sports]