On the latest episode of “31 Thoughts: The Podcast”, host Elliotte Friedman threw a new name into the mix of potential trade targets for the Penguins this offseason: Max Domi from the Arizona Coyotes. Domi, 23, is the son of former NHL player Tie Domi and will be a restricted free agent this summer.
During the podcast Friedman stated, “One of the things I heard just around the Cup Final is that I think the Penguins have interest in him.” He continued his statement by focusing on the Penguins plan to make changes this offseason, which was originally eluded to by general manager Jim Rutherford on the team’s locker clean out day.
Pittsburgh was not the only team Friedman through out there however, he also divulged that the Montreal Canadiens appear to have interest in Domi as well as they look to revamp and hopefully put themselves back in the post season.
Friedman on his 31 Thoughts podcast with video game addiction rumour spreader Jeff Marek says the Canadiens had interest in Max Domi, but the Penguins are really interested in him, look for them to make a run at him this offseason.— NHL Prospects Watcher (@Prospects_Watch) May 30, 2018
From the Penguins perspective, it’s easy to see why they could potentially have interest in bringing Domi to Pittsburgh. At only 23, Domi is still young and can continue to develop his game. Domi played all 82 games this past season but only recorded nine goals and 36 assists, meaning the Penguins could be buying low on a player many believe still has a high ceiling.
Another thing to keep in mind that was discussed by Friedman was Mario Lemieux’s close relationship with Max’s father Tie Domi, who is often seen with Lemieux at PPG Paints Arena during Pens games.
“The thing that really intrigues me about it is Mario Lemieux and Tie Domi are tight,” said Friedman although he followed that remark up by stating he does not believe that is a driving factor behind any potential trade, just that the Penguins appear to have serious interest.
At the moment, this is all rumor and no one knows for certain how serious the Penguins interest is in Domi or if the Coyotes have any plans on moving the young forward at all. Many believe Domi still has terrific upside but perhaps that upside will be best realized with a change of scenery.
Jim Rutherford is keen on re-tooling the roster and said as much during his final press conference of the season. We have already discussed here on the site some names the Penguins could move during the offseason so the pieces are there if Rutherford decides to pull the trigger. Trading Conor Sheary of Carl Hagelin should open up more than enough space to fit Domi and his new contract under the cap.
One point Friedman was very adamant about throughout the segment was the Penguins desire to make changes this offseason and remain all in to take another run at the Stanley Cup. Friedman believes the Penguins will do whatever it takes to maximize the Cup window of the Crosby/Malkin era.
Before switching topics, Friedman dropped one last line that may give Penguins fans something to chew on, ““Nothing that they do this year – aside from trading Crosby or Malkin or Matt Murray – would surprise me.”
That is interesting to say the least.
One more note from Friedman, this time regarding Phil Kessel and his status with the Penguins entering the offseason.
Going through listener submitted questions, Friedman answered one about Phil Kessel, specifically regarding his seemingly questionable status with the Penguins.
Asked if he believed there was any merit to the Kessel trade rumors, Friedman stated, “Yes, I do think there are.” He then explained, “I think the other thing too and one GM said this to me is that if you take a look at what Evander Kane just signed for, did that help Pittsburgh make a trade?”
Again, this is all speculation and it remains to be seen what will come of it, if anything at all. One thing is for certain though, we could be in for a wild offseason as the Penguins re-tool to make another run at the Stanley Cup.