Now that you had a day to let the disappointment soak in, it’s time to start a new normal without Penguins hockey until the fall. The team will gather together one last time for locker cleanout day before heading home for the summer and waiting to see what changes the front office has in mind for the offseason.
Get used to the new normal with today’s Pens Points...
It no doubt hurts that the Penguins are eliminated from the playoffs so early and in such an ugly fashion. It’s the first time they have been swept from the playoffs since 2013 and even that year they won two rounds. While we know changes will be coming this offseason, hold off on the hot takes and enjoy what a ride this has been. [Pensburgh]
Our plea to keep the hot takes to a minimum will be heard by some, but others went full blast as soon as the horn sounded on Tuesday night. One of the loudest takes will be a repeat from last season, trading away Phil Kessel. While clearing cap space is something the Penguins will need to do, trading away Kessel is not the path to take. [Pensburgh]
Whether they were swept or won a few series, the Penguins were always going to be making changes this offseason. Their poor roster construction was exposed by the Islanders and it will up to the front office to address those problems this offseason. How the team goes about making those changes remains to be seen. [Pensburgh]
One of the biggest issues favoring roster turnover this offseason will be the Penguins salary cap situation. Pressed up against the cap as they usually are, Jim Rutherford will need to find some breathing room heading into next season. This was a reality for the Penguins regardless of how this season played out. [Trib Live]
Just because the Penguins are out of the playoffs doesn’t mean the hockey will stop. There are still 14 other teams left sanding and a solid two months of hockey left. If you’re looking for a new team to latch onto and cheer for the rest of the way, consider this list our gift to you. [Pensburgh]
As mentioned above, the Penguins poor roster construction was exposed by the Islanders in a major way. If the team is to return to conredner status, there a few areas of immediate concern that must addressed before anything else. [Trib Live]
When looking back and trying to determine how the Penguins went from back-to-back Stanley Cup titles to being swept in the first round, you don’t have search long to find the culprit. Physical play against the Penguins stars eventually took its toll on Jim Rutherford and he reshaped his roster to deal with the problem. [NBC Sports]
There are many potential moves the Penguins could explore over the summer through both trades and free agency. The likeliest way to clear a bunch of salary cap space in a hurry is through a trade, so long you are trading the right players. Everyone has ideas on who should be traded, but it’s not always the ones you expect. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
When looking at the reasons why the Islanders swiftly defeated the Penguins in four games the list seems never ending. From top to bottom, the Islanders flat out dominated the Penguins from start to finish, and their discipline on the ice was a major reason for their success. [Trib Live]
One silver lining to being bounced this early from the playoffs is the Penguins and their front office will have some extra time to fully evaluate the situation and determine the best steps forward. From free agent decisions to potentially extending Matt Murray, it’s going to be a busy summer for the Penguins. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
No one wants to see it, and maybe it’s not even the best course of action for the Penguins, but could the Penguins take a note from the Blackhawks and sacrifice short term success in favor of a more long term approach? It’s unlikely given the age of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin but right now anything should be on the table. [The Hockey News]
News and notes from around the NHL...
The NHL Awards are still two months away, but it’s the time of year when we start learning who the finalists will be for the individual awards. Patrice Bergeron, Mark Stone, and Ryan O’Reilly will be in the running for the Selke Trophy in Las Vegas. [NHL]
After a rough season saw them finish near the bottom of the league standings, the Los Angeles Kings cleaned house and will have a new face behind the bench next season. Former Sharks and Oilers head coach Todd McLellan was named as the new Kings head coach during a press conference on Wednesday. [Yahoo! Sports]