Instead of preparing for Game 5 of their first round series, the Penguins spent Thursday cleaning out lockers, talking to media, and saying their goodbyes as they head their separate ways for the long summer ahead. Through media interviews we got insight on injuries, some sassiness from Kris Letang, and an idea for what Jim Rutherford has planned this offseason.
Start the holiday weekend off right with Pens Points...
Thursday was the just first day in what will be a long offseason for the Penguins. Things will likely remain pretty quiet from now until the end of May unless the team does something truly shocking. Once the playoffs wrap up in June, the offseason calendar heats up with the draft and free agency soon to follow. [Pensburgh]
A lot of good information came out of team breakdown day on Thursday, including some injury news on a few players. Brian Dumoulin was playing with a torn PCL, Jared McCann battled through a separated shoulder, and Jake Guentzel was suffering from a rib injury. This was the last time we will hear from many players until training camp in September. [Pensburgh]
After the players took their turns answering questions from the media, general manager Jim Rutherford held his end of season press conference. Based on his comments, Rutherford did not inspire confidence that the right changes will be made in the offseason to improve the team for next year. [Pensburgh]
For players who miss the playoffs or are eliminated early, they have to opportunity to play for their home country in the IIHF World Championship in May. Sidney Crosby announced that he will not be heading to Slovakia to represent Team Canada but several of his teammates will be participating this year. [Trib Live]
One of the biggest takeaways from breakdown day was Kris Letang’s response to a question about his style of play. When asked if his style of play leads to turnovers and chances for the opponent, Letang fired back a biting response not normally expected from the defenseman. [Trib Live]
Matt Cullen turned 42 this season and hit the 1,500 games played mark in March. It would not be shocking to see the veteran decide to hang up his skates after another run with the Penguins but he’s not quite ready to make that decision right now. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
Deciding which players to subtract and which ones to add this offseason will mean the Penguins need to answer another question first. They need to figure out who they are as a team and who they want to be on the ice. As long as that remains unclear, trades and signings won’t matter much in the long run. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
This season did not go the way Olli Maatta anticipated in anyway. Once a budding superstar on the Penguins blue line, Maatta is suddenly at a crossroads in his career with the Penguins. A healthy scratch for the last three games against the Islanders, Maatta heads into summer not knowing his future with the franchise. [Trib Live]
Outside of their first round victory in 2013, the Penguins have a forgettable past when facing the Islanders in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Blown series leads and letdowns have plagued the Penguins against the Islanders and this season is just another chapter they would rather forget. [The Hockey Writers]
News and notes from around the NHL...
With the Tampa Bay Lightning out of the playoffs in shocking fashion, it opens the door for a new team to step up as favorites to win the Stanley Cup. The Lightning were heavy favorites after the season they posted, but with them out of the picture, several teams look primed to take home the prize. [ESPN]
Still over two years before they enter the NHL as the league’s 32nd team, the Seattle franchise is hard at work renovating Seattle City Arena in hopes of having it ready to host the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft and possibly even the 2021 NHL Draft. [NHL]