Now a week removed from their elimination at the hands of the New York Rangers, the dust has started to settle for the Pittsburgh Penguins and the offseason is taking shape. There are many questions surrounding the Penguins this offseason, but one major one was answered almost unexpectedly on Saturday evening.
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In a likely sign that Ron Hextall will remain Penguins general manager and remains serious about winning, the team agreed to a six-year contract extension with Bryan Rust on Saturday. The deal carries an AAV of $5.125 million. [Pensburgh]
All in all, the Rust extension may come as a but of a shock due to its timing and details. Rust was projected to earn well over $6 million on the open market or possibly higher. A clear hometown discount means he’ll remain right where he belongs. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
With the Rust deal now completed, the Penguins can turn their attention to other pending free agents, notably Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang. Should they wish to return, the Penguins have plenty of cap space to make it all work. [Pensburgh]
A week removed from the Penguins being eliminated and as the second round series reach their midpoint, Jake Guentzel still leads all goal scorers in these playoffs with eight. Of the five players on seven goals, four are still alive in these playoffs. [Pensburgh]
Depending on how everything shakes out this offseason with Kris Letang and other defenseman, Mike Matheson could become a top pairing fixture. He spent plenty of time there this season, and could very well find a permanent home there. [Trib Live]
News and notes from around the NHL...
Jordan Binnington was just rediscovering his old form and helping the St. Louis Blues keep pace with the Colorado Avalanche in their second round series. Following a collision in Game 3, Binnington will now miss the rest of the series. [NHL]