Free agency starts a week from tomorrow, and any time the Penguins want to start dropping that contract extension news would be very welcome...Until then, here is what is going on with the Penguins and the NHL world in general as hockey gears up for the busiest stretch of the off-season with this week’s draft and free agency on July 13th.
Talks seem positive between the Penguins and Kris Letang, but still no news (from yesterday) [Pensburgh]
Pittsburgh’s 2021 second round pick, Tristan Broz, has switched schools. He never really got on track last season at the University of Minnesota, in his freshman season. Broz only recorded six goals and five assists in 36 games, in a depth role, so he has now switched over to the University of Denver. As part of somewhat new-ish NCAA rules, Broz is eligible to play immediately for Denver. [Tribune Review]
The Penguins announce they will take the “best player available” in the draft, regardless of position. Smart move, the team has too many needs to zero in one any one area. [Penguins.com]
One player who won’t be available for the Pens is West Mifflin native Logan Cooley, who will be picked much higher than No. 21 on Thursday night. Cooley’s start in hockey can be traced to Sidney Crosby’s Little Penguins program, which has helped over 14,000 kids get on the ice over the years. [Sportsnet]
A nice little chat and some fishing with Brian Burke. [Penguins.com]
The trade market is picking up, with Tampa wiggling out of the last four years of 33-year old Ryan McDonagh’s contract. McD is off to Nashville, and the Lightning now have a lot more cap space for the future. [Raw Charge]
Nice piece of business by Patrik Allvin and Jim Rutherford out in Vancouver, they sign forward Brock Boeser to a three-year contract worth a $6.65 million cap hit. Boeser’s impending qualifying offer would have been $7.5 million, good job to get him for a few years at under that number. [NHL.com]
Claude Giroux and the...Oilers? Might be a fit. Feel like about 20 teams or fans are going to dream a dream about Giroux. [Copper n Blue]
Head coach roundup over the last few days:
Detroit: Tampa assistant Derek Lalande new Red Wings head coach
San Jose: former Penguin player Bob Boughner gets the axe as Sharks coach
Winnipeg: hires former Dallas coach Rick Bowness as head coach
Boston: hires STL assistant (and former Dallas head coach) Jim Montgomery as head coach
—The San Jose job is the only current coaching vacancy left in the NHL. They are closing in on naming a new general manager, who then will be tasked with picking the new coach of his choosing.