Third Off-Day Thoughts: 11/29/2016

Hi! I’m throwing this out there as we wait for Wednesday, when the Penguins will be playing in Brooklyn’s terrible hockey venue against the listing Islanders.  The Islanders are tied with the Arizona Coyotes for the worst record in the League, and yet somehow their head coach, Jack Capuano, is still employed whereas the Florida Panthers just fired their head coach Gerard Gallant — literally kicked him to the curb, in fact — regardless of their middle-of-the-Atlantic-division record.  As for the Isles, they are 3-4-3 in their last 10, though they did snatch a 2-1 overtime victory over the Calgary Flames last night.  Former Penguin Thomas Greiss has played three of the last four for New York, so in spite of the Penguins having seemed to have figured out their Jaroslav Halak problems, it stands to reason that Capuano might tab Halak for the start tomorrow night. Continue reading “Third Off-Day Thoughts: 11/29/2016”

The Elephant in the Room II: Who Might the Penguins Trade With Part I

When I wrote “The Elephant in the Room” last month, it was at the forefront of my mind that it was not a matter of if, but when the Penguins would have to say goodbye to either Marc-Andre Fleury or Matt Murray.  Of course, this wouldn’t be the case if the NHL weren’t expanding to Las Vegas, but that’s where we are.  (Let’s not forget that another expansion is likely coming down the road in the next few years.)  The new franchise will be snagging three goaltenders from the list of unprotected goaltenders the other thirty teams will send to the NHL on June 17, 2017.  For the most part, this means that each team will have at least two goalies unprotected, some upwards of four or five, but a few teams will only have one goalie left unprotected.  The Penguins are one of those teams.  Fleury’s limited no-movement clause means the team has to protect him if they keep him through the deadline next June.  Matt Murray would be a prime candidate for selection if the Penguins can’t make a move beforehand. Continue reading “The Elephant in the Room II: Who Might the Penguins Trade With Part I”

The Elephant in the Room: The Goaltending Situation

In case you have been living under a rock, the NHL will be expanding to Las Vegas next season.  As with previous expansions, a draft will be held and present NHL teams will be forced to expose a certain group of players per these rules.  One way or another, every team will protect at least one of their goaltenders, and players with limited/no-movement clauses are required to be protected.  Long story short, if things stay the way they are now, the Pittsburgh Penguins have to protect veteran Marc-Andre Fleury, leaving up-and-comer Matt Murray to be possibly snatched up by the new Las Vegas franchise.  Judging by the totally-cool-but-incredibly-tedious Expansion Draft Tool, the Penguins are not alone in having a challenging goaltending decision to make before the draft.  However, Matt Murray is the only goaltender around who is 22 years old and has already backstopped his team to a Stanley Cup championship, putting the Penguins in the position of having two Cup-winning goaltenders to deal with. Continue reading “The Elephant in the Room: The Goaltending Situation”