Player News - Penguins

Date: Team: Pos:

The Pittsburgh Penguins ended up just $962 under the salary cap in 2017-18.

With that, the Penguins narrowly avoided an overage penalty that would have limited them next season. Nine other teams ended up with overage penalties with the Toronto Maple Leafs' topping the list with their $2.55 million penalty for the 2018-19 campaign. The Penguins' biggest win as far as the salary cap went was finding a way to get Vegas to retain $2 million of Derick Brassard's annual salary in a three-way trade that sent Brassard from Ottawa to Pittsburgh. The Penguins also made use of the LTIR for a total of 56 days over the season.
May 23 - 8:48 AM

According to report, Andrey Pedan will play for Ak Bars Kazan of the Kontinental Hockey League in 2018-19.

However, the transfer hasn't been confirmed yet. Pedan is a pending restricted free agent, so the Penguins can retain his rights by extending a qualifying offer his way. He had nine goals, 26 points and 87 penalty minutes in 52 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this past campaign.
May 22 - 10:12 AM

Lukas Bengtsson will play for Linkoping HC of the Swedish Hockey League next season.

Bengtsson has spent the last two seasons with Pittsburgh's AHL affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. He played in a career-high 37 games in 2017-18 and he chipped in 15 assists. Bengtsson might have had a chance to crack Pittsburgh's roster at training camp. His rights can be retained by the Penguins this off-season with a qualifying offer.
May 22 - 10:06 AM

Patric Hornqvist was finally able to add a gold medal to his collection on Sunday.

Hornqvist scored two goals in five games for Sweden at the 2018 World Championship. The Swedes defeated Switzerland 3-2 in a shootout to win gold. Hornqvist is two-thirds of the way to joining the Triple Gold Club, as he already has two Stanley Cups. He still needs an Olympic gold medal to achieve that feat.
May 21 - 11:19 AM

The Pittsburgh Penguins have officially signed Juuso Riikola to an one-year, entry-level contract.

The news was previously reported by Darren Dreger Thursday evening. Riikola provides the Penguins with some extra defensive depth. The 24-year-old was never drafted, but he's made a name for himself in the Finnish league. He had eight goals and 24 points in 59 SM-liiga games this season and joined Team Finland in the 2018 World Championship. He also has a bit of past experience with Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta as the two were both members of Finland's 2013 World Juniors squad.
May 18 - 12:20 PM

According to sources, the Pittsburgh Penguins have agreed to terms with Juuso Riikola.

Riikola had eight goals and 24 points in 59 SM-liiga games this season. More recently, the 24-year-old defenseman represented Team Finland in the 2018 World Championship and he posted two assists in eight games.
May 17 - 6:03 PM

Pittsburgh GM Jim Rutherford told the Athletic that he's not actively trying to trade Kris Letang.

"He's not a guy that I'm actively trying to trade from our team. He's been a great player for a long time and I think he'll continue to be so," said Rutherford. "But, I can't sit here and project an offer that some team could come along and make. I can't project the future." Letang has another four seasons remaining on an eight-year, $58 million contract, which has a modified no-trade clause.
May 16 - 9:10 AM

Matt Murray endured a lot of challenges in 2017-18, but he takes them as "learning experiences."

Murray endured a series of injuries this season, including a concussion. It made it hard for him to get into a rhythm and likely contributed to his struggles when healthy. He had a 2.92 GAA and .907 save percentage in 49 regular season contests. Murray also endured his first playoff series loss after winning the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in the first two seasons of his career. "I’ve been through a lot of learning experiences," Murray said. "I’ve been through a lot of different things that most guys probably don’t see at my age — good and bad. I feel very fortunate for that. You learn from all of it. You learn from the bad things probably even more than the good things. I’ll take that. Everything that has happened is going to make me stronger in the long run."
May 11 - 7:04 AM

It sounds like Zach Aston-Reese isn't dealing with concussion-symptoms at this point.

Aston-Reese sustained a concussion and broken jaw due to a hard hit from Washington's Tom Wilson on May 1st. Aston-Reese is recovering from the jaw injury, but at least the concussion issue appears to be behind him. He expects to be able to resume training in three weeks.
May 10 - 5:59 PM

Even after winning the Stanley Cup in back-to-back seasons, Sidney Crosby doesn't take Pittsburgh's second-round exit in 2018 lightly.

"It's something we haven't felt for a while," Crosby said of losing a playoff series. "(but that) doesn't make it any easier, I can tell you that. You want to be playing still. But you have to evaluate everything and turn the page at some point and get ready for next year." The Penguins had an incredible run so if any team can be satisfied after a playoff series loss, it's them. It seems Crosby isn't though. He has three Stanley Cup championships on his resume and it wouldn't be surprising if there were more to come before his career's over.
May 10 - 11:29 AM

Penguins GM Jim Rutherford isn't thinking about retirement yet.

Rutherford is 70-years-old and entering the final season of his current contract, so it's natural to wonder if the 2018-19 campaign might be his last with the Penguins. He didn't dismiss that possibility entirely, but he also made it sound like retirement isn't on his mind yet. "It's the annual question. I think the best answer is I may be around longer than you guys," Rutherford said, referring to the media personnel. Rutherford won the Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006 and back-to-back championships with the Penguins in 2016-17.
May 10 - 11:26 AM

Derick Brassard was playing hurt down the stretch and during the playoffs.

Pittsburgh GM Jim Rutherford didn't go into detail about what was ailing Brassard, but he did say it was "an injury that is very difficult to play with." Brassard dealt with the issue for the last week of the regular season and throughout the playoffs. That could partially explain why he struggled so much to produce.
May 9 - 8:59 PM

Daniel Sprong should get a regular role for the Penguins next season, per Penguins GM Jim Rutherford.

It would be a big step up for Sprong, who has played in 18 NHL games over the last two seasons. He had 32 goals and 65 points in 65 AHL games this season. He'll be worth keeping an eye on during the Penguins' training camp and October.
May 9 - 2:46 PM

Phil Kessel played through injuries throughout the campaign.

Kessel's health issues caught up with him in the playoffs and though he stayed in the lineup, it sounds like he wasn't 100%. He still scored 34 goals and 92 points in 82 regular season games, but in the postseason he was limited to a goal and nine points in 12 contests. Kessel won't need to have surgery and with the Penguins eliminated he'll finally get an opportunity to focus on his recovery.
May 9 - 12:07 PM

The Penguins don't have to re-sign Jake Guentzel this summer, but they might opt to lock him up to a long-term deal now anyways.

Guentzel's entry-level contract expires in the summer of 2019, so re-signing him now would be about adding clarity to the Penguins' long-term cap situation. Guentzel was solid in his sophomore campaign with 22 goals and 48 points in 82 games, but where he really stood out was in the playoffs as he scored 10 goals and 21 points in 12 contests.
May 9 - 7:30 AM


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