Pittsburgh re-signing Olli Maatta was never in doubt. It was a necessary step in ensuring their mid to long term strength – as shallow as that might be – along the blue line.
With the 21-year old Finn’s services secured until 2022, at a not unreasonable cap hit of $4.08 million, Penguins’ General Manager Jim Rutherford can turn his attention to Monday’s trade deadline and seek to make the club better; at least in the short term.
In the longer term, the 67-year old has some tough choices to make. The organisations cap situation is tight, their options limited.
The Pens wagon has been hitched to a handful of horses, with limited room to add the nuts and bolts that separate champions from mere contenders – but all is not lost.
The Columbus Blue Jackets woes also come under the microscope, as the club struggles with its cap crunch and the ongoing Ryan Johansen saga.
The trainers room is the busiest in many NHL arenas right now, with St. Louis dealing with a glut of injuries while Connor McDavid and Chris Kelly are both out long term.
Elsewhere, Arizona might have a new home, Pittsburgh are on a league-leading five game win streak, Anaheim finds some form and Dustin Byfuglien avoids the ban hammer.
Already a subscriber? Then please consider leaving a review on iTunes – whether you love the show or hate it, listener feedback is important.
A skilled winger with three 20 goal seasons and two 50 point campaigns to his name, David Perron might seem like an ideal person to slot in along side Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin in Pittsburgh.
Previous injuries appear to be behind him, most notable a serious concussion in 2011, and he registered 28 goals and 57 points whilst playing on a tyre fire of an Oilers team in 2013/14.
But the 27-year old hasn’t so much stumbled in Pennsylvania as he has fallen off the Earth entirely.
The Metropolitan Division houses elite stars, awards candidates and has no shortage of goal scorers – but can it produce a Stanley Cup champion?
The puck drops on the 2015 Stanley Cup play-offs this Wednesday, with Eastern Conference teams looking to bring the Cup home after three years in the West.
A strong case for success can be made for several clubs, but many contenders have fallen at the first hurdle before.
‘As is tradition’, here are the 1PS picks for the Eastern Conference Quarter Finals:
It is Monday June 19th 2015. The World Championships have long since concluded (congratulations Sweden) and the Stanley Cup has been won (congratulations St Louis). Attention now turns to the draft – that pivotal day where clubs short and long term fortunes can so quickly change.
Pittsburgh General Manager Pierre McGuire picks up the phone to new Sharks supremo Tim Burke, recently promoted from Director of Scouting. A little small talk is made – how the Flyers put their stick boy in net on the last day of the regular season, ensuring an Ottawa victory and eliminating the Penguins from the play-offs, what to make of Brent Burns’ new hair-do, and how much fun guys should have out there. Just shooting the breeze really.
Then it gets serious. Trades are discussed.
Two teams in need of a shake up, seeing what each can do for the other – depth players are discussed, playing their part of deckchairs aboard these two Titanic franchises. Finally one of the men decides cosmetic changes won’t alter their respective ships course – and they go big, they go bold.
They bring up Evgeni Malkin and Joe Thornton…