Prioritize Malkin to expand
Rob Rossi from The Athletic: Team sources have said one of the top priorities for the Pittsburgh Penguins’ next GM this off-season is to sign Evgeni Malkin for a contract extension.
Owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle want both Malkin and Sidney Crosby to retire as penguins.
A league source said they want to retire as penguins but also “watch it all play out”.
Not being able to trade a star player is not a reason to resign
Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The rumors that Pittsburgh Penguins Jim Rutherford resigned over feuds with Mike Sullivan that he wanted to trade Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang, but owner Mario Lemieux wouldn’t let him, are not true.
If he wanted Malkin, Malkin would have to approve the deal and it would likely have leaked, like the last time they stepped on the idea to Reifen. There is certainly no reason for Rutherford to quit either.
There was something that Rutherford didn’t like that was going on within the organization. Rutherford said on the radio that the idea of him stepping down because he can’t act a star player was “far fetched”.
In the 2019 off-season, the Florida Panthers offered the penguins a “powerful package” for Malkin.
Penguins looking for GM
Rob Rossi from The Athletic: Multiple sources have said the Pittsburgh Penguins could hire a new GM within a month. You have already heard from at least 20 prospects.
Interim GM Patrik Allvin will be the first to conduct an interview for the position.
An early list of candidates and their current position:
Chris Drury – Assistant to the New York Rangers GM
John Ferguson Jr – Player Personnel Director for the Boston Bruins
Ron Hextall – Advisor to the Los Angeles Kings
Chris MacFarland – Colorado Avalanche Assistant GM
Scott Mellanby – Montreal Canadiens Assistant GM
A team source said if Tom Fitzgerald wasn’t under contract with the New Jersey Devils (through June), he would likely be GM by Monday.
A league source added, “If it’s April the Penguins don’t have a GM and the Devils haven’t announced an extension for Tom – hey, 1 plus 1 is still 2. If you ask me, he fits perfectly. But he has a job. “
A team would have to give the penguins permission to speak to someone under contract, and sources don’t expect the Rangers to give the penguins permission to speak to Drury.
The kings have given the penguins permission to speak to Hextall.
Other candidates could be Jason Botterill, Peter Chiarelli and Mathieu Darche.