Jason Mackey's Penguins chat: 6.29.17
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Carla
12:56
The burning question for everyone is, what are the Penguins going to do for centers on their 3rd and 4th lines, assuming we can't afford or are unwilling to pay Bonino? Will the Penguin trade a couple of our proven wingers?
Jason Mackey
1:00
Hi Carla. I agree with you on the importance of that question, and I don't think the Penguins will sign Bonino. Have been hearing lots of interest and north of $4 million for a possible AAV. That's too high for the Pens, in my opinion. Probably theirs, too. To replace Bonino, though, I don't see them trading a premier winger. Maybe a Wilson or a Kuhnhackl, but I think fans would be OK with that. I think dealing picks is much more likely, though.
gamer
1:00
If you have to choose one player you think is a "must keep" from Pen's UFA group? I call Kunitz, for leadership & everything he does on the ice. And then one player, if any, fans will be surprised we sign outside the organization? Thanks
Jason Mackey
1:02
Technically, since Cullen is a UFA, I would say him. But I think he's probably 75 percent retirement, 25 percent playing ... but in Minnesota. I don't think there's a chance he comes back. So, I guess by default it would be Kunitz. ... That said, I don't like the chances of Kunitz coming back. From what I know, the Penguins are still sorting some things out -- probably not good 48 hours before the deadline -- and other teams seem eager to have him. With the direction the Penguins are going (read: young) it makes sense for them to promise him minimal dollar and term and see if he takes it; let other teams, the ones who have to, over-extended themselves.
gamer
1:03
A quick shout out to "Artie". Pens fans will always remember you and what you did for the city/organization. Keep your head up brother. Good luck and God bless ya Kev!
Jason Mackey
1:04
Agree on this. I've seen people criticize the Penguins bringing Stevens around yesterday, and I don't understand why. The guy has lived it all. If he's clean and willing to share that story, absolutely you want that around your guys. And good on the Penguins for having the compassion and understanding to bring Stevens in. I know myself, I love the move, but, man, was it not on my radar whatsoever. Good thing it was on Recchi's or whoever else helped him put this together.
Marnie
1:04
Do the Pens consider Wilson as an option as a 3rd/4th line center if they don't trade for another center or sign a FA?  Or does Wilson play center only if there is an injury and is considered a winger at this point?
Jason Mackey
1:05
There's no push from within the organization to have Wilson play center. He's a winger. If they lose Bonino, they know they will have to trade for or somehow acquire another bottom-six center.
copall
1:05
Everyone is saying that the market for free agents is thin this year and as such, teams will overpay to plug holes in their lineups. But don't the Golden Knights have about a dozen players that they picked up in the expansion draft that they will have to trade away in order to get down to 22 before the season starts?
Jason Mackey
1:10
Yes, they have some players the Penguins could trade for. But think of it: These are guys that another team didn't want. Then Vegas doesn't want them. ... They probably won't on the two-time defending Stanley Cup champs.
Mike B
1:10
Any idea who the Penguins may be targeting in trade?
Jason Mackey
1:11
Honestly, Mike, no. Don't get into the speculative stuff a ton here, but names of potential trade targets ... that's stuff that doesn't get out much. Especially as tight-lipped as not only the Penguins but all NHL clubs are about this stuff.
DT
1:11
Everyone seems to think Duchene should be picking out homes in Pittsburgh, but I just don't see it happening. Any other centers you can see the Pens targeting? Or should we believe the Duchene hype?
Jason Mackey
1:16
I would believe the Duchene hype in the sense that I think they've done their due diligence. Is it realistic? No. The money is just too tough to make work. Plus, after forking over $6 million for a center, then you have to go top-four defenseman shopping because you've traded Olli Maatta. That ain't cheap. ... This is totally me spitballing and nothing on information I have, but I wonder about a guy like Alexander Burmistrov. Sheltered minutes, surrounded by good players, including one who's Russian ... would seem to make some level of sense. Could get him cheap.
Jim
1:16
What are some centers that could work for the 3rd line via trade? Any come to mind?
Jason Mackey
1:18
Just threw out Alexander Burmistrov. Don't know if anyone has mentioned them, but Joe Thornton and Matt ... never mind. Just kidding. I think Tyler Bozak could be an intriguing fit, too, but like the others, I worry if the money would ever work.
Gary
1:18
So are we supposed to believe in Pouliot now?
Jason Mackey
1:19
Evidently. We've seen this movie before. Guessing you've read Jim Rutherford's comments to every media outlet in town. I give Jim the benefit of the doubt. He's been honest to us with a lot. But if Pouliot was making that much progress, I don't understand why he wasn't with the NHL club for more than a couple days during the postseason. That part doesn't make sense to me.
TK
1:19
Do you think they're really interested in trading for Matt Duschene?
Jason Mackey
1:19
I think the interest can be described as tepid, at best.
Tim
1:19
Saw $16M/4 as a possible number for Bonino. Isn't that a pretty reasonable number for what he brings?
Jason Mackey
1:21
For another team. Not from the Penguins. I don't think it makes sense for them to spend that on him. With the matchups that Crosby and Malkin consume, the Penguins third line generally sees all bottom-six forwards and a lot of third defense pairings; players can look better than they really are and, vice-versa, it doesn't really make sense to throw a whole bunch of money at a position you can take care of cheaper.
Eric
1:24
If a trade is likely going to occur to replace Bonino, and if we don't land Matt Duchene, who could be some centers that could be available for us to target?
Jason Mackey
1:24
Has honestly been tough to nail down potential trade targets. Pretty quiet about that, especially since it's only hypothetical until Saturday.
dave
1:24
Do you think they would have liked to bring back Condon as a backup if he hadn't re-signed with OTT?
Jason Mackey
1:25
Yes. That type of player, anyway. I think Condon could have done better than Pittsburgh, based on the year he had, and i think that's why you see that he got paid. Kind of a crazy amount, too. But they want a backup who can make 25 or so starts to ensure that MM is healthy and rested for the playoffs.
George
1:26
Since we've shown we can win it all without Letang do we really need to keep his salary on the books?  I'm sure one of the teams on his list wouldn't mind a boost?  I know it sounds sacrilegious but c'mon.
Jason Mackey
1:27
Well, the easy answer is yes. They want Letang around, so everything else is moot. Few defensemen league-wide can do what he does. He's a special player, and this year should be seen more as the exception than the rule when it comes to winning a Stanley Cup without a top-tier defenseman. ... That said, it's next to impossible to do anything with Letang. A buyout would be crazy expensive. No team is going to assume the risk included with sizable contract. For better or worse -- it's absolutely better if you ask me -- the Penguins will have Letang on their payroll.
Max
1:27
Hi Jason, when did "term" become the replacement for "years" when talking about a contract? This is troubling because "term" sounds so stupid. Thanks!
Jason Mackey
1:28
Ha. I don't know. I do know I've heard it a lot lately, and it has seemingly found its way into my writing. I will try to watch that.
Doc
1:28
Who you hearing we are interested in as a backup?  Cam Ward?
Jason Mackey
1:36
I have not heard they're interested in Ward, but he fits the profile. Plus, there's obviously a relationship there with Rutherford. I've asked around about Anders Nilsson from Buffalo and have not been told I was nuts, so I would imagine he's another type they might consider.
dave
1:36
Do you think they'd like to trade Kessel?  He can be very frustrating at times.
Jason Mackey
1:38
No, I don't. Not this year anyway. It makes no sense. His value is low. Prospects such as Zach Aston-Reese and Daniel Sprong have looked good, but you probably want to buy them another year to develop and work through some hiccups. Nothing against them, but it's a little tough to project a seamless transition to the NHL. Wait a year. Get Kessel to shoot more. He'll probably score. And then try to recoup as much as you can. Or keep him if he's setting the world on fire. There would be worse problems to have.
TK
1:38
How about bringing in Brian Boyle as a 3rd/4th center?
Jason Mackey
1:38
I love it, personally. But I don't have a ton of confidence saying this is something they're seriously considering.
Doc
1:38
Hearing that Daley is good as gone
Jason Mackey
1:38
Same. Not at all a surprise.
Patrick
1:43
I always hear G development takes a little longer so glad to hear they may keep Jarry in WBS for another year. Would it make sense for them to sign DeSmith again or bring in Maguire? It seems the "push" DeSmith offers would be invaluable as his practice habits were noted when he was there.
Jason Mackey
1:44
If they're going to let Tristan develop another year, seems logical they would keep DeSmith around in the same setup. They also like Maguire. And, I would also caution that they haven't found an NHL backup. In case they don
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