Jason Mackey's Penguins chat: 7.27.17
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Dale
1:02
Worried that the Pens don't have enough cap space left after giving most of  its money to the Defense to sign anyone of a quality caliber for the remaining spots?
Jason Mackey
1:03
Hi Dale. I would not worry. I think Jim Rutherford has shown enough aptitude at his job to not sign a bum and trot him out as the third-line center. I think he should be trusted at this point. Will he need to send dollars out to make a deal work? Potentially. Olli Maatta could be that guy. But I don't think GMJR is going to look at this and say, 'Welp, we gave all of our money to the defense. Looks like we have to get Mark Arcobello."
Mr. Rear View Mirror
1:03
If GMJR could take back one contract with a current rostered player, who would it be?
Jason Mackey
1:04
Wow. That's an excellent question. I would probably have to say Olli Maatta. I like Olli, but $4.1 million is a little more than I'd be comfortable paying.
Guest
1:05
Jason, don't you think the Pens are going to have trade or waive a roster player either in an effort to land a 3C or because they are going to have too many forwards who aren't waiver exempt? If so, who is the most likely candidate to go?
Jason Mackey
1:06
I think they could throw in someone like Wilson or Kuhnhackl because it may be enticing. I think those guys are good players who may not see the ice time here that they could get elsewhere. I also think, as I just typed, that GMJR may need to send dollars out to get the type of third-line center that he wants. I think those factors could render the scenario you're talking about moot.
Dan
1:06
Jason any chance Pens might be in on free agent d man Will Butcher from Denver U ?
Jason Mackey
1:07
Actually just talked to Will's agent a few minutes ago. They can't say or do anything until Aug. 16 -- Colorado has exclusive negotiating rights through Aug. 15 -- but I can tell you this: The Penguins, as they should, have the attention of Butcher and his camp. Will be writing something after I finish this.
Steven
1:07
Are we any closer to having a name for the new WBS assistant since Chris Taylor went back to Rochester?
Jason Mackey
1:07
I asked GMJR a couple weeks ago, and he said they were in the process of compiling a list. I'm guessing they've conducted an interview or two. Hiring can't be far off.
Pens3peat
1:08
With the glut of forwards, and Sprong, Aston Reese and Archibald waiting in the wings, do you trade Sheary for that 3C? I hear some people talking about Hornqvist, but until Aston Reese can show what he can do, we have nobody else(besides Reeves now) that will stand in front of the net and take a pounding.
Jason Mackey
1:09
Yeah, I wouldn't trade Hornqvist (or Kessel) now. Next year do you let Hornqvist walk and move Kessel? I'd at least consider it. Not now. Sprong and Aston-Reese need to win spots, not be gifted them. And I think they would be better-served to see some additional time in the minors. If that's to happen, you need guys to score and produce at the NHL level.
bruce
1:09
is there any chance that the pens will fish or cut bait on Pouliot?  I mean play him until he either becomes the next Beau Bennett or Bobby Orr.  isn't the real problem that Sullivan doesn't have the faith to put him out, every 3rd shift all year?
Jason Mackey
1:10
I think the Penguins believe Pouliot can become a legit NHL defensemen. You may disagree with that, but I'm relaying their thinking here. Now, if someone came along and made them an offer, I don't think he's untouchable like he once was. But I do think the Penguins believe he can figure this out.
Jim
1:10
Are you hearing that Pens are any closer to making a deal for a 3rd line center?
Jason Mackey
1:12
As he's been, Rutherford is involved in discussions with other teams. That's a normal part of Jim's day. He's waiting for a couple things to break before making a move. He's slow-playing this. We've seen it before. ... It's tough to say close or not close when you're not in the meetings, and it involves another, foreign organization.
copall
1:13
If Sheary goes to arbitration, are the Pens obligated to sign him to whatever 1 year deal the arbitrator decides on? I'm guessing Sheary is looking for top 6 dollars and the Pens are thinking more bottom 6. At the most, after signing Dumoulin to 4.1 mil per year, the Pens will not go higher than 2 mil for Sheary.
Jason Mackey
1:14
First off, I think the Penguins would go higher than $2 million for Sheary. I think they'll need to, too. As far as your arbitration question, I believe the team can elect to have the deal cover one year or two, and they can also "walk away" from what the arbitrator decides ... although that latter aspect is extremely unlikely to happen.
Chad in WV
1:14
Could you see Sullivan using both Reaves and Sestito in the lineup? Personally I'd love to see it against Columbus, Philly or Washington.
Jason Mackey
1:15
No, I don't think Sullivan would do that. I think one is enough. I'm actually OK with Sestito and Reaves as hockey players, but let's not pretend they play a speed game; they're not going to, as Sullivan likes to say, dictate the terms out there. Maybe regarding a fight but not hockey.
Ron Hainsey
1:15
How come there was very little fuss about my departure? (or discussion for that matter)  I was an adequate contributor to winning the Cup.  Maybe not a headliner, but I got the job done.  Also, everyone knows I have a big personality and I'm vocal in the locker room.  How will those shoes be filled?
Jason Mackey
1:19
Don't know, Ron. I thought you were a valuable part of the team, and I enjoyed covering you. Wish you nothing but the best in Toronto. My guess is your leadership skates will be filled by Brian Dumoulin and Justin Schultz taking on a larger role and also the addition of Matt Hunwick.
HB
1:19
i watch around the horn and they have reporters from all the big cities will anyone from the post gazette ever be on the show
Jason Mackey
1:21
Not sure. Have a hard time believing any of us could accept the demotion from Nightly Sports Call (Ron and Gene) or Sunday Sports Showdown (Me) to ESPN.
Nick Fotiu
1:21
Why do you think Pens didn't pursue C Brian Boyle in free-agency ? I think he would of been an excellent replacement for Bonino.
Jason Mackey
1:21
I agree, Nick. I thought Boyle made a lot of sense. One thing to consider, though: He's not terribly fast. My guess is that the skating wasn't what they want in that spot, and the toughness part was going to be handled by Reaves; they basically went nuclear with addressing that need.
TK
1:22
If Cullen retires, won't they need to find two centers?  It sounds like they want Rowney to play wing instead of center.
Jason Mackey
1:23
I wouldn't say that, although it probably wouldn't hurt. I don't think the Penguins have a problem with Carter Rowney being their 4C. I do think they would have a problem with him being their regular 3C. Just not enough offense there. Plus, depth would become an issue. They're going to get a 3C regardless. If Cullen retires, I wouldn't be shocked to see them pursue a veteran on a cheap, one-year deal much like it would have been with Cullen.
D Dubs
1:23
Does the Dumo deal make a Maata trade for 3c more likely? Any idea of who the 3c targets are outside of Bozak, Duchene, Staal?
Jason Mackey
1:24
Staal is not a target, first off. And Duchene is only fringe. I don't think the Dumoulin contract affects Maatta in any way. Dumoulin was an RFA. Some way, shape or form, they were going to sign him, and eventually -- even if it was next year -- they were going to get something done long-term.
dave
1:24
What do you think of Dumo's new contract?
Jason Mackey
1:25
I don't have a problem with it. That's the going rate for top-four defensemen these days. I think people want more offense with that kind of cap hit, but that's not Dumoulin's game. I think in a couple years that contract is going to look really, really good.
Bill
1:25
I saw Cullen last week at Market District and when I said one more year he winked...thoughts?
Jason Mackey
1:25
They have Market Districts in North Dakota?
joe
1:25
Doesn't Sheary have to be odd man out in search for 3C, particularly if he is projected to make $3.5M this year?  Where do you put him if ZAR and Sprong come up?
Jason Mackey
1:27
Depends on which version of Conor Sheary we see. Early- and midseason Sheary? Doesn't affect him. Late-season Sheary is probably a healthy scratch. I do think that, if they have to trade one forward to get a 3C, Sheary could be involved. I view Wilson or Kuhnhackl more as enticements. But I don't think the Penguins are actively shopping Sheary. They'd like to see him revert to his midseason form from this past season.
dave
1:27
Do you think they'd like to trade Hagelin and his contract?
Jason Mackey
1:27
Yes, I do. Very much so. $4 million for that production when Archibald basically does the same thing for a fraction of the cost? It's not at all worth what they're paying.
Paul S.
1:27
I think there's legs to Guentzel as our 3c despite what GMJR said.
Jason Mackey
1:28
You can think what you want, but there's definitely not. Can tell you that for a fact.
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