Sam Werner's Penguins chat: 8.10.17
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Sam Werner
12:54
Hey gang. We'll get started in just a minute. But leave your questions now.
PHquist
1:02
Some are already counting my days here.  Does this ZAR guy have my tenacity and high pain threshold for the dirty work?
Sam Werner
1:04
Patric, let's be honest. There aren't many human beings, let alone hockey players, who can match your pain threshold and -- more importantly -- your disdain for wearing pants whenever possible. That being said, you make over $4 million this year, and will probably be able to get one more big-money contract next offseason. That'll be tough for the Penguins to match. No one is Patric Hornqvist, but from a financial standpoint it's tough to see you here past this season, Patric.
1:05
1:06
Well, for one, the Penguins needed to give something away in order to make the Reaves trade happen. It's not like they thought Sundqvist was worthless, they just wanted to acquire Reaves more.
1:07
That being said, I definitely get the sense that Sundqvist's offensive game hasn't come along the way they would've liked. He was always a bit of a project offensively, but he just didn't show the growth you'd like to see out of a guy trying to be a 3C or 4C in the NHL. I think that's pretty evidence by the fact that Carter Rowney effectively passed him on the organizational depth chart by the time the season was done.
Dan
1:08
Sam what are you hearing on Kris Letangs health ? I assume it would be pretty hard moving a d man in a trade for a center if he's not close to 100%
Sam Werner
1:11
All indications are Letang is progressing, but his injury timeline is such that he still might be a bit less than 100% heading into training camp. That said, I'm not sure how much that'll affect the Penguins trade plans. They've got Chad Ruhwedel and Derrick Pouliot ready to go if called upon as defensive depth.
Steven
1:12
Jason mentioned that he expected the 3C deal to be completed this week. Any update on that timeline or named possible targets/teams?
Sam Werner
1:19
I think things have picked up a bit, but given how Rutherford has operated so far this offseason, I'd be hesitant to put too firm a time frame on anything. As far as targets, I think Rutherford's comment to Jason about not having to ship salary out is an interesting one. The Penguins are about $3.3 million under the cap right now, according to CapFriendly, and probably want to set aside some of that for Matt Cullen (that's the other thing, they may be waiting on Cullen before pulling the trigger on anything). That price range would probably rule out a Duchene or Bozak move, but if they're looking in the $2 million range, a guy like Riley Sheahan from Detroit might be interesting. Honestly, though, it'll probably be someone that sort of comes out of nowhere. That's how these things tend to work.
Lukas
1:19
If the Penguins are unable to make a trade, who do you see filling in at 3C and 4C?
Sam Werner
1:20
Oof. That's a tough one. Also seems like a pretty unlikely scenario given the options. If Cullen comes back, Rowney at 3C and Cullen at 4C, I guess. If not...maybe Guentzel at 3C and Rowney at 4C? Even though Rutherford has been pretty adamant they like Guentzel more as a winger. Point being, these questions sort of show why it's all but certain they'll make some sort of move.
Lukas
1:21
Do you see then Penguins trading for a younger guy with a controllable future or an older guy on an expiring contract?
Sam Werner
1:23
Given their current organizational depth at center (or lack thereof) I think they'd probably prefer a younger guy on a cheaper deal. But that's not always feasible. Priorities 1, 2 and 3 are maxing out on Stanley Cups during Crosby and Malkin's primes, so they'll do whatever makes sense from that perspective. If they can get a young guy that fits and is controllable, great, but I don't think they'd shy away from an expiring deal (see: Reaves, Ryan) if they find one that fits.
Steven
1:26
What is the plan with Ruhwedel? He got a 2 year 1-way deal at league minimum, but obviously needs to clear waivers to go down. Was his 1-way deal a sign of him staying on the roster or is it in line with a lot of AHL depth guys who got 1-way deals as a reward this offseason?

If he's staying on the roster, that would mean one of Archibald or Kuhnhackl would have to be waived and sent down.
Sam Werner
1:29
I think the Ruhwedel deal was mostly a reward for his performance this season, but I also think the Penguins do have NHL plans for him this season. I'd expect him to start the season as the seventh defenseman and, if Letang isn't good to go opening night, Ruhwedel could very well be in the lineup against St. Louis. There's also the looming possibility of a defenseman being shipped out in the 3C deal, which could open up a lineup spot for Ruhwedel (or maybe Derrick Pouliot) to compete for out of training camp.
1:30
As for those other two guys you mentioned, I think Kuhnhackl would be the odd man out over Archibald. They were trending in pretty opposite directions by the end of the playoffs last season.
Dan
1:32
Jarrod Tinordi...interesting sign....big kid...I imagine a little slow and I guess he's had some issues ?
Sam Werner
1:35
Yeah I was pretty intrigued by the Tinordi signing. Obviously a former first-round pick who came into the league with a lot of promise. He doesn't really fit the puck-moving mold you see in most of the Penguins' defensemen, but he does skate pretty well for his size. He also has a decent amount of NHL experience, so it's possible he could get called up in a pinch this season. The PED suspension is obviously not great, so...less of that. But all in all, it's hard not to like the move as a low-risk reclamation project.
M. Messier
1:35
The experts are saying Sid has joined the Top 5 with Wayne, Bobbie, Gordie and Mario.  No real arguments I guess, but I merit some consideration, no?
Sam Werner
1:36
I think that top five makes sense. Sorry, Mark, but I've never been a big Messier guy.
Jaromir Jagr
1:36
Will the Pens sign me.....please?
Sam Werner
1:37
All offseason I've tried to contort and twist logic into some sort of scenario where it might make sense for the Penguins to sign Jagr .... and I just can't do it. There's just no justification for an organization that's bursting at the seams with young, talented wingers. Sorry, Jags.
Steven
1:38
Final one. Asked Jason this a few weeks back, but haven't seen anything since then.

Any updates on the WBS assistant coach spot that Taylor was in before he went back to Rochester?
Sam Werner
1:39
Nothing yet, but I'll keep an eye on it and see if I can get you an update there.
Jason Mackey
1:39
Great chat!
Sam Werner
1:39
Thanks bud. I can only hope to live up to your legendary chats.
Ben Roethlisberger
1:39
Hey I can play if games are not on Sundays...
Sam Werner
1:39
#BenFor3C
Jack
1:39
Abry's or Wendy's?
Sam Werner
1:39
Wendy's. I've actually never eaten at an Arby's and don't feel a strong need to.
Louis
1:41
Why hasn't JS Dea signed a contract yet? Is there some hold up or just no real rush from either side?
Sam Werner
1:42
I'd say the latter more than the former. No reason to think Dea won't be there when training camp opens next month.
Guest
1:43
I know Maata is still young and dmen take a little longer to develop, but honestly aside from a few bright stretches he just looks out of place in this system. What chance is there that he gets moved?
Sam Werner
1:44
A chance? Sure. Is it likely? I don't think so. For one, Rutherford has said he doesn't anticipate moving a lot of salary out in the 3C deal. Secondly -- and I know this is hard for some to believe -- but the organizational opinion of Maatta is significantly higher than that of the fan base.
1:47
OK folks, that's all the time I've got for today. Thanks for joining. I'll be back again next week. Same time, same place. Who knows, by then we might even have some news to talk about. Until then, make sure to stay updated on our Penguins Prospectus series, which will be updating every weekday with a new player. Today was Ryan Reaves day! Check it out here: http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/penguins/2017/08/08/2017-18-Penguin...
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