Jason Mackey's Penguins chat: 8.3.17
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Guest
1:04
I'm hearing wildly conflicting things about the search for a third center.  I know JR has said he'd like to have someone in place  before training camp, but how likely do you think that is?  Are there that many teams that have a good young inexpensive center AVAILABLE for a trade, and who would be willing to trade to the Pens?  If they start the season with an in-house candidate for 3C, who would that be?
Jason Mackey
1:06
Lemme do the last part first. If they start in-house, it likely would be Carter Rowney -- he's their best available option other than Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin -- but that's not going to happen. GMJR has said he could trade for a center right now ... it just might not be the preferred choice. Best guess: They make a move soon. They need to know what Matt Cullen is doing, and the market dipped for a little after July 1. It's more active now. There are plenty of teams out there with possible options. He doesn't have to be young, either. Just fit within certain salary parameters and provide some offensive punch.
Guest
1:06
What are hearing about Cullen returning?  More likely today than when you last addressed it?  Last time you, or someone else in the media, was saying they believed it more likely than not that he was coming back for another season based on what the Pens organization believed
Jason Mackey
1:07
I'm not hearing much ... and that's not weird. Matt has not been reachable by most people, including myself. Jim Rutherford talked to him a couple days ago, and Matt said he's still thinking. Again, that's normal. He signed last year in mid-August. I think there's a good choice he plays hockey next season; however, I would peg Minnesota as a realistic option given his family's desires at this point.
Larkin H
1:07
Hi Jason,
Jason Mackey
1:07
Hi, Larkin.
Adam Lindner
1:07
In your opinion, what Metropolitan team made the moves to improve the most this offseason?
Jason Mackey
1:08
That's an interesting one. I like Panarin in Columbus. Heck, I like Panarin anywhere; who wouldn't? I think the Devils may have improved the most -- they're at least up there -- but that's also relative. It's not like I think they're going to challenge for the division.
Chad in WV
1:08
Can you name a Penguin who you think could take a significant step forward this year, either a breakthrough or a bounce back?
Jason Mackey
1:09
Derrick Pouliot. Dead serious. It's time.
Larkin H
1:09
Take 2: hello, what internal options do the pens have at 3C? I've heard their high on Tiffles and Bluger. Do they have a shot out of camp?
Jason Mackey
1:14
They see Tiffels as a winger, first off. Secondly, I would put Blueger as the next option behind Carter Rowney. Blueger has a slight shot, but he would really need a tremendous camp -- plus a couple injuries around him -- to make the team. ... I don't see anyone else as potentially challenging for time. I think more realistic is having a third-line they acquire in a trade, Matt Cullen or another cheap vet at 4C and Rowney at wing, able to move to center in a pinch.
GregR
1:14
Would you agree Patrick Hornquist is gonna b gone after this year.  Feel like some team is gonna overwhelm him with a 4 yr offer that the Pens wont b able to touch.  Plus they signed his "heir apparent" last yr. in Aston-Reese.
Jason Mackey
1:16
Yeah, I think that's a fair assumption. Let's say everything goes great with Sprong and Aston-Reese's development this season. Next season that gives you Sheary, Guentzel, ZAR, Sprong, Rust and Kessel for top-six spots, plus who knows with Archibald, Rowney, Wilson, etc. Shouldn't really be a need for Hornqvist.
Halvy Buckets
1:16
Is Kessel with the team this time next year?
Jason Mackey
1:17
I don't think so, no. And if he is, I think it's only because a trade hasn't been consummated. Like the previous answer, if the young guys develop the way they should, they can afford to use Kessel's $6.8 million salary another place. They should have plenty of other, younger guys who can score. ... Again, this is admittedly assuming a lot of things.
Dan
1:17
Jason...as we ponder the acquisition of the third center isn't it more of Mike Sullivan's decision as to whom he wants ? We can speculate the Duchesne and Staals of the world but if Sully wants someone along the lines of Bonino then we should lower our expectations !! I'm guessing Andrew Cogliano or someone along those lines ??? Thoughts !!
Jason Mackey
1:19
I have my doubts on Cogliano specifically, but that's not the point. ... Yes, Sullivan has input in this decision, as he does a lot of them. Sullivan and Rutherford have a very open line of communication about these things. JIm's also not going to acquire a player who doesn't fit the Penguins system. ... Speculating on Staal is senseless anyway. Rutherford has said that Staal isn't available, and I know nobody from the Penguins has even so much as reached out to Staal's camp. Duchene is a bit different, but they would need to a TON of space to fit him at this point.
Patrick
1:19
What are your thoughts on pairing Maatta with Schultz next season? They showed potential as a partnership in limited sample size but it's clear Maatta excels playing with good players I feel if he plays with Hunwick next season his progression will be stunted even further and considering it's a huge season for him why not maximize his opportunity to develop.
Jason Mackey
1:20
I'm going to refrain from judging Hunwick and making assertions on what he can and cannot do until he at least practices in a Penguins sweater. That said, I don't have any problem playing with Maatta and Schultz together. You're paying them $5.5 million (Schultz) and $4.1 million (Maatta). Might as well play them like it.
Will
1:21
There has been talk that the Penguins could trade Maatta for a 3rd line center. Does this seem to be in play, and who would make sense for a return from that trade.
Jason Mackey
1:22
Rutherford told me and others that he doesn't think he has to move significant dollars out to make this happen. Seems like that would cross Maatta off the list. ... I would question who they're getting back, but I wouldn't be against moving Maatta for the right deal. ... If you trade Olli -- and I guess you could say it's in play, as I don't think they would turn it down -- then you're probably looking to get back a young 3C with offense and a couple years of control for a reasonable rate.
Peter Kadar
1:22
Good Afternoon Jason -- Huge fan of your work.
Jason Mackey
1:22
Hi Peter. Good afternoon. Thank you!
Peter Kadar
1:22
Good Afternoon Jason.  I'm a huge fan of your work.  Of the new Penguin additions and in addition to perhaps Reaves, who do you see making significant contributions to the Penguins quest to go three of three.  Thank you in advance for your kind and gracious response.
Jason Mackey
1:25
I think Matt Hunwick could surprise a lot of people here, honestly. Smart defenseman. Mobile. Will get a chance to play. Good personality. I like what he will bring a lot.
Olli Maatta
1:25
I just bought a sweet house in Murrysville. Should I be worried?
Jason Mackey
1:25
Nah. But why'd you move to Murrysville, Olli? You practice in Cranberry.
Lukas
1:26
What's going on with Mike Ribeiro? Would he be a viable option?
Jason Mackey
1:28
Not quite sure, but I don't think so. He's a UFA after the Preds released him. Had heard he might not even play in the NHL next season because of the alcohol issue. ... Plus, he's 37. It could work, but I have my doubts whether it would be worth their time.
Dr. House
1:28
With cap room remaining, the mystery of Cullen, and with excess wingers who do you see GMJR putting in a trade to get the 3rd line center?
Jason Mackey
1:28
I think Wilson and Kuhnhackl would be the lower-tier candidates, while Sheary would be available for a better 3C. Maybe they would talk on someone like Bryan Rust, but I also think the Penguins really, really value Rust's game.
McDuffles
1:29
Two-parter: do you believe Steigerwald got canned after trying to trademark "Phil the Thrill can fire the pill." ? And will Steve Mears revive ROOT Sports telecasts or will Penguins hockey continue to be best followed on 105.9 the X?
Jason Mackey
1:30
AT&T Sports Network replaces Mears with Steigerwald because it really, really likes Mears, and it wants to "update" Penguins content, for lack of a better term. Go a little younger might be another way to put it. Mears is good. And so, for that matter, was Steiggy. But it's something of a flavor thing, where AT&T prefers Mears' style. Make no mistake, though: Steiggy is a good man, a very good man, and you better believe I'm not going to bash him here. He will remain a hugely valuable part of the organization.
Patric Hornqvist
1:30
Do you see me in Pittsburgh beyond this season?
Jason Mackey
1:30
I don't.
Peter Kadar
1:31
Of the new addtions to the penguins roster which players do you feel might make a significant contribution -- Reaves Hunwick etc???
Jason Mackey
1:31
Yep, Hunwick. Got that one earlier, Peter.
HB
1:31
what are your thoughts on mr.underwoods retirement
Jason Mackey
1:31
I actually thought Mike Fisher would've been an interesting fit in Pittsburgh, but I see why he called it a career.
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