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Brian Burke Adds Big Asterisks to “Win Now” Mentality for Penguins

Brian Burke dropped a pretty big hint that the Pittsburgh Penguins could veer from the “win now” mentality after this season.

Brian Burke Penguins President

Both Ron Hextall and Brian Burke have noted the Pittsburgh Penguins are going to try and win with the group they have. Instead of coming in as the GM and President of Hockey Operations and making sweeping changes, the idea is to see if the group as constructed, with a few small tweaks, can be a playoff contender. That said, Burke made an interesting comment today that potentially really changes things over the next year.

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Burke was a guest on The Chirp with Darren Millard and when asked what his plan is for the Hall of Famers he has and how to manage those players being on the tail end of their careers, Burke acknowledged that the organization is aware that this group may only get them so far this year. Not only that, but they know things could change next year. Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin are both coming up to the end of their current deals and some serious decisions will need to be made.

“Next year, we have to sit down at the end of this season and figure out for next year.” He added, “They’re not stupid people, they’re brilliant people they know that these problems are there.”

Burke was asked outright if they are still in “win now mode” and he responded, “For this season, yep.”

Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins
Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins

The “For This Season” Is Interesting

By adding those three simple words, Burke hinted that the Penguins could choose to break it all down if the club is not successful this year. That could mean selling off all the veteran assets Burke was talking about, including Malkin, Letang and maybe even Sidney Crosby.

From what we can tell, this is the first real indication that the organization may have a plan for after this season if things don’t go well. The Penguins could shift from “win now” into “win later” mode. If that’s the case, this offseason could include a number of exits.

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