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Penguins No Longer The Favorite to Land UFA Tomas Tatar

Tomas Tatar switched agents recently and the Penguins are no longer considered the favorites to land him as a free agent.

During the most recent episode of The 32 Thoughts Podcast, Elliotte Friedman reported that UFA forward Tomas Tatar could sign with an NHL team soon as he recently switched agents and is now being represented by Newport Sports. He said, “I know Pittsburgh was a team that was interested but I believe the Penguins were not the only one.”

Friedman interrupted his own show to offer an update on the Tatar situation. He added that he thought it might be Pittsburgh and now he’s not convinced it will be. “I’ve heard East, but I’m not so sure it’s Pittsburgh.”

Tomas Tatar Pittsburgh Penguins rumors
Tomas Tatar Pittsburgh Penguins rumors

Friedman noted that this off-season was about a lot of players who got squeezed. Among those, Vladimi Taransenko and Tyler Motte both thought their offers and deals would be better. He said that the league is moving away from favoring the middle class. Jeff Marek added that it’s been trending that way for years and asked if the NHL was going to see a complete removal of the middle class. Friedman didn’t think it would go that far. The top players have always been pressured to leave room for other players in the league.

If Pittsburgh is out of the running, that likely means this could be about the money. The Penguins don’t have room to do anything but offer Tatar a PTO. The player might be looking for an opportunity to sign a one-year deal with a team. As for what teams might have the room to make him an offer, the Buffalo Sabres, the Detroit Red Wings, and the New Jersey Devils. Stefen Rosner of The Hockey News wonders if Tatar might already have a contract in hand with the New York Islanders, where GM Lou Lamoriello has a reputation for stealth signings.

Until that or a signing with another team is made official, 32-year-old Tomas Tatar still remains unsigned just a few weeks before training camp. He scored 20 goals and 48 points last season, while putting up dominant defensive numbers. This is a player that can be useful. At least one team has to see it.

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