As the media looks at what comes next for the Pittsburgh Penguins, there’s some chatter about how the team got to the point former general manager Jim Rutherford felt the need to up and walk away. No one expected news to drop that Rutherford was leaving without warning and when he explained it was simply time to “take a break”, and that he might come back with a different organization next season, theories started popping up that something was off.
On Thursday, conflicting reports from different sources suggest this story might be far from over. While other insiders have noted the “why” isn’t terribly important, Colin Dunlap of 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh tweeted that Rutherford was working on a deal to move Kris Letang. Ownership caught on to what Rutherford was doing and put a stop to the deal.
“I am told by multiple sources this morning Jim Rutherford was working on a Kris Letang trade to one of the teams he can be traded to. Ownership did not want him doing this. It forced an untenable situation. So here we are.”
Almost as soon as Dunlap made his comments, Rob Rossi of The Athletic disputed them. He said Rutherford was “not working on a trade of any player that management/ownership halted.” The scribe added that Rutherford’s resignation had, in fact, nothing to do with roster-related matters.
Now What? Penguins Could Make Big Changes
We wrote yesterday that the interim GM and the owner have noted that team will do its best to remain a contender. But, TSN’s Darren Dreger wonders what happens to the roster if the Penguins fail to remain in the playoff hunt?
During the most recent Insider Trading report Dreger suggests the Penguins owe it to Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and, to some degree, Letang to talk about where this team is headed under new management. If whichever GM is selected from the over 20 applicants apply want to make sweeping changes, Dreger notes the Penguins may offer the chance to decide if these players want to chase a Stanley Cup elsewhere or if it’s more important to retire in a Penguins jersey.
Dreger asks, “But, imagine if those names were in play at some point in the near future?” It sounds like we’ll have to wait until the end of the season to find out. That said, the way things are changing with the Penguins, it’s not that far fetched a possibility.
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