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Tatar Talks Heat Up as Penguins and Forward Eyeing Each Other

Tatar confirms interest from the Penguins during free-agency, but won’t commit as he eyes them and a couple of other options.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are making headlines again, this time on a smaller scale than the scope of the massive trade that saw the team land defenseman Erik Karlsson. According to reports, the Penguins have a strong interest in signing free-agent winger Tomas Tatar and the forward himself has confirmed he’s spoken with the organization about possibly joining them this season.

Insight from Matt Meagher of Flux`cc and Rob Rossi of The Athletic suggest that the Penguins are aggressively pursuing Tatar’s services. Tatar himself subtly acknowledged the buzz around Pittsburgh’s interest during an interview with Slovak website Sport.sk. While remaining coy, Tatar confirmed ongoing talks with the Penguins, while he also weighs his other options, including potential PTO offers from multiple teams. Tatar seemed to hint the Penguins are a viable option but emphasized that a final decision has not been reached.

Rob Rossi’s analysis highlights the Penguins’ intensified interest in Tatar following the Karlsson deal. He tweeted, “My info on this since late last Sunday has been Penguins are keenly interested, but it might come down to if Tatar gets a guaranteed deal elsewhere as opposed to a PTO for camp in Pittsburgh (with the expectation he gets a contract).” Tatar has been public about his preference for a two-year deal and remains patient in awaiting suitable offers from interested teams underscore his strategic approach.

That said, it’s starting to set in that those options may be limited and he’ll have to pick his landing spot based on the right fit and not the terms. Rossi then explains, “Should add that I heard this week that situation was fluid, so I wouldn’t rule out him signing a 1-year deal with Penguins — but it sounds like he’s understandably eyeing more term. Good player. Would be a nifty middle-six addition for Penguins.”

Tomas Tatar Pittsburgh Penguins rumors
Tomas Tatar Pittsburgh Penguins rumors

Matt Meagher’s insights shed light on what that contract might look like and notes, “Tatar has to agree to take $1.02 – $2.5 million AAV and [Kyle] Dubas has to run less than 22 people (if Tatar takes more than 1.02)”. The only other option would be to try and find a way to get Jeff Carter off the books.

Tatar Could Offer the Penguins Inexpensive Scoring Depth

As Meagher points out, Tatar’s history of playoff performance raises some questions, but his consistent ability to score 20+ goals and his versatility as a winger on either side significantly enhance the Penguins’ roster. Adding Tatar could provide scoring depth and vital positional flexibility.

As the speculation surrounding Tatar’s potential signing intensifies, the Penguins are becoming the favorite, but don’t rule out another team coming and signing the player if they’re willing to offer that second year.

Next: Evgeny Kuznetsov’s KHL Link Sparks NHL Trade Buzz

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