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Future For the Penguins Veteran Stars Under Hextall and Burke…

What do the hires of Ron Hextall and Brian Burke mean for veterans like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang with the Penguins?

Burke and Hextall Penguins

With Ron Hextall now at the helm of the Pittsburgh Penguins, one of the questions Pens fans will be asking is ‘What does this mean for the future of veteran players like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang?’ The simple answer seems to be that there’s no hint any of these players will be traded this season. The long-term answer might be, we’ll see where this all goes and there are no guarantees.

Related: Hextall Named Penguins’ GM, Brian Burke Now President of Hockey Ops

Both Hextall and new President of Hockey Operations Brian Burke spoke with the media after their hires were announced. Hextall said, “We want to be as good as we can be right now with three of the best players in the world.” He added, “And we’ll address things as we go along.”

After hinting at how excited he was to finally have Crosby on one of his teams, Burke added in an interview for 31 Thoughts: The Podcast, “We’ve got some tough decisions if this team can’t get there,” but noted that they’re going to try to get them there first.

How Patient Are Two Traditionally Impatient Guys?

Sportsnet’s Rory Boylen wonders just how patient Burke and Hextall will be. Hextall is known more as an executive who is strong in the draft but perhaps not the best at pro scouting, whereas Burke isn’t afraid to take big swings.

It’s clear from a number of reports about the team that the organization is still in win-now mode. Does that mean little happens this season beyond a few small additions that might help for a playoff push? Is this coming offseason one to watch for this organization? Maybe, one more year after this? That last of those three options happens to fall in line with the end of Malkin and Letang’s current contracts.

Friedman said he believes the team will want to play out this year, see where things go and then make some decisions this coming offseason. He also said the team is known to want all three players to retire as Penguins, but Hextall kept it open ended and refused to be pinned down to anything or make any promises.

Penguins Cup Sidney Crosby
Penguins Cup Sidney Crosby

Next: Laine Says, “We’ve Moved On”, Talks Future With Blue Jackets

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