The Pittsburgh Penguins search for a new general manager continues on and while the list of candidates is pretty well known at this point, but figuring out who has the edge for the job is tricky.
There’s not a lot of talk coming out of Pittsburgh about the direction things are headed as Penguins brass including Mario Lemieux, Joe Burkel, and David Morehouse are keeping mum.
All that means is there’s plenty of speculation to go around. Hall of Fame writer Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has about as much credibility as anyone regarding the team and he ranked the top five candidates for the position.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Penguins assistant GM Jason Botterill was his top choice.
“Sometimes, the best answer is the most obvious one, and that might well be the case here. Botterill was Shero’s assistant and has handled every conceivable duty, from negotiating contracts to evaluating free agents, during five seasons in that role. He is regarded as one of the top young front-office talents in the league, and it’s a given that he will be a general manager sometime soon. There appears to be no good reason that it shouldn’t happen now. Here.”
As for the rest of his top five, Lightning assistant GM Julien BriseBois came in second, Predators assistant GM Paul Fenton was third, NBC Sports’ Pierre McGuire fourth, and fellow Pens assistant GM Tom Fitzgerald fifth.
The common thread with that group is none of them have been in the top GM position before. All five are or have been assistant GMs. Pittsburgh looking for some new blood at the executive ranks may seem like a curious move, but a fresh set of eyes can do a lot of good.
Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis (pictured) has some big decisions to make now that he’s not bringing back now former general manager George McPhee.
Finding a new GM is something the Capitals haven’t had to do since 1997 when McPhee was brought in and, fortunately for Leonsis, there are a lot of qualified people to choose from.
CSNWashington.com’s Chuck Gormley ran down a list of names that immediately jumped to mind. Gormley’s list includes some names that came up during the Buffalo Sabres’ search for a new GM including Boston Bruins assistant GM Jim Benning and Nashville Predators assistant GM Paul Fenton. Former Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis is a curious name as is Tampa Bay Lightning assistant GM Julien Brisebois.
We ran down a list of other names when we took a look at who might be up for the Canucks GM position. Ones that stand out there include Canucks “capologist” Laurence Gilman, Pittsburgh Penguins assistant GM Jason Botterill, and San Jose Sharks assistant GM Joe Will.
One name to keep an eye on? Phoenix Coyotes assistant GM Brad Treliving. Treliving was also in on the Sabres job that ultimately went to Tim Murray and he along with Benning were virtual finalists for that position.
Don Maloney has done a great job with the Coyotes and Treliving’s experience working with him could provide the sort of blueprint Leonsis is looking for in Washington.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Ken Hitchcock and Darryl Sutter might not have a lot of similarities, but how they each got to the playoffs this year is one of them. (Post-Dispatch)
Steve Simmons writes that while the game changes over time, Devils GM Lou Lamoriello stays the same. (Toronto Sun)
The Blues’ solution to getting back in their series with L.A.? Playing better. If only I’d thought of that! (Post-Dispatch)
Alfie Watch: Ottawa coach Paul MacLean says that no matter what Daniel Alfredsson decides to do, he’ll have some kind of job with the team regardless. (Senators Extra)
Bruins young prospects are ready to take the leap next season. Tyler Seguin being a year older and the potential arrival of Dougie Hamilton? Sign us up. (CSNNE.com)
In case you missed it: The Canadiens are tabbing Marc Bergevin to be their new general manager.
From the “no kidding” files: The Oilers are unlikely to trade the No. 1 overall pick. (Edmonton Journal)
Logan Couture’s left shoulder surgery was a success. (CSNBayArea.com)
You think Rick Nash or Roberto Luongo’s salary cap hit should keep interested teams away? Not a chance. (The Hockey News)
Panthers GM Dale Tallon couldn’t be more excited about the future of his team. (On Frozen Pond)
Former NHLer Jason Botterill wants current players to know concussions are no joke. His career ended because of them. (Winnipeg Sun)