It’s expected to be the deepest draft in over a decade so there’s no surprise the Pittsburgh Penguins are looking to get themselves a first round pick.
GM Jim Rutherford dealt the Pens’ first round selection, which would’ve been 16th overall, to the Edmonton Oilers along with Rob Klinkhammer for David Perron in January.
“I’ll certainly pursue it,” Rutherford told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, adding, “I don’t know if we’ll be able to pick up one or not.”
Edmonton along with Buffalo, Toronto, Arizona, Philadelphia and Winnipeg all have two first round selections at next month’s draft.
According to Sportsnet’s Damien Cox, the Sabres, who hold the second overall and the 21st overall selections, are listening to offers for No. 21. Buffalo GM Tim Murray ideally wants to move up or acquire a young player in return for the pick.
“There are some teams that have acquired an abundance of first-round picks, and they may not need them all,” Rutherford said. “I’ve actually talked to a couple of those teams already.”
Due to other trades the Penguins have only one selection, their second-rounder, in the first four rounds of this year’s draft.
You can cross the Pittsburgh Penguins off the list of teams interested in Mike Babcock’s coaching services.
There was some thought that with Babcock’s ties to a number of Penguins, including Sidney Crosby; through his Olympic coaching experience that Pittsburgh could be a fit.
Penguins CEO David Moorehouse said last month that he has “never given any consideration” to replacing head coach Mike Johnston or GM Jim Rutherford.
Today Rutherford echoed that sentiment.
“We are committed to our present coaching staff,” Rutherford said.
Buffalo, Philadelphia, Toronto, and Edmonton are amongst the teams reportedly interested in Babcock.
Despite nearly missing the playoffs and then bowing out in five games to the New York Rangers, Mike Johnston and Jim Rutherford’s jobs are safe.
According to Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pens’ executive David Morehouse has “never given any consideration” replacing Johnston or Rutherford.
Molinari reports the Penguins brass believes the season was lost due to injuries. He adds that if the Rangers had been without key defensemen as the Penguins were, it could’ve been a different series.
The Penguins also have no interest in abandoning the “two-center model” featuring Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
Pittsburgh finished the regular season with their lowest point total (98) in an 82-game season since the 2005-06 season (58), which is the last time they failed to qualify for the playoffs.