The Pittsburgh Penguins were in the running to the end on Matt Cullen before he decided to sign with the Minnesota Wild in order to allow his family to put down some roots, and though he wasn’t a perfect fit for their vacant third-line center he certainly would have been an option for a bottom-six role. Jonathan Bombulie of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review spoke to Penguins GM Jim Rutherford about the still vacant role, who once again said that he could trade right now for an “adequate” option but isn’t excited about it.
Instead, Bombulie tweets, Rutherford is waiting for a better option to come available or head into the season with some cap space in order to make a move at a later date. While no names are included, there is still a clear understanding of the biggest weak-spot on the Penguins roster. It will be interesting to see if another more “impactful” option shakes loose as training camp opens in September, or if the Penguins are forced to go into the season with Carter Rowney playing third-line minutes.
- A name we mentioned this morning as a possible early signing, Connor Clifton has signed an AHL contract with the Providence Bruins according to Mark Divver of the Providence Journal. The physical but undersized defenseman played with Quinnipiac the last four seasons and is a nice right-handed fit for the P-Bruins. His aggressive style can sometimes take him over the line into penalty trouble, but he could develop into a depth option for the NHL level.
- According to Scott Powers of The Athletic, the Chicago Blackhawks have not reached out to free agent Alex Kerfoot yet. The Blackhawks have been linked to Hobey Baker award winner Will Butcher, but at this point don’t seem to have any interest in the former New Jersey Devils’ draft pick. Kerfoot met with Vancouver earlier today and has received interest from several other teams.