The Pittsburgh Penguins went into yesterday’s free agency frenzy with eight defensemen already under one-way contracts for the upcoming season. Then they made their biggest signing of the day a three-year deal for Jan Rutta. Now, with too many defensemen and not enough spots, it appears a trade is coming.
General manager Ron Hextall admitted as much at a press conference yesterday, explaining there were a “couple too many” defensemen with the team now. It should come as no surprise then when David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period reports that John Marino and Marcus Pettersson are both “out there” in trade talks today. The two defensemen are both signed for at least three years and at least $4MM per season, meaning these won’t be scrap heap buys for anyone who is interested.
- The Philadelphia Flyers are expected to hire Rocky Thompson, according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet. The former minor league enforcer parted ways with the San Jose Sharks last September, explaining that due to a medical exemption that prevented him from taking a COVID-19 vaccine, he was not permitted to continue as the team’s associate coach. Thompson has a strong coaching resume that includes stints as the head coach of the Windsor Spitfires and Chicago Wolves, though as Charlie O’Connor of The Athletic notes, it is unclear what kind of restrictions his vaccination status will lead to next season.
- It appears as though Shakir Mukhamadullin could be spending another year in the KHL, as he is listed in the league transfers as signing a new contract with Ufa Salavat Yulaev, the club he has spent the last several seasons with. The New Jersey Devils prospect did sign his entry-level contract in the NHL but it includes a European Assignment Clause. It is likely that this new KHL agreement is in case he fails to make the Devils roster out of camp, and will lead to his return overseas instead of assignment to the AHL. There’s no rush for the 20-year-old, though he will burn the first year of his ELC no matter where he plays this season.