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Penguins getting some healthy bodies back + GM search updates

February 4, 2021, 8:18 PM ET [174 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Pittsburgh Penguins continue to wait things out before they get back into game action on Saturday. Today they did something overdue and worked extensively on the power play. Reports from Josh Yohe at practice had the first unit working without any penalty killers. They had dummies on the ice and their only objective was to shoot, shoot some more, and shoot again. It’s kind of sad it got to this point, but here we are. Rumor has it when the penalty killers joined in and the first unit committed to shooting the puck they scored a few goals. The problems on the power play certainly aren’t talent related so maybe this drilled the point home.

There was some good news on the injury front. Joining practice with normal jerseys were Kris Letang, and Mike Matheson. The Penguins desperately need NHL bodies on defense and getting their best one back is great Mike Matheson is obviously better than Kevin Czuczman so that will help, too.

Zach Aston-Reese is getting close to a return. He too was a full participant in practice today. It is nice to see because he is overcoming a serious injury, but it isn’t a game changing addition to the lineup. In fact, I would not reunite ZAR-Blueger-Tanev when he’s ready to come back. I would leave McCann with those two and Aston-Reese can play with Jankowski and whoever Mike Sullivan goes with between Sam Lafferty or Colton Sceviour

What is going on with the GM search? Kevin Weekes and Patrik Allvin were given interviews.



Quite frankly, I like the latter rather than the former. I have no interest at all in taking a chance on Kevin Weekes, who has literally no front office experience. Weekes needs to put some time in as an assistant general manager or something. It would be ridiculous for the Penguins to jump in and take that kind of risk considering where they are as a franchise. The Penguins situation is probably now one of the toughest in the league. The former guy left the team with no flexibility moving forward with an aging core. The next person will have to expertly balance giving Crosby and Malkin all they deserve and then aggressively pursue a rebuild. I’m supposed to believe Weekes is the guy for that? Yeah right.

We know at least two people who will not be the next general manager of the Penguins. Chris Drury and Jason Botterill




This one is a little concerning as the Penguins were pretty high on him. To have one of your preferred candidates express no interest and take themselves out of the running is never ideal. Who knows if Chris Drury is a legit GM prospect, but the Penguins thought he was. In these situations with a pretty famous NHL player I always wonder if his name was Chris Smith and not Chris Drury would he have the same traction.




Yeah, this is fine. Botterill wasn’t a mover and a shaker with the Sabres. Not nearly aggressive enough for what the Penguins would need at the moment. The fact he kept Rasmus Ristolainen instead of trading him was a real negative in my book.

If the Penguins still really want Tom Fitzgerald they aren’t showing it through action right now.




Last but not least there was an interview with Ron Hextall today




He is probably the best candidate mentioned in the blog. We’ll see what rumors surface after this meeting. It would be funny if the Penguins had Rob Brown in on the zoom meeting to see if it threw Hextall of his game.

Thanks for reading!
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