More nuggets on Burke, Hextall, and injuries
It has been a whirlwind of information the past 24 hours. The hiring of Ron Hextall was expected. The Penguins going with a president of hockey operations for the first time ever and it being Brian Burke was out of left field. It is a lot to take in! This is a huge change in how the Penguins do business.
While there are certainly some negatives with Brian Burke as there are with any hire there are also some positives. A big one in my opinion is that it keeps Ron Hextall insulated from David Morehouse. I personally don’t want Morehouse near anything to do with decision making. Brian Burke can provide that cover for Hextall and he can hold his own with Morehouse. Burke isn’t going to back down for better or worse. For me, I’d rather Burke make hockey decisions than Morehouse. So getting Morehouse a few positions removed from tangible hockey choices is a good thing in my book.
I also think Burke will treat the players better publicly than Rutherford did. You won’t see Evgeni Malkin left out to dry over a summer. I doubt you see him eviscerate a player out the door like we saw with Justin Schultz. Burke has a self-imposed trade deadline before the holidays to not disrupt families during that time of year. The league has one, but Burke’s is around ten days longer.
Some other nuggets
Hextall had the opportunity for an assistant GM role in Seattle. He declined because he wanted to be a GM. Score one for betting on yourself.
Can’t blame him. He already put in the time as an assistant and his name was still being thrown around for all the interviews for GM openings. He was always going to get interviews for the big chair. Why add an extra step in-between?
Here is a list off the interviews Pittsburgh had with candidates
The nine interviews I’m aware of for Pittsburgh were (in alphabetical order) interim GM Patrik Allvin (who returns to his assistant GM role), Burke, Boston’s John Ferguson, Michael Futa, Hextall, OHL London’s Mark Hunter, Jason Karmanos, Colorado’s Chris MacFarland and NHL Network’s Kevin Weekes. Weekes, I believe, got a long look for the role Burke received. It opens more possibilities for him.
Glad the role went to Burke and not Weekes.
There might be some more people coming on board as Hextall might want to bring some of his own people over
Hextall’s strength with the Flyers was considered to be his work building up the farm system and prospects. Might as well bring in the person who helped him.
As far as the on-ice updates are concerned we have a few injury related items. The first is that Jared McCann is no longer day to day and is now week to week. He will be missing some game action. While McCann hasn’t been great (his two goals were pretty fluky) he does give the Penguins the best chance to generate offense from the bottom six.
Marcus Pettersson was practicing for the first time. He was in a no-contact jersey, but it is a good sign he has started skating. He has missed seven games so far.
Evgeni Malkin left the ice during practice and did not return. Did Burke already trade him? Is Geno out with an injury? His eye was irritated and the team was just exercising some extra caution. Malkin will be in the lineup Saturday. He is on a three game point streak with four points in his last five games.
Thanks for reading!