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Penguins entering phase 2 of front office interviews

May 17, 2023, 4:42 PM ET [116 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Penguins are moving closer to making decisions on their front office. They are reportedly entering phase two of the selection process.

There are familiar names here, some of them pretty bad. I’m hoping Peter Chiarelli and Marc Bergevin are just getting the classic we’ll float you an interview just because this league loves doing so much.

There are some former Penguins with their hat in the ring. Sam Ventura is mentioned. Jason Botterill and Jason Karmanos were both former assistant general managers. I personally would rank Ventura and Karmanos ahead of Botterill. Even after accounting for the Pegula ownership meddling I wasn’t overly impressed with Botterill’s stint with Buffalo.

Eric Tulsky and Mathieu Darche are interesting candidates with what I would consider a modern toolbox for the job. Both are allegedly in the second phase. Eric Tulsky is my #1 candidate and it would be quite the hire. Best case scenario in my opinion.

There are three New Jersey candidates here. I like what the Devils have done to go from a forgotten about team to being very relevant and on the cusp of what should be a great competitive arc. I can’t speak specifically to any of the candidates (MacKinnon, Madigan, Dugan), but I can’t imagine they would fall into the “old school” category which I have no interest in entertaining. I’m willing to bet they are all on the proper

Then there’s John Chayka who is gaining steam

I think being the general manager for the Arizona Coyotes is a losing battle. It is a totally unserious franchise. It makes it tough to assess someone who has parameters in place which neuter one’s ability to do the job correctly. I still don’t like how he left the Coyotes by interviewing behind their backs (which led to a league suspension) and I don’t like how he cost them a first and second round pick for combine shenanigans. I’m fairly sure those two situations will be addressed head on in any interview process. The reality many times in life is it isn’t what you know, it is who you know. If Chayka does indeed have strong connections to FSG he will be given a legitimate chance to earn the job.

Overall, I think there are some quality individuals who if given a chance would do a decent enough job. The nice thing about the analytics style candidates is you are likelier to avoid the catastrophic mistakes which plague organizations. Such as, I don’t know, giving up a second round pick and taking on all of Mikael Granlund’s 5M cap hit.

More as it becomes available.

Thanks for reading!
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