Welcome to Pittsburgh Penguins News & Rumors where we cover all the hot topics surrounding the hockey club and dive into more than just the box scores. Get ready for some rapid-fire headlines that will run us through all the noise surrounding Pittsburgh’s beloved Penguins.
Penguins Starter Getting Team Canada’s Attention
When Team Canada’s management team went to work at the end of last season, they created a long list of goaltenders they wanted to get a better look at in 2021-22. The six goalies who made the list did not include Tristan Jarry. Recently, Team Canada’s general manager Doug Armstrong called the goaltending depth chart fluid and admitted the team isn’t quite stacked at the position like other countries.
Jarry is off to a blazing start this season, sitting with a 10-4-4 record along with a 1.85 goals-against average and a .938 save percentage. Needless to say, he’s bounced back just fine from a horrible performance during the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season. Jarry has been the Penguins MVP so far this season and deserves every bit of attention from Team Canada’s brass. Look for him to get some serious consideration as the team’s number three netminder.
Penguins Forward Doesn’t Require Surgery
In some wonderful news on many levels, Penguins right winger Bryan Rust will not require surgery on his “lower-body injury”. He was hurt during warmups last weekend and the immediate worry was that he was going to need season-ending surgery.
It turns out that Rust is now considered week-to-week and will continue to rehab until he’s ready to return to the ice. It’s a massive season for the pending unrestricted free agent as he currently does not have a contract for next season. Rust has been productive when he’s played in 2021-22 with nine points in 12 games. He and the Penguins are hopeful he will be back in roughly a month or so and can get back to providing some quality production on Sidney Crosby’s right wing. He just may have to fight Evan Rodriguez and his stellar start to the season for ice time, though.
Penguins Legend Returning to the Lineup Soon
Evgeni Malkin keeps ramping up his on-ice workouts and has been seen skating for quite some time now. This week was another huge step though as the Penguins legend returned to practice with the team in Calgary, wearing a non-contact jersey. It was the first time all season he skated with the full group.
Malkin hasn’t played this season and is recovering from knee surgery in June. The Penguins have managed to salvage a decent start to the season without “Geno” as they currently sit 10-7-5 on the season after a tough shootout loss to the Flames. Getting Malkin around the group is a great sign for not only the Penguins but also for the player’s morale. Rehabbing an injury can be lonely times and practicing again will give the veteran center some hope that there’s light at the end of the tunnel yet. The expectation is it’s going to take at least another week of practice and expect to see number 71 in the Penguins lineup before the calendar year concludes.
Trade Rumors Picking Up in Pittsburgh
I posted an article earlier this week suggesting the Penguins should inquire about San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane. My thoughts included that if the Sharks are willing to retain half of Kane’s $7 million salary, why wouldn’t the Penguins inquire about the asking price. Moving someone like Jason Zucker and his $5.5 million deal for Kane would provide the team some financial flexibility, but also it would be an upgrade to their roster.
Zucker has underwhelmed since his arrival in a blockbuster trade with the Minnesota Wild and doesn’t seem to have the kind of chemistry you’re looking for with Malkin from last season or with Jeff Carter so far this campaign. A trade with a ton of risks, sure, but the Penguins have the leadership group in place to ensure Kane stays on the right path.
Another name in the rumor mill this week is Jake DeBrusk of the Boston Bruins. The 25-year-old pending restricted free agent formally asked for a trade last week and there’s rumored to be over 12 teams who have inquired. While he’s certainly an option for the Penguins, at $3.65 million for a player who has three goals in 18 games, is it worth it?
Players from the Penguins who you should expect to see included in trade rumors as we creep closer to the deadline include Zucker, Marcus Pettersson, and Casey DeSmith. But all the fire sale chatter, let’s just put that to bed. The Penguins are trying to win the Stanley Cup this season and won’t be selling off all their assets.
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Shane’s been a part of The Hockey Writers team since 2020, covering the Toronto Maple Leafs & Pittsburgh Penguins. A constant contributor, his versatile perspective on game results and everything off the ice produces diverse content. You can also find him on the Maple Leafs Lounge podcast with Peter Baracchini and Alex Hobson. Follow along on Twitter @ShugMcSween