For the first time in the past three years, the Pittsburgh Penguins need to put a new plan in motion to get back to Stanley contention and win another championship. After two consecutive triumphs in 2016 and 2017, the loss at the hands of the Washington Capitals in the second round of the playoffs has pushed the Penguins' management to come up with solutions to make sure they can go all the way once again in the upcoming season.
While some moves have been made to strengthen the blue line, many believed more was under way in Pittsburgh to better the roster moving forward. While many rumors have been heard, the latest involving defenseman Kris Letang, it seems like the Penguins and their general manager Jim Rutherford are having a change of heart.
According to Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Rutherford said he will stay in the mix if he hears certain players are available regardless of how his team is doing, but he is not going to make additional moves this offseason. On top of the Letang rumors, it was believed that since the Penguins carr six centers, the team might have more moves in store this summer. However, Rutherford is expected to keep his roster the same for now, and evaluate his club’s performance and act accordingly.
Derick Brassard has been also mentioned several times amongst trade chatter, however, there’s a feeling that a healthy Brassard will have a better performance this season. Furthermore, the forward is quite versatile and could be used on the wing if needed.
While Rutherford could always swing a deal before training camp opens, it seems that the Pens GM has a new strategy in mind: to remain patient and see how his current roster performs.
“I'm happy going into opening night with what we have, but I'm not going to just close the door on the trade market,” Rutherford kept saying to the Tribune Live. “It's the same as always. If something comes along that makes sense for our team for whatever reason, we'll talk about it.”
His next big move will likely take place at some point during the 2018-19 season.