NHL Network: Jamison Coyle, Kevin Weekes, EJ Hradek and Steve Kouleas on the state of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

** NHLRumors.com transcription

Coyle: “As somebody who has been an ambassador in this league for quite some time number 87 in Pittsburgh. Yeah, will ask you about this, cause Pittsburgh’s playoff hopes right now, I mean, miniscule. You ask anybody here it’s out the window.

So what is the future hold for Sidney Crosby? Do you think he’s a Penguin? Would you want him to be a Penguin for the next couple of years?”

Kouleas: “I think he’s gonna stay and I think he’s the only sacred cow, everything else is up for grabs. Whether it’s time for Malkin to move on. Remember when you have no-trade, no-move right Weeksey, you decide your own future.”

Weekes: “Yeah.”

Kouleas: “So would you would just sign (Alex) Nedeljkovich and trade (Tristan) Jarry to get something for him? I mean, Jeff Carter is I guess, gonna retire. Are they gonna buy out or take some of the money left as far as you know, Riley Smith is concerned.

So I mean, this is disappointing because if Sid gets to a point again, or over a point a game this year, he’ll break the tie he’s got with Wayne Gretzky, he’ll his own record of 19 years of more than a point a game on average in the National Hockey League.

So I don’t know what he’s gonna do. I got him over my shoulder here, but he doesn’t tell us anything. When he gets married, it’ll be a royal wedding eventually, but this is disappointing because he’s so good this season. He was so good last night again, but it won’t be enough.

And it’s not a rebuild. Right guys? It’s gonna be a retool. And who stays and who goes it’s a clash of opinions. I think it might have to start with a conversation, the awkward one with Evgeni Malkin. What do you guys think?”

Weekes: “I don’t disagree, and I can tell you this. For any of the markets and all the very deserving, and a lot of this will be impacted by what happens in the postseason or what doesn’t happen in the postseason, league wide.

Okay, so if the Rangers all of a sudden go down the first round, what’s the post-mortem? Like it was for Boston last year? What was the post-mortem? Who could be available? What would they want to do? If Vegas goes down, if any of these favorites go down, that could change the calculus.

And in saying that, the biggest offseason in the National Hockey League for me is the Pittsburgh Penguins. How do they navigate it? What do they do? What does the future look like?

And if you’re doing a retool, they better be all in and they better hit, you better be able to hit to convince Sidney Crosby that this is where he needs to stay going.”

Hradek: “It’s gonna be really, it’s gonna be really tough. I just think, you know, when you have to we, you know, Kouley we’ve seen this over the years. I remember growing up with those Islanders, teams and guys get older, and you have to make hard decisions and that was in a pre-cap era too when teams could spend what they wanted to. Now you have to worry about cap dollars.

This is going to be a tough one for Kyle Dubas. Sidney Crosby, I’m (totally??) with it, he’s going to make the call as to what he wants to do, right? He’s going to determine if he wants to stay and finish his career in Pittsburgh, or if he wants to go somewhere else.

But as for the other people that are there, whether it’s (Kris) Letang, whether it’s Malkin, whether it’s (Erik) Karlsson. I mean, these are decisions that are going to have to be made and we’ve seen great players end up in different places. Marty Brodeur ended up as the St. Louis Blue. I mean, Henrik Lundqvist would have ended up as a Washington Capital if he had not had the health issue that he had. So it’s gonna be tough stuff for Kyle Dubas.”

Weekes: “Yep.”


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