Player News - Penguins

Date: Team: Pos:

Pittsburgh General Manager Jim Rutherford said he was excited to add winger Phil Kessel on Wednesday.

"I'm very excited about what happened today," Rutherford said on Wednesday. "We've worked on this deal with Toronto for a month, or over a month. It got a little bit of legs on draft day, but it really heated up last night, and we were able to complete the deal today." Kessel gives the Pens an elite scoring option on the wing for Sidney Crosby and/or Evgeni Malkin. The 27-year-old scored 25 goals and 61 points in 82 games with the Leafs last season. Kessel's numbers should spike now that he will be playing with other elite offensive players.
Jul 2 - 5:48 PM

Will O'Neill has inked a one-year, two-way deal with Pittsburgh.

O'Neill had 48 points and 74 penalty minutes in 72 AHL contests in 2014-15. He'll come with a $575,000 annual cap hit at the NHL level.
Jul 2 - 3:12 PM

Oskar Sundqvist is a candidate for the fourth line center's job in Pittsburgh.

Maxim Lapierre held the spot last season but with the Penguins acquiring Phil Kessel, there is not a lot of money available under the cap so Sundqvist's entry level contract may do the trick. Sundqvist impressed during training camp last fall and had nine goals and 19 points with Skelleftea of the Swedish Elite League in 41 games. "Sundqvist is a very strong candidate," GM Jim Rutherford said. "He had a good camp, and he’s not far away. But even if we got a center and Oskar’s ready to go, we’ll just move one of them to the wing. I don’t want to close the door on Oskar. He’s going to be a real good player."
Jul 2 - 10:16 AM

Phil Kessel is supposed to start working out with Gary Roberts shortly.

The perceived problem with Kessel has been his apparent lack of conditioning but if he sticks with the program that Roberts will give him, he certainly will be a difference maker in Pittsburgh next season. Roberts, a former NHL star, runs a high performance gym in the Toronto-area and oversees many NHLers including Steve Stamkos. Look for a big season from 'Phil the Thrill' in Pittsburgh this season.
Jul 2 - 9:52 AM

Steven Oleksy has signed a two-way, one-year deal with the Penguins.

Oleksy will get $325,000 when he plays in the NHL and $250,000 when he skates in the AHL. Oleksy appeared in only one game in the NHL this past season and over three years has 62 unremarkable games to his credit. Needless to say, Oleksy has no fantasy value.
Jul 1 - 4:12 PM

The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed Kevin Porter to a one-year/two-way contract.

Porter will receive $575,000 in the NHL and $250,000 while in the AHL. He had 16 goals and 39 points in 76 games with Detroit's farm club in Grand Rapids of the AHL.
Jul 1 - 4:01 PM

The Penguins have signed Conor Sheary to a two-year, entry-level contract.

The 23-year-old Sheary had a very succcessful season in the AHL scoring 20 goals and registering 45 points in 58 games. Sheary has been a bit of an overachiever as he was an undrafted University of Massachusetts star who seems to have adapted to the pro-style of play. That said, it is doubtful he will make much of an impact with the Pens in 2015-16.
Jul 1 - 3:39 PM

The Penguins have signed Sergei Plotinkov to a one-year, entry-level contract.

The 25-year-old Plotnikov has been a decent scorer in the KHL with 101 points in 159 games over the last three seasons. He also is a bit chippy and gets his share of penalty minutes. The Pens like his work ethic and his on-ice vision and may give him a chance to crack their roster in 2015-16.
Jul 1 - 3:15 PM

David Warsofsky has signed with the Penguins for one year and $600,000.

The former Bruins' rearguard has shown some promise with Providence of the AHL over the past few seasons but has yet to make his mark in the NHL. In four games with Boston last season Warsofsky registered one point. If he does make the Penguins roster out of training camp this season, he will slot in as a 5th or 6th rearguard. He is therefore, not draft worthy.
Jul 1 - 2:15 PM

Tim Erixon is now a Pittsburgh Penguin.

He was moved in the Phil Kessel deal mainly because the Leafs had to unload a couple of contracts to be under the NHL-mandated 50 limit. We have always liked Erixons' offensive potential from the blueline but we may be the only ones. We doubt Erixon will make much of an impact in Pittsburgh this season but you never know. Erixon's season high points total is seven in 42 games, achieved last season between three teams.
Jul 1 - 2:04 PM

The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed forward Kael Mouillierat to a one-year contract.

Mouillierat had a goal and an assist in six games with the Islanders last season, his first in the NHL. While in Bridgeport of the AHL, he had 24 goals and 50 points in 69 games. He'll be added depth for the Penguins who have had a busy day.
Jul 1 - 1:58 PM

The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired Tyler Biggs from the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Phil Kessel deal.

Biggs has lost all his perceived value as the former first round pick has not progressed at all since the Leafs took him 22nd overall in the 2011 Draft. He split the season between the ECHL and the AHL with six points in eight ECHL games and five points in 47 games with the Marlies.
Jul 1 - 1:45 PM

Phil Kessel has been traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins along with Tyler Biggs and Tim Erixon and a second round pick in 2016 for Kasperi Kappanen, Scott Harrington, Nick Spaling and the Penguins first and third picks in 2016.

The Maple Leafs will retain some salary, rumored to be in the $1.25 million range for the next seven seasons. This is a huge acquisition for the Pens as Kessel will slot in alongside either Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin and could score 40-50 goals provided he comes to Pittsburgh with the right attitude. The Maple Leafs were desperate to rid themselves of Kessel as he was rumored to be a cancer in the Buds' dressing room. We suspect Kessel will be on his best behavior when he reports to the Pens and we love the potential for him to bounce-back. Given that he has been one of the highest scoring wingers in the NHL over the last five seasons, Kessel is now a legitimate early second-round pick in hockey pools regardless of format.
Jul 1 - 12:57 PM

Conor Sheary would like to stay within the Pittsburgh Penguins' organization.

Sheary signed an AHL contract for the 2014-15 campaign and stood out with 20 goals and 45 points in 58 contests. He had another five goals and 12 points in eight playoff games. He was never drafted and made the jump to the AHL after completing his four-year tenure with UMass-Amherst.
Jul 1 - 10:00 AM

It appears that the Calgary Flames "kicked the tires" on possibly acquiring Toronto's Phil Kessel.

The deal never came to be, in part, because Toronto was not "not willing to retain any of Kessel's $8 million salary, although they were willing to take on player(s) from Calgary to alleviate the money," according to sources. Kessel is owed a $4M signing bonus on Wednesday July 1st, and it appears as unlikely as ever that he'll be off Toronto's books by then. Possible contracts Toronto might have been willing to take back include, Dennis Wideman ($5.25M cap hit), David Jones ($4M), and Mason Raymond ($3.15M). Calgary is currently about $15.2M under the cap ceiling as well.
Jun 30 - 8:11 PM

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