Jay Caufield On Penguins Off-Season, NHL Playoffs

Caufield Weighs In On What To Expect The Penguins To Do This Off-Season

The Cook & Joe Show
May 02, 2019 - 11:52 am

© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Related: Mack: About Those Malkin Trade Rumors...

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) - Since the Pittsburgh Penguins were swept and eliminated in the 1st Round of the NHL Playoffs by the New York Islanders, there has been a lot of discussion around what the plans are this off-season for the Penguins and what changes could be coming.

Names that we have heard could be on the trading block have been Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Phil Kessel.  AT&T Sportsnet Penguins Analyst Jay Caufield joined Cook and Joe Thursday morning and says he is curious to see how this off-season goes for the Penguins.

"When you go out and you get swept and this is a team that has been around, guys that have played a long time and they've looked tired and it's just what's going to happen in professional sports, things are going to shake up," said Caufield. "I think it's the way they went out, it's the amount of time these guys have been together playing the game and had such great success. And obviously not all of them, but the core have won cups and done an outstanding job and at some point it comes to you need a change, you need something and that's what it's about in my opinion."

Caufield says when you look at some of the most successful franchises in all sports, they all find a way to "cut bait and move on" from some of the players that have helped them achieve success and then reload to keep the team's success going year after year.

The Penguins depth was challenged against the Islanders and what changes need to be made this off-season to improve that heading into next season because they need to get more out of their role and depth players. And Joe Starkey asked Jay about two of those players in Zach Aston-Reese and Dominik Simon.

"Zach Aston-Reese has to be a physical presence and they have to get more out of him," said Caufield. "I know he was hurt, he comes back and jumps right into a good slot, but they needed production from him too. And a physical pressence that when he steps on the ice you go through things, but they need production from certainly both.  I mean obviously Simon just didn't find the back of the night, but players like him (Simon) on the line, they like how he plays that little give and go game."

Looking back on the Islanders series, it was clear that guys didn't have their best series and the Penguins need to get some sort of production from all four of their lines.

Matt Murray is entering the final season on his current contract and what kind of deal will he be looking for, whether from the Penguins or another NHL team if he makes it to free agency.

"Obviously, we all know his resume and what he has been a part of and accomplished, we all know that he is better than the other guys (you have mentioned)," said Caufield. "If you're going to go off of that, than he's going to want a big number. And if you're the Penguins, you're going to sit there and go ok the last couple years things have tailed off, but then he went strong and we saw the game Murray plays and the strong push to get the Penguins into the playoffs. You got to find out where you want to distribute the money and obviously goaltending we all know how valuable that is and what it means."

They also take a look at what has been a wildly unpredictable NHL playoffs this year and make their Eastern and Western Conference Final predictions.

Listen to the entire interview with Jay Caufield below:

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