While Not Actively Pushing, Rutherford Willing To Listen On Offers Involving Malkin, Letang

Pens GM talks Kessel, Maatta trade and more!

The Cook & Joe Show
June 17, 2019 - 11:48 am

Related: Penguins Trade Olli Maatta To Blackhawks For Dominik Kahun, Draft Pick

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) - Last week it was reported Phil Kessel was not going anywhere at least to start the season and Monday on the Fan, Penguins General Manager Jim Rutherford said while he is not actively trying to move him at this point, he will listen to offers.

A trade to Minnesota was reportedly nixed by Kessel and Rutherford says that’s not good for the team.

“From a team point of view you can’t have the player controlling the trade because if you do it’s not going to work out for the team so at this point and time I view it that Phil will return with the team.,” Rutherford said to Ron Cook and Bob Pompeani.

Rutherford added that Kessel has a list of eight teams that he would be willing to be traded to and that Minnesota was not on that list.

Rutherford also said that defenseman Jack Johnson was not a part of the proposed trade to Minnesota.

When asked if players like Kris Letang, Evgeni Malkin and Patric Hornqvist would not be traded, Rutherford said after a delayed pause,

“I can’t but it’s the same as anything like there’s been great players traded in this league and if somebody comes along with a package that makes sense for the Penguins, we have to look at."

Rutherford also said he isn’t pushing to trade big name players but is willing to listen to offers that come his way.

Over the weekend Rutherford traded Olli Maatta to Chicago for Dominik Kahun and a draft pick.

He says the move was made for cap space reasons and they made some room with the trade of Maatta over the weekend.

They also got a draft pick and a player that is a good fit for the Penguins in Kahun.

“He did pretty well for his first year with 13 goals and 37 points but the big thing that stands out was the plus 10 on a team that didn’t have a lot of players on the plus side of the goals,” said Rutherford.

Rutherford says the team is still very capable and has gotten 100 points or more the past four years but that the big problem last year was the guys in the locker room didn’t come together as a team, “and have that team chemistry that was necessary and so some things have to change there, you have to change up a few players and we have to approach things a little bit differently.”

He expects to move more players before training camp.

Rutherford also talked about Coach Mike Sullivan and Matt Murray’s contracts and said they want to lock both up but are not worried about getting it done right away.

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