PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) – Since day one on the job, new Penguins General Manager Jim Rutherford has pretty much been an open book, and Tribune-Review Penguins Beat Writer Josh Yohe joined Starkey and Mueller to tell us about the latest information Rutherford is giving out.
“I asked him about the Penguins’ free agency situation,” Yohe said. “He essentially said that [Matt] Niskanen and [Jussi] Jokinen are as good as gone, in fact he said ‘It’s time for them to go out and get their big contracts,’ I believe were the words he used. He also said you never know what can happen and he’s not against bringing them back, but financially he doesn’t think it’s realistic. He doesn’t really want to talk about the Brooks Orpik situation but I certainly don’t expect him to come back either.”
Free agency isn’t the only issue Rutherford needs to get figured out as his team is still without a head coach after his top candidate Willie Desjardins decided to sign with the Vancouver Canucks.
Given the level of openness Rutherford has with the media, Yohe also talked about what the GM has had to say about the ongoing search.
“I did ask him some coaching questions as well, and he gave me some information,” Yohe said. “He did tell me a couple of new people were involved and that these were people who he thought, because of contracts were not available in the last week, but now maybe are available. I specifically asked him about Guy Boucher and he would not comment on it. It would not surprise me if he was the guy. When this job became available a few weeks ago, Boucher was one of the first guys I thought of.”
Click the audio link below to hear Yohe also talk about the Pens willingness to trade their first round pick as well as the teams ownership pushing for Rick Tocchet to be an assistant coach on the new head coaches staff.