Penguins Head Coach, Free Agency, Trade Updates
Joining Johnston behind the bench is former Penguins' winger Rick Tocchet. Tocchet was a no nonsense kind of player and one can assume that that trait will carry over as the new assistant coach. Tocchet will no doubt play a role in being a disciplinarian and a coach who will push the right buttons when the team may be getting too comfortable. He will bring an edge to the Penguins, one they have been lacking for the last five years.
Todd Reirden and Tony Granato were relieved of their duties by General Manager Jim Rutherford on Wednesday, June 25th as well. Reirden immediately found a new home by becoming an assistant coach for the Washington Capitals alongside their new bench boss, former Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz.
Free Agency Rumors
Matt Niskanen spoke to the Penguins and will make himself available on the free-agent market on July 1st.— NEIL SHEEHY (@ICEHockeyAgent) June 26, 2014
6 teams have called on Deryk Engelland, tough physical d who can scrap and play wing too. Jonas Hiller getting early interest from 4 clubs.— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) June 25, 2014
Rumored as of late is the name of James Neal. Neal, who has clearly not performed up to his standards and expectations, especially during the playoffs was rumored earlier as to asking for a trade out of Pittsburgh. Since then, rumors have been running wild with teams like Ottawa and Phoenix being the two most recent I've heard. Of course, nothing is in the works, as far as the public knows, but according to TSN's Darren Dreger, time and price will tell.
Understandably, gm's continue to call Pittsburgh on potential of James Neal trade. Nothing worth considering at the moment.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 26, 2014
One thing is for positive, the Penguins are clearly rebuilding and willing to let key pieces walk away and trade building blocks, if need be. Tomorrow night could be another incredibly important piece in that rebuilding stage.