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Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford Discusses Offseason Plan After Early Playoff Exit

August 26, 2019


THE KDKA SPORTS REPORT IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY ALLEGHENY HEALTH NETWORK. GOOD EVENING. I’M BOB POMPEANI. THIS WAS THE EARLIEST THE PENGUINS CLEARED OUT THEIR LOCKERS IN 13 YEARS. 2006 THEIR SEASON CRASHED EARLY IN APRIL, BUT TODAY REALITY SUNK IN AS THE PENGUINS FACED THE RESULT OF BEING SWEPT IN FOUR GAMES BY A YOUNG AND HUNGRY NEW YORK ISLANDERS TEAM. MOST PEOPLE EXPECT SIGNIFICANT CHANGE WITH THIS ROSTER WHICH HAS WON TWO CUPS IN FOUR YEARS. SIDNEY CROSBY THINKS THIS TEAM IS STILL GOOD ENOUGH TO MAKE PLAYOFF RUNS. YEAH, I DO. IT’S ALWAYS EASY TO POINT FINGERS AND LOOK AT REASONS WHY YOU LOST. THAT’S KIND OF THE NATURE OF WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU LOSE, BUT IT’S A PRETTY FINE LINE. THAT’S WHAT I’VE LEARNED OVER THE YEARS AND, YOU KNOW, YOU’VE BEEN IN THE SERIES WE JUST PLAYED, YOU KNOW, IT’S PRETTY SMALL, THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WINNING AND LOSING. YEAH, THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WINNING AND LOSING THAT ISLANDERS SERIES WAS CLEARLY MISTAKES. NEW YORK EMPLOYS SORT OF THIS ROPE-ON-DOPE GAME PLAN WHICH TEMPTS A TEAM LIKE THE PENGUINS TO STICK HANDLE THROUGH IT. WHEN YOU DO, YOU MAKE MISTAKES AND GIVE UP ODD MAN BREAKS. TODAY MIKE SULLIVAN WEIGHED IN ON WHAT HAPPENED AND WHERE THE TEAM GOES FROM HERE. Reporter: THE PENS GENERAL MANAGER DID NOT HOLD BACK TODAY. HE SAID CHANGES ARE COMING AFTER WHAT HE SAW ON THE ICE. IT’S ALMOST REALLY HARD TO BELIEVE WHAT YOU’RE SEEING HERE IN PITTSBURGH. I DON’T THINK AS IS, BUT THE WINDOW’S STILL OPEN. I THINK IT SHOULD BE OPEN FOR MORE THAN JUST ONE YEAR, ALSO. I’LL SAY THE OBVIOUS, BASED ON HOW THINGS FINISHED, WE’RE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO DO IT THE WAY WE FINISHED. Reporter: WHO OR HOW MANY IS THE BIG QUESTION NOW. WE HAVE A LOT OF GOOD PLAYERS AND PLAYERS THAT HAVE GOOD RESUMES, PLAYERS THAT HAVE WON STANLEY CUPS AND PLAYERS THAT HAVE CONTRIBUTED BIG TO THAT AND SO DEPENDING ON WHAT CHANGES WE DECIDE TO MAKE, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE VALUABLE ASSETS TO MAKE SOME OF THOSE CHANGES. Reporter: IT WASN’T ONLY THE PENS POSTSEASON PLAY THAT BOTHERED RUTHERFORD. WE WERE A TEAM. WE WERE A VERY TIGHT KNIT TEAM AND I DIDN’T SEE THAT THIS YEAR ALMOST FROM DAY ONE. I DIDN’T SEE A POINT WHERE OUR AND I WONDER IF IT’S BECAUSE THERE’S TOO MANY GUYS CONTENT WITH WHERE THEY’RE AT IN THEIR CAREERS AFTER WINNING A COUPLE STANLEY CUPS AND IS THAT A SIGNAL WHERE SOME OF THAT HAS TO BE CHANGED WHERE YOU’VE GOT THAT EAGERNESS AGAIN? Reporter: RUTHERFORD WASN’T THE ONLY ONE TO POINT OUT THE PROBLEMS THIS YEAR. MIKE SULLIVAN KNOWS WHAT HAS TO CHANGE. THE CHALLENGE IS TO MAKE SURE THAT THERE’S 100% BUY-IN THROUGHOUT THE LINE-UP AND I THINK THE AREA OF OUR IDENTITY THAT WE’VE LOST A LITTLE BIT IS THE HARD TO PLAY AGAINST ASPECT. Reporter: SO IT’S SAFE TO SAY WE’LL SEE SOME CHANGES WITH THE PENGUINS NEXT YEAR. RUTHERFORD WANTS TO COOL OFF A BIT BEFORE HE MAKES ANY FINAL DECISIONS AND SOME MOVEMENT COULD HAPPEN DURING THE NHL DRAFT JUNE 21st 22nd. WITH THE PENS IN CRANBERRY, RICK WALSH. YOU OFTEN SEE HIGHLIGHT REEL GOALS WHEN THINGS WORK, BUT WHEN IT DOESN’T, THE COURSE OF THE GAME CAN CHANGE IN A NEGATIVE WAY. KRIS LETANG WAS ASKED ABOUT MAYBE DIALING BACK HIS RISK TAKING AND HE GOT A LITTLE DEFENSIVE ABOUT THAT. WHAT HE ASKED, YOU DON’T WANT ME TO MAKE A MISTAKE, I’LL TRY THAT. NEXT YEAR I’LL TRY TO MAKE NO MISTAKES AT ALL. Reporter: I’M NOT SAYING THAT. I KNOW IT’S A GAME OF MISTAKES. I’M SAYING WOULD YOU EVER CONSIDER DIALING IT BACK? I KNOW YOU MAKE A LOT OF GREAT PLAYS BECAUSE YOU TAKE A LOT OF RISKS AND SOMETIMES THEY DON’T WORK OUT. THAT’S THE THING. NEXT YEAR THEY’RE GOING TO SAY HEY, WE’RE HAVING KRIS ON OUR LINE-UP AND HE DOESN’T DO ANYTHING DEFENSIVELY. SO NOW YOU’RE GOING TO RIP ME

2 Comments

  • Reply Cameron Mataka April 19, 2019 at 7:55 am

    How long is Kessel & Letang under contract fir???oh????…just tank the next 3 seasons….worked in the past.

  • Reply Drew April 22, 2019 at 2:13 am

    Absolutely no heart this postseason.

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