On the Pittsburgh Penguins …
Emily Kaplan of ESPN: Keys to the Pittsburgh Penguins offseason.
1. Address their blue line – The Penguins were looking a depth defenseman at the trade deadline but weren’t able to acquire one. They need to add some this offseason. Matt Hunwick is under contract through 2019-20 and is a buyout candidate. Their main priority should be to acquire a reliable second- or third-pairing defenseman. They should be able to find one in the middle-tier free agent market.
2. Re-sign their pending RFAs – Their list of RFAs includes Riley Sheahan, Dominik Simon, Tom Kuhnhackl, Bryan Rust and Jamie Oleksiak. Sheahan could be pricey to re-sign. The Penguins will be close to the cap again. Their only UFA is Carter Rowney who they could let walk, or sign him to a cheap deal.
3. Make a trade for some draft picks – The Penguins have traded away their first- and fourth-round picks this year. They may be able to offer up some NHL-ready players or some that could be close to being NHL ready.
On the Nashville Predators and Edmonton Oilers …
Chris Nichols of FRS Hockey: Elliotte Friedman on 630 CHED was asked about Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis and if he could be a trade target of the Oilers this offseason. Ellis is going to be looking for bigger contract soon and the Predators are without a draft pick in the first two rounds.
“I can’t see Nashville moving Ellis,” said Friedman. “I just don’t see it. He’s a Predator born and bred. He’s happy to be there. He’s one of theirs, right. I think they would try to sort out the whole situation with Ellis before they would consider moving him. I think he’s a very big part of their identity and who they are.
“I think Nashville would exhaust every possibility about keeping him before they would consider moving him. And from everything I know about Ryan Ellis, he loves it there and he would make it work.”