The Pittsburgh Penguins kept inventing new ways to lose these days. They have lost three consecutive games including a 4-2 loss at home on Monday night against the New York Islanders. Pittsburgh with the loss has dropped out of a playoff spot.
They have made the postseason 16 straight seasons and that streak is in massive danger. The Islanders are 3-0 against them this season. Do you want to know something else? Pittsburgh lost all three meetings against the New Jersey Devils and all four meetings against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Pittsburgh Penguins have also lost their last nine games against Metropolitan Division teams.
They may have some game in their hands and there might be time left, but if you think this hockey team will do anything in the postseason, you're absolutely delusional. It is time for them to be sellers and start the rebuild. You may think Stanley Cup or bust for this franchise, but even defenseman Kris Letang feels dejected in his postgame press conference and knows they're screwed.
General manager Ron Hextall/Brian Burke/head coach Mike Sullivan should all be fired at the end of the season no matter what happens unless they go on a miraculous run. They need a head coach and a general manager who will share the same vision for the long haul. It's time to put the feelings of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang aside for the moment.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have the worst farm system in the NHL. Their AHL team, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins is currently the worst team in their division in that league. That means they have no prospects and it needs to be reloaded. This is why they need to sell at the NHL Trade Deadline this season.
The first order of business would be to trade players with expiring contracts for draft picks or prospects. Left winger Jason Zucker has an expiring $5.5 million contract and he would maybe get a decent return. Teddy Blueger who is owed $2.2 million and Danton Heinen who is owed $1 million should also be dealt.
No one would probably want Josh Archibald in a trade who is owed $900K for the rest of the season. Here are two interesting ones: defenseman Brian Dumoulin and goalie Tristan Jarry. Dumoulin is owed $4.1 million and there would be some teams that would want him because of his veteran experience and has also won Stanley Cups. Some teams would maybe over pay for him.
Jarry is owed $3.5 million for the rest of the season. He has talent but is always injured and it would be hard to imagine keeping him for the foreseeable future at this point. There are other teams that could use him as a rental for the playoff stretch. Tristan Jarry is not worth keeping around and plus he isn't clutch in big spots.
Two interesting pieces to trade: Jeff Carter owed $3.125 million and Kasperi Kapanen owed $3.2 million and their contract expires after next season. These two players have been underwhelming on the third line and maybe they can help someone else and get a return.
As for the rest of the team, they have bad contracts they can't unload at the current moment. A lot of people believe that Ron Hextall was sent to the Pittsburgh Penguins by the Philadelphia Flyers to destroy the franchise from within. Well maybe it is true, but there is no way he gets past this season.
Pittsburgh should tank to get a better draft pick. It won't land them Connor Bedard, but it will land them somebody to get this rebuild jump-started. The only top prospects this franchise really has at the current moment is defenseman Owen Pickering and forward Valterri Puustinen.
Casey DeSmith and Dustin Tokarski are good enough in the net to lead a tank job. They also need to find a goalie of the future because it appears they don't have a goalie of the future.
Lastly, they have played in 56 games so far this season and have a record of 27-20-9 with 63 points. The Pittsburgh Penguins playoff days are over and it's time from them to tank.