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NHL Rumours: Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning

NHL predictions

It’s time for another edition of NHL rumours to end your week. The 2023-24 regular season is drawing to a close, but the rumour mill keeps going. Teams may be thinking about the upcoming playoffs. However, there are still questions about next season that many clubs need to answer. Do teams have enough room to keep the players they acquired around longer? Today’s NHL rumours focus on the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Tampa Bay Lightning.

All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.

NHL Rumours

Pittsburgh Penguins

Rumour: On a recent edition of 32 Thoughts, Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman speculated on what the crease may look like for the Penguins after this season.

Analysis: Pittsburgh has seemingly come back from the dead to be in the mix for a Stanley Cup Playoff spot. Tristan Jarry was good in the early part of the season, but Alex Nedeljkovic has stepped up his game as of late. This brings up a possible quandary for the club this coming off-season.

Penguins general manager Kyle Dubas was looking to move a goalie at the deadline. However, the team’s resurgence put a hold on that. There’s a young goaltending prospect named Joel Blomqvist that’s playing in AHL Wilkes Barre/Scranton. Blomqvist has put together a solid season with the “Baby Penguins” with a 24-10-6 record, 2.12 goals-against-average and .921 save percentage.

Friedman and Marek said there were rumours about Jarry getting looks from other teams. Jarry is currently making $5.375 million through the end of the 2027-28.

Nedeljkovic is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and currently makes $1.5 million. The 28-year-old is probably going to draw some interest from clubs if he hits the open market.

One concern that the two insiders bring up is that Jarry has a bit of injury history. Both Friedman and Marek agree that Jarry is talented, but the injury history is concerning to Dubas. Do the Penguins try to make a move and allow Nedeljkovic and Blomqvist to share time in the crease? This off-season brings a lot of possibilities.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Rumour: We stay with 32 Thoughts and the future of Anthony Duclair with the Lightning. The veteran forward was acquired at the deadline and could draw some interest.

Analysis: Duclair has drawn raves from his new team since coming over from the San Jose Sharks at the trade deadline. Both Marek and Friedman said that 28-year-old forward could slot into a lot of places.

The Pointe-Claire, Quebec native has bounced around to a few different teams in his 10-year NHL career. However, he’s been a valuable cog for the many teams that he’s played for over the years.

Marek and Friedman are both fans of Duclair’s skill set and speed that makes him valuable at both ends of the ice. Duclair has six goals and six assists for 12 points in 14 games since coming over from the Bay Area.

The forward has missed a little time due to an illness. However, he’s been a massive acquisition for the Lightning this season.

The main issue is do the Lightning and general manager Julien BriseBois have the money to make a deal happen. Duclair is in the final year of a deal that sees him make $3 million and he could have a chance to cash in on July 1.

Tampa Bay does have the advantage of its great weather and it not having a state income tax. This might make a deal stretch a bit further than it would in other locations. The Lightning do have other priorities like locking down Steven Stamkos to a new deal. However, bringing back Duclair for next season should be on BriseBois’ to-do list.

Main photo by: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports


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