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RE: GM search update, and Bennett’s woe.

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A quick update before the Memorial Day weekend likely slows the Penguins’ search for a new general manager…

 

>> CEO David Morehouse is said to have staged talks with several candidates and plans to pick up conversations next week. However, no formal interviews are said to have taken place.

 

>> The Penguins are said to prefer wrapping their GM search within 2-3 weeks.

 

>> Candidates said to be on ownership’s radar include: interim GM Jason Botterill, Lightning assistant GM Julien BriseBois, Maple Leafs VP of hockey operations Dave Poulin, Rangers assistant GM Jeff Gorton and Blackhawks assistant GM Norm Maciver.

Botterill is said to be very much in contention to replace former GM Ray Shero because ownership believes Botterill and Shero have different philosophies when it comes to the type of hockey team to build and style to play.

 

>> ICYMI, the latest on the Penguins’ injury-plagued week: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/6160496-74/maatta-penguins-surgery

Shoulder surgeries are tough on defensemen, who already take a lot of punishment by retrieving pucks. Though recovery prognostications of 4-6 months likely mean Olli Maatta and Derrick Pouliot will be playing hockey before the calendar year ends, keep in mind both defensemen will miss an entire offseason of training. Pouliot is 20 and Maatta 19. This summer was going to be big for their physical development, and now it is going to be lost to rehab sessions.

As for winger Beau Bennett, who had a second wrist surgery within seven months – look, the Penguins will hope for the best with their first-round pick from 2010; but Bennett has been operated on a lot for a 22-year-old player. He has played 166 hockey games – in college and as a pro – since he was drafted four years ago. Injuries have already limited his development, and this past season was basically a lost cause.

Two years ago, Bennett was viewed as a top-six forward in-waiting. Now he will have a new GM, one that may be less impressed by a young player that cannot stay healthy. This latest wrist surgery may limit Bennett for what should prove a pivotal training camp in his young career.

 

Be EXCELLENT to each other, and thank a veteran (as you always should),

Rossi

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Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi is the lead sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has been called many names, but “Rossi” is the one to which he most often responds. He joined the Trib in November 2002 and was promoted to the columnist role in July 2014. Previously, he had covered the NHL’s Penguins (2006-14) and MLB’s Pirates (2006), while also working on beats associated with the NFL’s Steelers (2005-06) and the NCAA’s Pitt (2004-06). He has won national and local awards for his coverage of youth concussions and athletes’ charities. Also, he is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association executive committee and the Pittsburgh chapter chair. Raised in Crafton and Green Tree and a graduate of West Virginia University, he has covered a Super Bowl, All-Star Games in baseball and hockey, the NCAA basketball tournament and over 100 Stanley Cup playoff games, including the Cup Final twice. Oh, and his sports reporting has led him to brief chats with Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen; so that’s pretty cool. He is a regular contributor on TV with WPXI, Root Sports Pittsburgh and TSN. Also, he is the authorized biographer of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.

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