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Columnist says Penguins’ talk of culture change is ‘window dressing’

Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby

Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby


The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Rob Rossi ripped the Pittsburgh Penguins’ management for “The Collapse” in the kind of rant you’d expect to read about a team whose playoff hopes have already died.

It’s eyebrow-raising stuff, passing along some details that paint a picture of dysfunction from the Penguins’ ownership box down to the locker room.

Offseason moves and comments about a “culture change” left Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin wondering if they were alone in having each others’ backs, according to Rossi.

For another thing, it seems like new GM Jim Rutherford and head coach Mike Johnston both were limited in the amount of moves that they could make.

While many executives get the chance to “shop for their own groceries,” Rossi notes that they each were only allowed to choose one hire (Rutherford brought along Jason Karmanos while Johnston chose Gary Agnew). Otherwise, there are a lot of holdovers from the previous regime.

Rossi critiques some personnel moves, but digs the knife deeper when he writes that offseason claims of a culture change were mere “window dressing” and believes that a change of direction is needed once again.

Really, it’s pretty interesting stuff, so give it a read here.

It all makes you wonder if this could be some form of bulletin board material for the Penguins, as the piece almost reads like a postmortem for a season that isn’t over.

As mentioned in this post, the Penguins have been dealing with some poor luck lately, which might play a role in “The Collapse.” What if a few more bounces go their way, the Penguins take advantage of a lack of a salary cap to ice a complete defense and they perform better than expected?

Win or lose, the Penguins are rarely boring, so this could be an interesting ride.

Follow James O’Brien @cyclelikesedins