Penguins Rumors: Key Reason For Hextall Firing Revealed

Things really fell apart for the former Pittsburgh Penguins' general manager Ron Hextall over the past year with a few poor decisions involving trades that really contributed to the ending of the 16 year playoff streak. We'll first take a look at the trade deadline before jumping back to what wrong moves were made in the offseason.

Penguins' insider Josh Yohe wrote that multiple general managers scoffed at Hextall for acquiring Mikael Granlund at the deadline for a second round pick. They wondered what he was exactly thinking with that move. More so, some sources indicated that the trade wasn't even Hextall's idea in the first place, but former assistant general manager Chris Pryor's idea that Hextall followed blindly.

Why the trade for Granlund was scoffed at was because the former Nashville Predators' player was likely seen by some as a potential cap dump for a team trying to reset. With two more years remaining at $5 million AAV and Granlund slotting in on the third line, the Penguins committed to a player making a fair deal of money and paid a significant price.

The belief is that Granlund, with the contract he has and just 10 goals on the year, should have cost much less. What trade blunders from the offseason also didn't turn out well at all. The Penguins' defense was altered quite a bit as Michael Matheson and John Marino were shipped off and Pittsburgh brought in Jeff Petry and Ty Smith, the latter who only played nine games in the NHL this season. While Petry didn't bounce back to the extent the Penguins were hoping for, Matheson was the Montreal Canadiens' number one defenseman while Marino had a very good season for the New Jersey Devils. We'll see what more changes come and who takes over in Pittsburgh for next season.

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