Trade to Penguins a shock for Bonino - 07-28-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

For the second consecutive offseason, Nick Bonino is on the move.

Today, the Penguins acquired the 27-year-old center from the Canucks, along with defenseman Adam Clendening and a 2016 second-round draft pick in exchange for center Brandon Sutter and a 2016 third-round pick.

During the 2014 draft, the Canucks acquired Bonino as part of a deal which sent center Ryan Kesler to Anaheim.

Earlier this afternoon, Bonino, a native of Hartford, talked about being traded again, what he expects with the Penguins and being back on the East Coast.


What was your reaction to today's trade?

"It's a shock at first for sure. It's definitely exciting coming to a team that's won in the past and won recently. It definitely makes me pretty excited."

You've been traded twice in as many offseasons. What has the past 13 months or so been like?

"It's been a whirlwind. When you've been traded like this. It's a little bit sad. You're leaving guys – I think that's that's the worst part – you're leaving guys in Anaheim that I've grown up with for four or five years and then in Vancouver that you've bonded with over the last year. That's always a shock but at the same time, it's exciting. You get to meet a new group of guys. I'm excited to do that."

The last two seasons have been your most productive as an NHL player. What has worked for you over that span?

"I think it was confidence. I think it was being put in a position to succeed. I know my first few years in Anaheim, I wasn't playing a game I could play that I was good at. I was playing limited minutes and that's very normal for a young guy so I don't hold anything against them. But I think [Ducks coach] Bruce Boudreau and [Canucks coach] Willie Desjardins both gave me ice time. They gave me opportunity and I think in this league, that's really big. You get confidence from that. The two years, I had really good power-play numbers and last year, with the [first power-play unit with the Sedin twins] playing a good amount of minutes, my power-play numbers weren't as good but my even-strength numbers went up and I think that's even more important. I think it comes down to confidence and opportunity."

In the past, centers like Jordan Staal and Brandon Sutter have seen some benefits of playing behind Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Do you anticipate something similiar for yourself?

"I think flying under the radar is nothing new to me. That's something I'm used to. Those guys are world class player. Last year in Vancouver, I played a lot of minutes against tough, tough centers. Guys like [Anaheim's Ryan Gezlaf] and [Los Angeles' Anze Kopitar] and [San Jose's Joe Thornton] and stuff like that. I think it's a role I can play. Maybe help a bit more offensively. But at the same time, if you can get four lines to score in the NHL these days, that's how teams are winning and that's how teams are successful. That's obviously something that I'll be looking to contribute to, the offense and play two ways."

You grew up in Connecticut and played at Boston University but have spent your entire NHL career on the West Coast. What is it like being on the Eastern side of North America?

"I think it makes our cross-country drives a little bit easier. My wife and I have driven out to Anaheim and Vancouver back and fourth every single time. Probably four times. It makes it a little bit easier on my family for watching. I know my 90-year-old grandparents watch every game and they stay up. I'm happy they get to watch me a little bit earlier. It's definitely going to be a change."

You're listed as a center. Have you played much wing in your career?

"Not really. I've pretty much been a center. I'm not the fastest guy. Wingers these days are usually fast. Not to say I can't skate out there but I've been pretty comfortable at center just being able to keep my feet moving, always moving, supporting the puck. That's something that I enjoying doing is playing center. I'm not sure what they have in store for me but I've always been a center."

How much do you know about how the style the Penguins play under head coach Mike Johnston?

"We watch a lot of hockey obviously before our games on the West Coast. I've seen the Penguins a ton. They're always in the playoffs. I know they've got such good offensive players. It's always exciting to watch them. I'm excited to see where I fit into that. I know it's nice getting out of that Pacific Division because that's a big, physical division that gives your body a beating. It will be nice to get to Pittsburgh and have a little easier travel and see what the Eastern Conference is about."

Did you have any sense that being traded again could have been a possibility?

"This was a complete blind side. Last year, TSN was reporting that Kesler was on the move and he had two destinations in mind. So that was a possibility. This year, when I saw [team president] Trevor Linden's name [on the caller ID] I joked to my wife, 'Oh, maybe I got traded again.' Then I answered the phone thinking it was a 'keep-in-touch' call over the summer. This was a complete shock. Absolutely zero percent that I knew anything about so it's definitely shocking."

(Photos: Rich Lam/Getty Images)


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Penguins trade Sutter to Canucks, sign Fehr - 07-28-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

The Penguins restructured their bottom two lines in a major way today.

The team traded third-line center Brandon Sutter and a third-round pick in 2016 to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for center Nick Bonino (above), defenseman Adam Clendening and a second-round pick in 2016.

Additionally, the Penguins signed former Washington Capitals center Eric Fehr to a three-year contract worth $6 million. The deal will have a salary cap hit of $2 million.

Sutter, 26, has one year remaining on a contract with a salary cap hit of $3.3 million according to He played in 80 games last season and scored 33 points (21 goals, 12 assists). The Penguins acquired Sutter during the 2012 draft as part of a trade which sent center Jordan Staal to the Carolina Hurricanes.

"He's actually, believe it or not, one of my favorite guys and I've ended up trading him twice," said Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford, the former Hurricanes general manager. "I appreciated what he's done. He was one year away from being an unrestricted free agent and I felt with this opportunity, it was a chance to get somebody for him in Nick Bonino and Adam Clendening.

"We really like Nick as a center iceman. Adam is an up and coming young defensemen who is a skilled offensive player. On top of that, in doing this, it opened up cap space that we could add more depth to our forwards and add Eric Fehr who is coming off a a very good year in Washington and a player that we've liked for quite some time."

Bonino, 27, has two years remaining on a contract with a salary cap hit of $1.9 million. In 75 games last season, Bonino scored 39 points (15 goals, 24 assists).

Clendening, 22, is signed to a one-year, two-way contract worth $761,250 at the NHL level. He appeared in 21 NHL games last season with the Canucks as well as Blackhawks and scored four points (two goals, two assists).

Fehr, 29, underwent elbow surgery June 3 and is expected to be sidelined four to six months. In 75 games last season, he scored 33 points (19 goals, 14 assists).

The second-round pick the Penguins acquired originally belonged to the Anaheim Ducks. The third-round pick the Penguins dealt was originally acquired from the Buffalo Sabres as compensation for the hiring of former coach Dan Bylsma.

Some highlights. Of Bonino:

Some of Glendening:

And of Fehr:

(Photo: Rich Lam/Getty Images)

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Liner Notes Vol. XVII

Written by Elizabeth Bloom on .

Some goodies from the music journalism world:

From NPR, the revival of Pakistan's classical music scene 

From the Guardian, how music became free 

From the Buffalo News, legal drama in the Buffalo Philharmonic's woodwind section 

From the Cincinnati Enquirer, a shakeup at the Cincinnati World Piano Competition (with the surprise ouster of Pittsburgh native Awadagin Pratt) 

From NPR, the revival of Ethel Smyth's "The Wreckers" 


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Nakye Sanders to miss Ireland trip

Written by Craig Meyer on . 


Duquesne freshman forward Nakye Sanders will not participate in the team's upcoming trip to Ireland while recovering from a surgery. Last week, Sanders underwent a procedure to treat a bone chip in his left knee.

Aside from the chipped bone, there was no structural damage and even one week removed from the operation, Sanders is able to walk without assistance. There's no definitive timetable on a return, but he will be reevaluated in about three weeks.

A 6-foot-8 forward, Sanders finished his high school career as the seventh all-time leading scorer in Staten Island boys' basketball history. As a senior, he averaged 16.6 points and 15.2 rebounds per game. The Dukes leave Aug. 4 for a nine-day trip to Ireland in which they will play three games against foreign competition.


Craig Meyer: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Twitter @CraigMeyerPG


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Empty Netter Assists - National television schedule released - 07-28-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-The schedules for NBC's and NBC Sports' slates of games next season was released. The Penguins' games on the networks are:

(Note: All times are listed as Eastern.)

Oct. 28 - Penguins at Capitals, 8 p.m. (NBC Sports)
Nov. 11 - Canadiens at Penguins, 7:30 p.m. (NBC Sports)
Nov. 17 - Wild at Penguins, 7:30 p.m. (NBC Sports)
Dec. 1 - Penguins at Sharks, 10:30 p.m. (NBC Sports)
Dec. 9 - Penguins at Avalanche, 10 p.m. (NBC Sports)
Dec. 16 - Penguins at Bruins, 8 p.m. (NBC Sports)
Jan. 6 - Penguins at Blackhawks, 8 p.m. (NBC Sports)
Jan. 18 - Penguins at Blues, 8 p.m. (NBC Sports)
Jan. 23 - Penguins at Capitals, 12:30 p.m. (NBC)
Feb. 10 - Rangers at Penguins, 8 p.m. (NBC Sports)
Feb. 18 - Red Wings at Penguins, 7 p.m. (NBC Sports)
Feb. 21 - Penguins at Sabres, 12:30 p.m. (NBC)
Feb. 24 - Penguins at Bruins, 7:30 p.m. (NBC SPorts)
March 8 - Penguins at Islanders, 7:30 p.m. (NBC Sports)
March 13 - Penguins at Rangers, 12:30 p.m. (NBC)
March 20 - Capitals at Penguins, 6 p.m. (NBC Sports)
March 27 - Penguins at Rangers, 7:30 p.m. (NBC Sports)
April 9 - Penguins at Flyers, 3 p.m. (NBC)

-The full league-wide schedule can be found here.

-Former Penguins defenseman Jordan Leopold, currently an unrestricted free agent defenseman, is still looking for work

-Former Red Wings captain/defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom said former Penguins captain/forward Mario Lemieux was the best player he ever faced.

-Happy 46th birthday to former Penguins goaltender Garth Snow (right). A free agent signing just prior to the 2000-01 season, Snow's Penguins career amounted to 35 games hat season in which he went 14-15-4 with a 2.98 goals against average, .900 save percentage and three shutouts. Easily the highlight of his season was a 40-save effort in a 5-0 shutout of the Maple Leafs. Snow probably would've been the first star of the game had it not been for some guy making his season debut that night. In the 2001 offseason, Snow was signed by the Islanders. He is currently the Islanders' general manager.

Atlantic Division

-The Sabres “mutually agreed to part ways” with president Ted Black and replaced him with Russ Brandon. Brandon is also the managing partner and president of the NFL's Buffalo Bills. Both franchises are owned by the Pegula family. Black is a former executive with the Penguins and Fox Sports Pittsburgh.

Central Division

-The Predators re-signed restricted free agent forward Colin Wilson to a four-year contract worth a total of $15.25 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $2 million, Wilson's new deal will have a cap hit of $3.9375 million. Wilson, 25, appeared in 77 games last season and scored 42 points (20 goals, 22 assists).

-EN Says: Wilson (right) broke through in a contract year with a career year. With coach Peter Laviolette preaching an offensively aggressive approach, Wilson reached the 20-goal mark for the first time in his career. A former first-round pick (No. 7 overall in 2008), Wilson took a while but he seems to finally have reached his considerable potential. Capable of playing wing and center, Wilson has some size (6-foot-1, 216 pounds) and plays a hard game. If he can grow or even maintain last season's success, this contract will be a bargain.

-The Avalanche re-signed restricted free agent forward Joey Hishon to a one-year, two-way contract.

Pacific Division

-What is the Coyotes' long-term future with their new lease for Gila River Arena?

Patrick Division

-Will former Avalanche forward Daniel Briere, currently an unrestricted free agent, retire?

-What is the the Look Up Line?

(Photos: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images and Rick Stewart/Allsport)

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