NHL Rumors: Blue Jackets interview Gallant, will the Penguins trade Malkin and Letang?

The Columbus Blue Jackets interviewed Gerard Gallant for their open head coaching position. And the NHL Rumors Mill will be buzzing around the Pittsburgh Penguins this offseason. Head coach Mike Sullivan may be let go after the Pens opening round loss, but the talk will be around Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang.

Blue Jackets interview Gerard Gallant, three other interviews scheduled

Aaron Portzline of the Athletic reports that Gerard Gallant met with the Blue Jackets last week via Zoom at the World Championships. He also notes that Rick Tocchet, David Quinn, and Columbus assistant coach, Brad Larsen are also scheduled to interview for the head coaching job.

In the article, Portzline also mentions Bruce Boudreau, Kirk Muller, and Kevin Dineen but they have yet to be contacted.

NHL Rumors Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang

nhl rumors malkin letang
Evgeni Malkin with Kris Letang trailing (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Back in late January, there was a lot of talk about the Penguins considering trading veterans to rebuild around Sidney Crosby. On an episode of TSN’s Insider Trading they touched on the subject and started licking their chops at what a trade market would look like with Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang on it.

Now, Malkin has one more year after this season remaining on his contract, but do those players, especially Sidney Crosby, want to chase a Stanley Cup elsewhere, or is retiring as a Pittsburgh Penguin equally important? The direction of the club of the next two years is going to determine how that discussion goes as early as this summer. But, imagine if those names were in play at some point in the near future?

Darren Dreger

Here we are after the Penguins opening round loss to the Islanders and the talk is starting up again. President Brian Burke and GM Ron Hextall will have to make hard decisions but their captain, Sidney Crosby believes in his teammates.

“I’ve never been one to try to be GM,” Crosby said after the series loss. “I think those guys want to win. And I know that we’ve been together a long time. I’ve seen how much they care, their commitment; I don’t ever doubt or question that. There’s so many parts. And it is a business, so that’s up to other people.”

The Penguins will need to decide this summer, and it is likely they trade at least one of either Malkin or Letang to start to rebuild the roster.