CHICAGO -- Nothing surprised me more in covering the Penguins' miserable trip finale here this week -- no, not even that abysmal loss to the Blackhawks -- than hearing from people directly involved that this team is ... at least beginning to think about getting younger.
And I'll repeat that for emphasis: This was a surprise.
Because every conversation I've had with Jim Rutherford from the day he was hired, including an extensive talk he and I had on the topic a few weeks back in Toronto, has pointed powerfully toward now, now, now. And trust me, that still applies. When a roster's carrying Sidney Crosby, there's never a bye year, much less any scale of rebuild. Every winter is now, now, now.