Here’s a quick synopsis of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ goaltending situation.

Stop me if this sounds vaguely familiar to any other recent sports storyline in Pittsburgh.

The Penguins invested a lot of faith in Tristan Jarry and positioned him as their goaltender of the future and the present. As the season went along, he had some good moments, but the team was stagnant and on the outside of the playoff picture.

Late in the season, Jarry gave way to his backup when he became unavailable for a game because of health concerns. The team got hot with the backup in place, won a few games in a row, and Jarry never started again for the remainder of the season.

After the season, though, the head coach and general manager pushed their chips in on Jarry anyway and made it sound like they have the utmost confidence in him moving forward.

So, in other words, expect Jarry to be traded to Philadelphia any minute now.

Yes, the Jarry-is-to-Kenny Pickett as Alex Nedeljkovic-is-to-Mason Rudolph comp that we have all made for weeks is now even extending into the offseason.

Despite every indication that the Penguins have had second thoughts on their long-term plans for Jarry — benching him for 12 straight crucial games down the stretch of this season — both the general manager and head coach are throwing their weight behind him.

“It’s no slight against Tristan. I think people will want to make it that,” GM Kyle Dubas said on his Penguins Radio Network show Wednesday. “I think it’s a perennial conversation in sports around the goaltenders, the quarterback, different things of that nature. I think that both are very good goalies in the league, and Ned has just stepped up at this pivotal time because Tristan was sick, and he’s run with it.”

OK. Not quite Omar Khan’s “We have full faith in Kenny” line, but you get the picture. Meanwhile, head coach Mike Sullivan echoed those sentiments Thursday at his season-ending press conference.

“I thought Ned played terrific down the stretch,” Sullivan said. “That was one of the reasons why we chose to put him in goal. That doesn’t diminish our belief in Tristan at all.”

Uh oh. If Sully works in an “iron sharpens iron” or “paint the red barn red” soon, I might actually think it’s Mike Tomlin’s voice I’m hearing.

“We believe that Tristan is a solid NHL goalie,” Sullivan continued. “It’s a credit to Ned that he worked extremely hard and put the work in to be prepared for the opportunity when it came calling. We believe we have a tandem that is very capable.”

In other words, expect the Penguins to be signing Russell Wilson as soon as possible. I know he was a baseball player too. Does he have it in him to be a three-sport star? How about Justin Fields? Can he skate?

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Meanwhile, maybe Jarry should be gassing up for a trip down the PA Turnpike or some other NHL destination to be determined.

Although here’s where the Pickett-Jarry analogy starts to dry up. Pickett was on his first contract. He was easy to trade. Every NFL team could use a cheap, young, former starting QB as a backup.

Jarry has four years at $5.3 million remaining on his contract that he signed just last summer. And the Penguins just told the entire league what they really think of Jarry by sitting him for 13 consecutive games down the stretch.

Despite what the coach and GM may be saying publicly.

In 12 of their last 13 contests, the Pens were playing “gotta have it” hockey, and they never put Jarry back in between the pipes as a starter— not even after he got healthy from a late-season illness that ran through the team. Not even after Boston snapped Nedeljkovic’s point streak at 10 games and chased him in the second period of a game last Saturday.

Oh by the way, let’s not act like Nedeljkovic was a brick wall along the way. Credit the guy for playing winning hockey. He was 8-1-3 to close 2024. But his save percentage was .898, and his goals against average was 2.92. Not exactly Martin Brodeur-esque. By comparison, Jarry, on the season, had a .903 save percentage and a 2.91 GAA.

Yet Nedeljkovic’s play in late March and April was deemed untouchable, even though four times during that stretch, the opponent scored at least five goals in games he started — once he got benched and three times a third-period lead resulted in a trip to overtime.

Let’s see how hard the Pens really bid to keep Nedeljkovic in free agency. Despite all the love for Rudolph in January, he went to Tennessee for a song in March.

Let’s see how much or how little the club shops Jarry on the open market once the playoffs end.

In my view, Dubas and Sullivan spoke with their actions this spring. What their words mean now is very little, with a long summer looming.

Recent history in Pittsburgh suggests that is the prudent outlook to have.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at or via X. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.