Evgeni Malkin leads the NHL with (24 goals ‚Äì 56 assists ‚Äì 80 points) and is a +19. Despite leading the NHL in the points, Malkin is not even in the top 3 when it comes to the M.V.P. discussion. For him to get into the top three by the end of the season, he will have to get the Penguins into playoffs and there‚Äôs been talk he will have to get into the 40 goal plateau.
A lot of experts who have votes look at goals, Ovechkin and Parise are going to easily top 40. Is it right to overlook the assists Malkin is putting up? No it‚Äôs not but he‚Äôs going to need at least 40-43 goals to push Ovechkin who seems to be most people‚Äôs front runner, even though Malkin leads Ovechkin by 12 points in the scoring race.
Kris Letang is an untouchable at the trade deadline. The Penguins will not be moving him so disclaimer any rumors you hear regarding Letang.
According to TSN.Ca, the Dallas Stars have placed Sean Avery on waivers. The NY Post reported on Friday the Rangers and Stars could be working on a deal involving Avery.
The Carolina Hurricanes have acquired Lightning forward Jussi Jokinen. Former Penguins defenseman Joe Melichar is among the players heading to Tampa Bay. Wonder if Greg Malone played a role in Melichar landing in Tampa?
The Detroit Red Wings (33-11-7) face off against the Edmonton Oilers at 3:00 p.m. this afternoon before departing for Pittsburgh
A lot of buzz going around about the Wings making a strong attempt to sign forwards Johan Franzen and Marian Hossa.
I‚Äôve been told the Wings and Franzen are discussing a 7 year deal worth $28-$30 million.
There’s talk that the Wings have presented Ritch Winter the agent for Marian Hossa an initial offer of 6 years – $38 million. The Wings are willing to go as high as 8 years and the two sides could settle on 8 years – $50 million. The two sides are talking salary in the range of $6-$6.25 million per season.
Hossa continues to express a desire to remain with the Red Wings: “I know what I kind of want, I want to stay for a long time,” Hossa told the Booth News. “This is great to be part of. We’ll see how the negotiations will go, what Ken and Ritch tell me. It could be a few days, a few months or after the end of the year.”
Mike Babcock deserves a lot of credit for luring Marian Hossa to Detroit. He played a vital part in Hossa signing with the Red Wings and is playing a part in Hossa wanting to sign long-term with the Red Wings.
Despite being the #2 seed in the Western Conference, there‚Äôs a lot of question marks about the Red Wings goaltending situation. Chris Osgood has been inconsistent and there appeared to be some tension between Babcock and Osgood following Wednesday‚Äôs game. Babcock and Osgood both denied the two are at odds following Friday‚Äôs practice. Babcock appeared frustrated with Osgood’s performance after Wednesday’s game against the Phoenix Coyotes, a 5-4 Wings victory in which Osgood allowed two late goals, according to the Detroit News.
Onto the Latest Trade Chatter
As it has been speculated for a while the Penguins have indeed inquired about Colby Armstrong. Asking price is very high and the Thrashers want Alex Goligoski
Kevin Allen of USA Today reports the same about the Thrashers not wanting to move Armstrong and indicates the Thrashers would have to be blown away to move Armstrong. I keep hearing they are very high on Armstrong, so don‚Äôt look for Armstrong to return to Pittsburgh unless Shero is willing to drastically overpay.
Talks with the Nashville Predators about Martin Erat have gone nowhere to this point. Could change in the coming weeks. The two teams are just not a good match right now.
The Montreal Canadiens have been attendance for the Penguins past two games and the Penguins had an representative at the Sabres-Montreal game yesterday.
The Canadiens are in the market for an offensive defenseman and I asked a team official whether they have interest in Ryan Whitney and he said no.
My source claims the Canadiens were looking at Lightning forward Jeff Halpren on Wednesday.
Surprisingly Kings GM Dean Lombardi will move left winger Alexander Frolov in the right deal. As any good GM would do Ray Shero made an inquiry over four weeks ago. I‚Äôm told it would take something along the lines of Ryan Whitney, Tyler Kennedy and a 1st round pick for the Pens to land Frolov.
Kings have had interest in Whitney, Goligoski, Kennedy
Two players I don’t see the Penguins making a play for is Toronto’s Nik Antropov and Nashville’s Steve Sullivan. A report in ESPN named Pittsburgh as a team that could make a play for Sullivan.
The Buffalo Sabres remain interested in Hal Gill who the Penguins are open to moving along with Philippe Boucher, and Mark Eaton.
The Sabres have also inquired about Ryan Whitney a few weeks ago.
Actively trying to find a suitor for Boucher
As mentioned earlier in the week the Islanders and Penguins have been scouting each other. Penguins have had their eye on Bill Guerin.
Despite being close to Sidney Crosby, it is not a foregone conclusion that Guerin will accept a trade to Pittsburgh if they remain on the fringe of the playoffs.
There has been no significant talks with Senators GM Bryan Murray about rugged winger Chris Neil. Penguins are interested but Murray is going to wait until the last possible minute to move Neil as there are currently up to eight teams interested.
Ruslan Fedotenko is expected to receive clearance from doctors to return to the lineup on Monday.
Look for Eric Godard to be scratched tomorrow.
Photo courtesy of Dan4th