TIOPS DAILY FIVE
*Rumblings, Musings, Opinions*
1. What is Brandon Sutter’s worth on the trade market? The Penguins probably wished rival General Managers had Darren Dreger’s view of Sutter.
[“I mean Brandon Sutter is a young man, relatively young, and has tremendous upside no question about that,” Dreger said on TSN Radio, via mynhltraderumors.com]
Maybe one does but as the Penguins have been gauging Sutter’s value in recent weeks, he’s not going to nab them a 2015 first round pick, that much has been clear. The Penguins main goal, though, has been putting him out there in the hopes of landing a top-6 winger in return.
That type of deal might not be there for the Penguins with so many teams trying to shed salary, tight against the cap, Sutter a year away from unrestricted free agency and a trade market flooded with impact forwards available.
Some teams that really like Sutter, Los Angeles and Montreal, among them, are tight against the cap, while Winnipeg with an interesting trade chip in the rights for Alexander Burmistrov, are a team that has expressed interest but informed the Penguins they have some other things to tend to before they would consider a deal for Sutter.
The Penguins targeted Edmonton in talks recently but based on the player the Penguins were targeting in talks, it quickly got nowhere and they were shutdown, sources say.
Carolina has interest but there’s no Jordan Staal deal to be made.
Would Montreal trade PA Parenteau in a second for Sutter? Yes they likely would, and those are the type of deals the Penguins might have to take if they are dead set on trading Sutter to shake things up and get something before he walks next summer. Any trade for Sutter I don’t think it’s going to be a sexy one to the Penguins fans that looks great on paper, at least to some.
2. It remains to be seen whether he stays put, but Penguin coaches have expressed a comfort level in Rob Scuderi returning next season. They feel there is still a need for a stay-at home veteran presence like Scuderi and assistant coach Gary Agnew, according to a source, has interest in Scuderi being a security blanket for Derrick Pouliot in a third pairing role.
3. The Carolina Hurricanes want to move Alex Semin’s contract (3 years, $21 million left on deal) in the worst possible way. Just using him as an example here — Rob Scuderi is only owed $5.5 million in cash over the next two seasons, $3 million in 2015-2016, $2.5 million in 2016-2017. There’s no question I believe the Penguins could trade Scuderi to Carolina for Alex Semin, assuming Carolina is still off Scuderi’s no trade list with Carolina saving $15.5 million in cash.
The Hurricanes are looking for any type of deal where they could move Semin and save them a lot of money. Easier said than done but from the Penguins standpoint, Semin could easily be acquired, though, who wants to take that risk?
Those above Jim Rutherford have become obsessed with how the Penguins are viewed from the outside and the concerns of the PR hit the Penguins would take in gambling on Semin has cooled that talk for now. Although he often does what he wants, not certain Rutherford wants to go there when there’s little support from others in the organization in bringing Semin on board. Acquiring Semin will be all on him. Wouldn’t be surprised if it happened as mentioned before but some doubts are starting to emerge.
4. Jameson Taillon was scratched from his scheduled rehab start because of lower abdominal pain. According to the Pirates, Taillon felt pain in the lower abdomen area about 24 hours after his latest outing on June 18 when he threw 74 pitches. Taillon was scheduled to pitch in the Gulf Coast League this week which would have been his first official action with a Pirates minor league affiliate since 2013. The hope had been that Taillon would be in Triple-A within three to four weeks but everything is on hold for now as the Pirates determine the severity of the injury.
5. Neil Walker returns to the lineup tonight for the Pirates. Walker has had a rough month, batting just .224 in the month of June, and likely just a coincidence, he’s been notoriously a bad hitter in June the last couple seasons.
Walker hit .255 (12-47) last June, .209 (18-86) in June 2013.
Walker usually gets going in July, which has been his best combined month the last three seasons (July 2012, 2013, 2014), with a battling line of .318/.388 .573., to go with 13 home runs, 40 RBI.