As the Penguins mid-season/pre-trade deadline evaluations are expected to resume this week, Pittsburgh is targeting defensemen with term on their contract.
It’s not a top priority but with Pittsburgh only having two defensemen under contract for next season and the team struggling in their own end, it’s something that’s been discussed.
A player like a Jack Johnson fits the profile but the Kings moving Johnson for Max Talbot is just fantasy talk and the two sides have not held any kind of substantive talks.
However, Los Angeles is among 2-3 teams that have been inquiring about Jay McKee.
When the Penguins signed McKee to a one year deal worth $800,000, the consensus from both sides is that this would only be a one year marriage as the buyout money McKee is getting from St. Louis gave Pittsburgh the opportunity to sign McKee for a low price.
While management has been concerned with McKee’s ability to adapt to the Penguins system, Pittsburgh is not ready to write him off.
Although McKee has struggled at times, he is a plus-10 on the season and I’m told Pittsburgh will be hard pressed to move him unless it’s a deal that brings a player in return with term on their contract that fits into the Penguins structure.
It’s going to be something to watch leading up to the trade deadline as Nashville and Chicago have also made inquiries.
NBC to pick Penguins-Capitals game on February 7th
Pittsburgh will be on NBC for the next three weekends as the station has already picked up the Penguins- Flyers game this week and Penguins-Red Wings game on January 31st.
NBC will not pass up on a Ovechkin – Crosby match up on February 7th. That will put the Penguins on national t.v. for three straight weekends.
Penguins to return to the ice this morning
Pittsburgh had an off-day on Sunday as the team traveled back from Vancouver. The team will practice this morning at Mellon Arena. We will have a full-practice report this afternoon.
The Penguins have yet to make any official roster moves. Brent Johnson will come off of injured reserve and barring a setback could start tomorrow night against the New York Islanders.
Brooks Orpik (knee) will likely be cleared to play tomorrow night if he goes through a full practice today. Orpik has missed the last four games.