Latest Penguins Buzz

Insider Only Latest Penguins Buzz on eve of the 2011 trade deadline

The 2011 NHL Trade Deadline is fast approaching and the Penguins continue to monitor the market for a top-9 forward.
The Penguins won’t be making any moves tonight as the prices for rental players will come down tomorrow.
The Penguins today re-assigned Dustin Jeffrey, Joe Vitale and Brian Strait in what a source in Dustin Jeffrey’s camp believes is a cap savings move for the Penguins to add a roster player via trade.
In the past 48 hours, the Penguins are said to be looking pretty hard at the center market. They have checked in on the availability of Jason Arnott but the Penguins would have to get creative with their cap situation, if Sidney Crosby were to come back this season. However, all signs still point to Crosby not returning this season.
The Penguins interest is just considered “preliminary” at this point. Nine points out of the playoff race, Arnott will likely consider waiving his NTC for the “right team”.
The vibe right now is that the Penguins are looking more at a depth top-9 forward (winger or center) with some skill and offensive ability than a true top-6 forward.
At the center position, two names to surface include:

Florida’s Marty Reasoner and Buffalo’s Rob Niedermayer who is having a miserable season. Sources indicate Panthers GM Dale Tallon is seeking a second round pick for Reasoner, which likely has Pittsburgh out of the mix.
Reasoner, 34, has 12 goals and 26 points this season and a plus-4 rating.
Niedermayer has 0 goals – 13 assists and a minus-2 rating in 51 games played this season. The Penguins who some will remember, offered Niedermayer a one year deal just days into free agency this past summer.
I’m not sure what the Penguins saw in Niedermayer then but he’s a name I’ve heard making the rounds in the past couple days as it would cost Pittsburgh nothing to acquire him.
The Penguins are believed to be looking at Reasoner as a 3rd line center, with questions surrounding Sidney Crosby’s return.
They sought Niedermayer in that role last summer.
Tidbits
— Pittsburgh has close to $2 million in cap space and that’s not counting Sidney Crosby’s available money they could use.
*– Pittsburgh has shown a willingness this winter to package a deal surrounding prospect Eric Tangradi in return for a long-term winger. Last year he was an untouchable. There doesn’t appear to be a deal out there that fits now but look for Tangradi to remain in play at the draft for the right player that fits cap wise.
Are they down on his potential? Yes…. but no one inside the organization will obviously admit that.
–* Top prospects Simon Despres and Beau Bennett are untouchables and Pittsburgh continues to show no interest in moving their 1st round pick. They will only move their second round pick for the right player.
–*Here’s a name to keep an eye on this summer. Flames winger Curtis Glencross. Sources indicate the Penguins have checked into the availability for Glencross on several occasions of late.
With the Flames now back in the playoff mix, they don’t want to move the 28 year old winger who has 20 goals on the season. Glencross is a free agent at seasons end.
–*The thumb injury to Chris Higgins has Higgins off the Penguins radar. The overall forward market for the Penguins is becoming slim.
–* Two players with some skill who are available on the cheap. Florida’s Radek Dvorak and Minnesota’s Chuck Kobasew.
–*As for Leafs winger Clark MacArthur. He remains a possibility to be traded as a new contract between the two sides was not close as of Saturday.
— Sources in Max Talbot’s camp indicate there has been no discussions with the Penguins about a new deal at any point and no talks are scheduled for this season.
The sense is Talbot’s going to have to earn a new contract with his play down the stretch.
However, the chances of Talbot returning next season are slim, unless he were to accept a similar salary (1.05 million 10/11 salary).
Wild idea but should the Pens consider an offer for Talbot, if for example a contender out West was willing to give up a mid-round pick? One of those contenders seeking a depth forward is Vancouver.
This from TSN’s Bob McKenzie: “VAN {Vancouver} is using its 2nd round pick as bait for depth forward who makes less than $2M per year. VAN is scouring league for the right fit. Could be big and tough, maybe a PK specialist or FO artist. More experience the better.”
–*It appears status quo that if the Penguins add a defenseman, it will be for a borderline top-6/No. 7 defenseman and not a true No. 6 defenseman. Pens GM Ray Shero continues to indicate the Penguins are not in the market for top-6 defenseman.
— Check in tomorrow morning for live Pens and NHL Trade Deadline Updates.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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