tiops-smallLatest Penguins Buzz

23 days until the trade deadline and in the past couple days the feedback from NHL execs is that Penguins GM Jim Rutherford has found Marc Andre Fleury’s contract [hide] to be ‘unmoveable’ as one source put it before March 1 due to concerns about the salary cap staying flat for next season.

Things can always change with one call but at this moment the Penguins believe Fleury’s contract is too big of an obstacle to find a suitable trade by the deadline, NHL sources say.

Fleury’s agent Allan Walsh isn’t talking at Fleury’s request, but indications around the league are the Fleury camp see’s a potential while maybe small opportunity for a buy-out this summer, something they prefer, a reason Fleury is not pushing a trade privately from the Penguins this season.

One rumor flying around is that Vegas will be looking to buy some contracts for a high draft pick and Rutherford could pull off some maneuvering with Vegas before the expansion draft where the Penguins trade Fleury and a high draft pick to Vegas where Vegas then buys Fleury out.

Fleury has zero interest in playing in Vegas, multiple sources say.

Buffalo GM Tim Murray was notorious for trying to do this during their rebuild that is still going on. Two seasons ago at the draft, they nearly acquired Cam Ward for a first round pick in what was going to be a clear salary dump from Carolina.

While the Penguins have been trying to aggressively trade Fleury to give them flexibility at the deadline, there’s no panic inside the organization if a deal doesn’t come to fruition by the deadline that they will get backed into a corner for the expansion draft, at least that’s the vibe the Penguins are putting out to other teams.

However, the latest talk publicly coming from Rutherford last week to the local papers that he prefers to keep Fleury through the season is said to be more calculated than anything based the tough market so far the Penguins are seeing.

Malkin 101?

Evgeni Malkin today on being left off NHL-100 list.

“I try to forget. I’m proud what the team say, what Mario say. I’m proud that my family, parents, and my friends support me. I did my best. What I can do is nothing. 100 players [list] is legend, they deserve to be on this list. Maybe I can win a couple more trophies, a couple more Stanley Cups, and maybe next year the NHL 101 year and they send me a great black jacket and I will be #101.”

Lines at Today’s Practice

Chris Kunitz – Sidney Crosby – Bryan Rust
Jake Guentzel – Nick Bonino – Phil Kessel
Scott Wilson – Carter Rowney – Patric Hornqvist
Tom Kuhnhackl – Matt Cullen – Eric Fehr

Injury Updates

Evgeni Malkin continues to progress in participating in his first team practice since being injured, though, he’s yet to be cleared for full contract. Malkin won’t play Tuesday but hasn’t been ruled out for the upcoming road trip.

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