LATEST PENS RUMBLINGS
— The Penguins were never that interested in Jaromir Jagr and only looked at him as a last resort type of option, therefore, if they missed out on forward targets one, two, three and four.
If the Penguins had been unable to finalize a deal for Daniel Winnik, sources say Pittsburgh planned to circle back on Curtis Glencross and see if they could get creative for Erik Cole in a trade with Dallas.
The entire process the Penguins had been eyeing different type of wingers than a Jagr type and that’s why the reality is there was no true “Jagr watch”. It was just driven by people who wanted to see it happen and a message being put out there by Evgeni Malkin to those he’s close with in the media. When the Penguins do something Evgeni Malkin wants as in bringing in a player he wants to play with, it might be the first, at least of late.
Jagr going for a second and conditional third round pick looks like a gamble to some but as I mentioned a few days ago, there’s a better chance of being rewarded in giving up a second round pick for a top-6 capable player that’s going to play in the top-6 than trading a second round pick for a role player in the bottom-6.
For the Penguins there’s no question they have concerns in the top-6 as to whether you can really count on Blake Comeau to keep performing at this level, whether Chris Kunitz will fade again and even questions on Patric Hornqvist who is streaky and plays such a bruising style, he’s been known to wear down in the past with Nashville.
— Lots is being made of the Penguins scouting the Columbus Blue Jackets this week with Assistant GM Jason Botterill among the team officials who took in a Blue Jackets game. For those who don’t know, the Penguins scout the Blue Jackets a lot due to the close proximity and that includes high ranking officials like Botterill and even Bill Guerin making the trip, though, less this year as Guerin’s role has him traveling with the team more now.
Sure the Penguins are interested in Cam Atkinson and have long had interest in Jack Johnson but don’t read too much in the Penguins scouting the Blue Jackets because it’s a regular base for them, along with New Jersey, Ottawa this season.
— It’s always great at this time of the year to hear about talks that happened which didn’t lead to a trade. One involves the Penguins and Blackhawks. Two NHL sources confirmed the Blackhawks approached the Penguins about a Chris Kunitz – Patrick Sharp swap in early February with Simon Despres also being of interest to the Hawks.
Sources say Pittsburgh was interesting in discussing the potential of a deal that would likely been seen on the outside as a blockbuster but at the end of the day weren’t comfortable in making such a move in season that included Kunitz. Moving Kunitz appears to be something the Penguins will be more willing to do in the summer.
Sharp is a lock to be moved by the summer due to the Hawks needing to move cap space.
One reason the Blackhawks would have interest in a Kunitz for Sharp swap is the deal would save them $2.05 million in cap space for the next two seasons.
Kunitz carries a $3.85 million cap hit for the next two seasons, Sharp $5.9 million for the next two seasons.
Kunitz does not have a no trade clause, something that has surprised inquiring General Managers I’m told. Kunitz wife is from Chicago and the couple lives in Chicago during the summer.
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