LATEST PENS TRADE DEADLINE BUZZ
Pro scouts from the Pittsburgh Penguins have been tracking the Dallas Stars over the past couple weeks, and vice versa, and it’s believed to be more than just both teams doing their due diligence for tonight’s matchup.
An NHL source tells Inside Pittsburgh Sports that the Penguins have been looking at depth winger Ryan Garbutt, who has drawn interest from multiple teams around the league.
Garbutt, 28, has 10 goals and 18 points and a +4 rating on the season. The book on Garbutt from scouts is that he plays a fast paced game with intensity and adds some physical play. Garbutt is third among Stars forwards with 74 hits and has 32 blocks on the season. One source said he provides some “Dupuis” like qualities.
Garbutt would fit two needs for the Penguins:
1. Add secondary scoring
2. He’s cheap: Garbutt in the last year of his contract has just a $575,000 cap hit. As there is growing optimism in the organization that Tomas Vokoun could be ready to play after the Olympic break, the Penguins cap situation could become complicated I’m told. Pittsburgh’s hands could be tied even with Pascal Dupuis on LTIR due to the Penguins starting the season with under $30,000 in cap space and the team having to make so many callups this season. Capgeek has the Penguins cap space at just $560,000 right now.
Garbutt will play on the Stars second line tonight with Antoine Roussel and Cody Eakin.
Two other notable pending UFA’s for the Stars expected to draw interest around the league include center Vern Fiddler and 41 year old Ray Whitney. Penguins GM Ray Shero has always been a big fan of Whitney and has made attempts to acquire and sign Whitney at different points over the last four to five years.
Whitney, though, looks to finally be at the end of his career with 6 goals and 20 points in 44 games. He is currently playing on the Stars third line. The only intrigue for Whitney from possible contenders is that due to his age and NTC, he could be available for a low tier prospect or late round pick. Someone will take a gamble if the Stars fall out of the race.