The Latest Penguins Buzz
PENS READY TO MOVE ON FROM ISLES AFTERMATH
The Pittsburgh Penguins are in Colorado tonight to face the free falling Avalanche who have dropped 9 straight games. Both teams are coming off an embarrassing couple of losses. The sense inside the locker room yesterday is that the Penguins are ready to move on from the Islanders aftermath and are sick of answering questions about it.
SCOUTING EFFORTS AMPING UP
The NHL trade deadline is 12 days away and the market is getting slimmer as several deals have already happened in a weak trade market, especially at the forward position.
As of this past weekend, the Penguins were said to be waiting for the market to evolve as several teams remain in the playoff hunt and have yet to become sellers.
The Penguins have amped up their scouting efforts, scouting the likes of Ottawa, New Jersey, Colorado and Florida in recent days.
UNCERTAINITY OF CROSBY
Due to the uncertainty surrounding Sidney Crosby, the Penguins are showing no interest in giving up hey future assets for a quick fix or giving up the type of assets it would cost to land an Ales Hemsky who the Penguins are not in on and are not expected to be in the mix for.
The Penguins though continue to operate under the mindset that Crosby will be able to return at somepoint and there focus for the most part is on rental forwards. But that doesn’t mean they’re ruling out players with term left on their contract. It’s just considered an unlikely route at this time.
LATEST ON ALEXEI KOVALEV
Here’s the latest on Alexei Kovalev:
The Penguins I’m told don’t believe there’s another suitor out there for Alexei Kovalev. GM Bryan Murray is ready to move Kovalev’s salary at anytime and continues to be the aggressor in talks with Pittsburgh.
Even in a weak draft year, I’m hearing the Penguins maybe willing to surrender a conditional 5th round pick at the most.
The Penguins as an organization continue to evaluate whether Kovalev is the best fit but there’s no urgency right now.
*Scouts I’ve spoken with don’t see Cory Stillman as a good fit in Pittsburgh. However, there continues to be intrigue surrounding Chris Higgins being a good fit in Dan Bylsma’s system.
*One intriguing winger on the trade block is Columbus Blue Jackets 21 year old winger Jakub Voracek. GM Scott Howson is dangling Voracek for a young high end puck moving or impact defenseman.
The Jackets have long had interest in Alex Goligoski. I’m told for Pittsburgh to enter the discussion, it will take Goligoski and more.
It is interesting to see how Goligoski is valued around the league. Some evaluators believe he is hidden as a 3rd paring and would be exposed as a top-3 guy, while others love his potential.