MORNING PENS BUZZ
The Penguins actively in the market to bolster their depth on the bottom-2 lines, held organizational meetings on Friday about whether to put in a claim for Lightning forward Adam Hall, sources say, but claiming Hall would force the Penguins to clear a roster spot to make room for him on the 23 man roster, which makes things tricky.
One option would be placing Evgeni Malkin on injured reserve, retro-active to last Saturday, but Malkin is extremely close to returning to the lineup and could be back as early as Sunday afternoon vs Bruins or Tuesday night.
Hall, 32, was placed on waivers by the Lightning yesterday and it will be known today at noon if Hall was claimed by anyone.
GM Ray Shero had always been fond of Hall who played a regular post-season role in the Penguins run to the Stanley Cup in 2008. The Penguins tried to resign Hall later that summer and even tried to acquire him a few years back via trade, a source says.
The pro’s of claiming Hall is that you get to add some depth for nothing, compared to the trade deadline where depth players like Nate Thompson are going to cost a second round pick.
Hall has four points in 20 games and is 56.8% in the faceoff circle.
BUZZ ON HENDRICKS
Had a former member of the Colorado Avalanche organization tell me this about Capitals winger Matt Hendricks when Hendricks was playing with the Lake Erie Monsters of the AHL in 2008-2009. “He did it all there,” the individual said. “Hit, fought, forechecked, backchecked, scored. “He’s the ultimate team player.”
Two scouts this week I polled mentioned Hendricks as an ideal fit for the Penguins when discussing the Capitals and I also learned later yesterday that the Penguins had interest in signing Hendricks following the 2008-2009 season on a two-way deal. Don’t think the Capitals will deal with the Penguins but won’t be surprised to see the Penguins look at signing Hendricks in free agency.
EKMAN-LARSON’S DEAL HAS NO IMPACT ON LETANG
The Phoenix Coyotes on Friday night locked up 21-year-old Oliver Ekman-Larsson to a six-year, $33 million contract. It’s an AAV of $5.5 million and a great deal for Phoenix locking up a franchise type of defenseman and likely perennial Norris Trophy Candidate for years to come in Larsson.
Unfortunately for the Penguins, Larsson’s deal has no impact on Kris Letang as Larson is coming out of his entry contract.