SHERO TALKS DESPRES
The right move for the Penguins it to be patient with Simon Despres whether it’s keeping Despres or waiting for the right trade that would net a long-term forward emerge. While he hasn’t become one of Dan Bylsma’s favorites, Despres has progressed over the last year and is playing dominant hockey in the American Hockey League. In a cap world, the best move is to let the Matt Niskanen’s go via free agency and replace them with young up and coming defensemen like Despres who are still cheap.
In comments to the Post-Gazette’s Dave Molinari, Penguins GM Ray Shero said all the right things in how the team still see’s Despres on the right path.
“Where he is right now, in terms of his career, he’s in a good spot,” Shero told the PG. “In terms of the progression he’s made and his maturity, on and off the ice, I think that’s coming. “Even though he’s not [in the NHL now], we still believe he’s a very good prospect for us and will be an NHL player, for sure.”
While Shero is saying all the right things, the chatter has been there for months that the organization is higher on top prospects Derrick Pouliot, Scott Harrington and Brian Dumoulin. Even Philip Samuelsson has emerged onto the scene as a potential defensive minded defenseman at the NHL level. For win-now team like the Penguins, they won’t be keeping everyone and at least one of them and maybe two will become trade bait in the next year or two.
Despres is a restricted free agent at seasons end and eligible for waivers next season.
PENGUINS SCOUTING AV’S THIS WEEK
The Penguins wrapped up their pro scouting meetings this week laying the blueprint for potential deadline targets and the Penguins have been following one Western Conference team around this week.
The Penguins had two scouts in attendance for the Avalanche – Panthers game on Friday night and the Penguins were again scouting Avalanche last night with one scout in attendance for Avalanche – Lightning.
There’s been some trade chatter surrounding the Penguins and Av’s for about a month now with sources saying the Penguins having some interest in Jamie McGinn and the Max Talbot talk has been out there, though, there’s been denials for now on him. The Avalanche like Robert Bortuzzo, NHL sources said last month.
The Avalanche and Dallas Stars have been two Western Conference teams Pittsburgh has been scouting of late but at this time of the year it could mean something or nothing.