SOURCE: PENGUINS, BLUE JACKETS KICKING TIRES ON TRADE SCENARIOS
The vibe surrounding Jim Rutherford around the league is this right now:
He’s setting the stage to be very aggressive on the trade market and won’t shy away from taking a risk.
If Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, Marc Andre Fleury and Olli Maatta are untouchables and players Rutherford views as the five core players to keep building around as he told KDKA’s Bob Pompeani last week, then who of any interest with trade value are the Penguins putting in play?
Brandon Sutter is the obvious name, something we’ve discussed in the past. The Penguins plan to put him in play and see what transpires. They are not committed to moving him but will strongly gauge his trade value.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie tonight on TSN’s Insider Trading in regards to Sutter:
[“The Pittsburgh Penguins, everybody knows they want to add that top-6 forward, but how do they do it? Well, they might have to trade some players they might not otherwise consider doing. Brandon Sutter is a player who is a year away from unrestricted free agency. He’s a No. 3 center on a team that has Malkin and Crosby. His name could be out there in trade talks.”]
Winnipeg, Dallas are among the teams believed to have early interest in Sutter.
Other than Sutter, who else with value are the Penguins willing to move?
An Eastern Conference exec tells Inside Pittsburgh Sports, Derrick Pouliot’s name is popping up in league circles. From teams that have spoken with the Penguins, sources say some GM’s believe Rutherford is not convinced Pouliot is going to be an elite player and is willing to put him in play for the right deal — a long-term top-6 winger.
One team the Penguins have had brief discussions with on Pouliot, according to a league source, is the Columbus Blue Jackets.
It’s unclear who approached who but Columbus is believed to have significant interest in Pouliot and the Penguins have long been high on Boone Jenner and Artem Anisimov, players the Blue Jackets have also put out there in trade talks.
Potentially these teams could match up well and the GM’s for both teams are not shy about dealing within the division if it comes to that, a source says.
Prior to David Perron being traded to Pittsburgh, the Oilers and Blue Jackets had discussions of a Perron – Anisimov swap but Columbus backed off.
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