WINNIK, TLUSTY AMONG DEADLINE/SUMMER TARGETS
Prior to the All-Star break and acquiring Maxim Lapierre last night, Penguins GM Jim Rutherford made offers for Toronto Maple Leafs forward Daniel Winnik and Hurricanes winger Jiri Tlusty, sources tell Inside Pittsburgh Sports.
Winnik a player Penguin management has been trying to acquire for several seasons and almost had a deal for him at the 2012 trade deadline, was targeted over Lapierre in recent weeks. The offer made for Winnik was made about 10 days ago and included a roster player and late round draft pick, believed to be Marcel Goc going to Toronto.
Winnik has played some big boy hockey in the Western Conference, a reason they like him.
Darren Dreger of TSN reports the Leafs aren’t ready to trade Winnik yet.
Rutherford’s pursuit of Hurricanes winger Tlusty has been no secret in league circles. He’s been coveted for months by Rutherford and will be this summer if Tlusty hits the open market. Trade talks for Tlusty centered around a roster player under contract next season going to Carolina. GM Ron Francis continues to hold out hope of signing Tlusty to an extension before moving forward in trade talks with interested teams that include the Penguins, Capitals, among others.
The Penguins view Tlusty as a potential long-term replacement for Chris Kunitz and would give the Penguins the opportunity to potentially explore trade options for Kunitz. Something that’s not been strongly considered right now but isn’t being ruled out this summer.
Tlusty, 26, has 12 goals and 19 points on the season and is making $2.9 million.
The Penguins can’t acquired a player with a cap hit over $1 million without having to move a salary, a league source with knowledge of the Penguins cap situation says.