Despite no 1st round pick, Penguins believe they can match up in a trade for Cody Franson
With the NHL trade deadline 18 days away, Leafs forward Daniel Winnik and Oilers defenseman Jeff Petry are among those high on the Penguins wishlist and Pierre LeBrun of ESPN threw out a few other names in his rumblings blog on ESPN today.
“Among the forwards Pittsburgh is keeping a close on these days are Toronto Maple Leafs teammates Daniel Winnik and Mike Santorelli,” LeBrun writes of the Penguins wanting to add a forward.
Santorelli has 11 goals and 29 points on the season and is a strong possession player. He is highly coveted around the league with a $1.5 million cap hit. The Rangers and Canucks among those very interested in him.
On defense, LeBrun names Cody Franson, Jeff Petry as the top names on the Penguins radar and, “to a lesser degree, Scott Hannan and Jan Hejda.”
Hannan, 36, carries a $1 million cap hit this season for the Sharks and Hejda $3.25 million for the Avalanche. Both are 36 years old and defensive minded d-men on the downside of their careers. Unlikely the Penguins go down the road with either, especially Hejda due to the higher cap.
While the Leafs believe they can land a first round pick and top prospect for Franson, the top defenseman on the market, I’m told the Penguins believe they could match up well with the Leafs for Franson because of their deep group of blueline prospects. Instead of offering a first round pick, which the Penguins don’t have for 2015, they could offer Scott Harrington or Brian Dumoulin if they chose to go down that route.
Franson and Petry are also attractive to the Penguins because of their low cap hits, $3.3 million and $3.1 million, respectively.
As mentioned yesterday, the Penguins interest in Petry, a younger cheaper option, has increased because of concerns that both Paul Martin and Christian Ehrhoff could walk this summer. Franson falls into the category too, though, his market price is expected to be in the Matt Niskanen range this summer.