The trade freeze is less than five hour away but that won’t slow down trade discussions during the Olympic break.
Pittsburgh will head into the Olympic break with their eye on top targets, Nashville Predators defenseman Dan Hamhuis and New York Islanders defenseman Andy Sutton.
Is has been no secret that Hamhuis is a top of target of Pittsburgh and it’s been confirmed elsewhere, from what we reported on Tuesday, that the Penguins have also expressed a strong interest in Islanders defenseman Andy Sutton.
Chirs Botta of Islanderspointblank who has strong ties to the Islanders organization, confirmed the Penguins interest on Thursday and also indicated that as expected the market is very strong for Sutton.
Botta indicates that New Jersey, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Ottawa, Washington, Chicago, Colorado and Calgary have all expressed interest.
Sources tell me the Penguins expect to engage in trade talks with Nashville first regarding Hamhuis, who is expected to be pursued heavily by the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers. League sources indicate, Hamhuis will only be dealt to the Eastern Conference.
Washington and New Jersey will also likely be in the mix for Hamhuis.
The asking price for Hamhuis will be steep, expected to be a high draft choice and/or mid tier prospect and an impact player in return.
The asking price for Sutton will likely be a 2nd round pick and more.