The Pittsburgh Penguins have been active in trade talks over the past 72 hours with Friday’s 3:00 p.m. trade freeze looming but their unwillingness to over-pay for rental players is a reason the Penguins could come up empty on a few of their prime targets.
However, it’s a strategy that other contenders around the league need to take notice. of
Last year Pittsburgh had no interest in moving a first round pick at the trade deadline and their going by the same strategy this season.
Barring an offer management can’t refuse that works for Pittsburgh short-term and long-term, a first round pick is not in play once again.
Early indications are Pittsburgh is also not too keen on moving a 2nd round pick but due to the current market, they will move a 2nd and or a 3rd round pick in the right deal.
An option the team is actively exploring is moving a roster player for a mid-round pick to clear salary and to reclaim a draft choice that would be moved for a potential winger or defenseman
Top prospects (2009 1st round pick) Simon Despres, Eric Tangradi and Luca Caputi are off limits. Meanwhile, 2007 3rd round pick Robert Bortuzzo is also off limits, team sources indicate.
Bortuzzo is regarded by the organization as the Penguins No. 2 defenseman in their system.
Prospects in the Penguins system that are drawing significant trade interest include former 2006 second round pick Carl Sneep, forward Dustin Jeffrey, defenseman Brian Strait, and
defenseman Ben Lovejoy. The Penguins have been actively shopping Jeffrey and Sneep as trade assets but don’t have much interest in moving Lovejoy or Strait.
Strait has been Wilkes Barre’s top defenseman in Wilkes Barre and continues to draw comparisons to Rob Scuderi, while Ben Lovejoy has shown he can contribute at the NHL level.
With only two defenseman under contract for next season, Lovejoy and Strait could be pushing for playing time next season with Pittsburgh.