Penguins exploring blockbuster type trades coming out of Roster Freeze
As the Penguins have just two regulation wins this month, with both victories coming against Buffalo and Arizona, the noise on Jim Rutherford planning something big is only getting louder and it’s intensifying after the Penguins brutal performance Saturday night on home-ice in a 4-0 loss to the Ducks.
NHL sources say Penguins General Manger Jim Rutherford has communicated to rival GM’s he will listen to trade offers for every player on his roster except Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and M Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"
While there’s a few others like Jake Guentzel who won’t be moved, Crosby, Malkin and Murray are the only three other executives know not to ask about when discussing trade scenarios with the Penguins. [/hide]
With concerns mounting in the organization over Letang’s play for this season and long-term, they have engaged into listening mode on the 30 year old defenseman with specific teams Pittsburgh believes they could line up with for a deal
“One name that I do hear out there that is being bantered about is Kris Letang,” Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos reported on the HNIC Headlines Segment.
NHL insider Elliotte Friedman chimed in saying if the Penguins “were to deal Letang”, they are seeking an a “pair” of impact forwards, a center and winger.
The Penguins expressing a willingness to listen on Letang is significant from the standpoint of how loved he is by Penguins ownership, notably Ron Burkle.
There’s a difference between willing to move a star player and being in listening mode but the situation is beyond just preliminary talk mode with clubs or the Penguins trying to make some of their core uncomfortable.
Sources say Penguin management has communicated with ownership of potential Letang trade scenarios that are or could be in play before the February 26th deadline.
It’s believed Rutherford has full support to do what he has to do to upgrade the roster, even if it meant moving Letang, a player beloved by ownership like Marc Andre Fleury was.
If Pittsburgh went forward to do some major surgery and move Letang, league chatter is the type of center they are seeking in any Letang deal is a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Staal type impact center.
While he’s not a center, don’t be surprised to see some Max Pacioretty talk emerging. [/hide]