The Pittsburgh Penguins face the Colorado Avalanche this coming Wednesday night in Denver and Penguins scouts were frequent visitors of Av’s game this week, including Friday and Saturday night as Peter Forsberg made his return to the NHL.
The Penguins were in attendance for last night’s Blue Jackets – Avalanche game in Columbus and again tonight in Nashville for the Predators 5-3 win over the Avalanche.
It should be noted that one of the Penguins regular scouting bases is Columbus.
Colorado has dropped 8 straight games and despite the signing of Forsberg, Colorado is moving into the direction of being sellers at the trade deadline.
One name who will catch eye of Penguins fans will surely be Av’s forward Milan Hejduk who came into tonight’s game with 17 goals and 28 assists for 45 points.
Hejduk is in the last year of his contract but he’s a player you don’t hear about as a trade option league wide because of his reluctance to entertain the idea of playing elsewhere.
Having already won a Stanley Cup, Hejduk has also been said to be intent on staying in Colorado no matter what, as rival team’s tried to pry him away from Colorado two seasons ago when the Av’s were struggling.
Hejduk has a no movement clause but would almost certainly be highly coveted if he expressed an interest in joining a contender.
Hejduk played under Penguins assistant coach Tony Granato in Colorado.
Team’s around the league will also have a close eye over the next couple weeks on Peter Forsberg as speculation has been rampant that he would be moved if the Av’s fall out of the race.
Someone will take a chance on Forsberg if he can stay healthy.
A report overseas indicated the Penguins were among the teams interested in Forsberg when he was exploring a comeback. This was reported well before the Evgeni Malkin injury.
I have not been able to confirm that report and the sense is Pittsburgh didn’t reach out to agent Don Baizley who would not comment on which team’s inquired about Forsberg, weeks ago.
Elsewhere on the scouting front, Pittsburgh scouted the Toronto Maple Leafs heavily this week and the New Jersey Devils.
Many point to Jason Arnott being an ideal fit in Pittsburgh but sources indicate that the Devils have yet to make him available.
The surging Devils are 12 points out of the playoff race but have been one of the best team’s in the NHL since Jacques LeMaire took over.