Andrew Ladd Penguins Top Target?
There is certainly some buzz building about a potential block buster trade coming to fruition between the Penguins and Jets in the coming weeks/months.
Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press, very connected around the league, reports the Penguins have interest in Evander Kane, Andrew Ladd and Blake Wheeler.
There has been lots of chatter of Andrew Ladd being the Penguins top target for the past couple days, but the word I’ve been getting over the last 48-72 hours is that the Penguins feel Evander Kane can be had.
Penguins scouts feel Kane would transform into a super star next to Crosby or Malkin. Imagine him with Crosby or Malkin, plus the physical ability he brings to the table.
As Lawless points out, any trade discussion for Kane or Ladd would start with Olli Maatta and Derrick Pouliot but Lawless says Pouliot wouldn’t even gain any traction with the Jets. Lawless writes, “For me, if Maatta isn’t on the table, there’s nothing close to equitable to talk about.”
Maatta and Pouliot are considered untouchables by Penguin management but anyone else among the prospect field could be in play, though, Scott Harrington and Brian Dumoulin are close to being untouchables, per sources in the organization.
Quickly asking around, the feeling right now is the Penguins would have to put some NHL regulars in play such as Beau Bennett.
One NHL source said not to rule out Brandon Sutter’s name getting thrown around in trade talks. The Penguins would be hard pressed to move Sutter but Kane has potential to be a special, special player who is locked up through 2017-2018 with just a $5.25 million cap hit.
To nab Kane or Ladd, Pittsburgh would have to step up with at least a 3-for-1 type package, Young NHL forward (top-9), 1st round pick, Top d-man prospect. Kane is worth it because of the immense potential but Ladd? That’s up for debate.
1. Evander Kane, 22 years old | 11 Goals – 9 Assists – 20 Points | Cap Hit: $5.25 million, Signed Through: 2017-2018
2. Andrew Ladd, 28 years old, | 10 Goals – 18 Assists – 28 Points | Cap Hit: $4.4 million | Signed Through: 2015-2016
3. Blake Wheeler, 27 years old | 15 Goals – 16 Assists – 31 Points | Cap Hit: $5.6 million | Signed Through: 2018-2019.