With Tyler Kennedy out 4-6 weeks, will the Penguins stay in house and is Connor James getting any consideration? Is Phillipe Boucher week to week with concussion symptoms? Plus the latest rumblings including some insight on the latest rumors surrounding Ilya Kovalchuk.
Defenseman Phillipe Boucher has been bothered by a bad back since training camp but I’m told he is week to week because of concussion symptons. I have 100% confirmation on that.
Chris Minard will likely get the first chance to take Tyler Kennedy‚Äôs spot but I‚Äôm hearing Connor James is getting consideration. James had a good camp and has played well in recent weeks. He is a similar player to Kennedy.
I keep hearing Whitney will likely return on the 18th against the Thrashers or on the 20th against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Fleury progressing very well. Next Saturday a likely target date if not earlier.
Atlanta had scouts in the building last night. That got me thinking about Ilya Kovalchuk. From what I‚Äôm hearing the All-Star break will tell the story whether Don Waddell will entertain the idea of trading Kovalchuk. At the All-Star break a lot of GM‚Äôs get together and think of it as the MLB GM Meetings. At last year‚Äôs All-Star weekend, it set the stage for the Penguins to acquire Hossa. Shero talked to Waddell extensively about acquiring Hossa.
Expect the same approach this year from Shero who will be active in his pursuit of upgrading his top two lines.
In regards to Kovalchuk I keep hearing Waddell does not want to trade Kovalchuk at all but he may not have a choice. At the All Star break, Waddell will see what kind of market would be out there for Kovalchuk and then we will get a general idea of whether he will entertain offers.
The way Ray Shero operates, is he‚Äôs always looking to make his team better. Pittsburgh‚Äôs only untouchables are Crosby, Malkin, and Fleury. Pittsburgh has some intriguing pieces and Jordan Staal is off-limits for potential players on the market like Marty St. Louis, Milan Hejduk, Martin Havlat, and Marian Gaborik, but I‚Äôm hearing that may not be the case for a player of the caliber of Kovalchuk who has another year on his contract, although to this point he is not a target of the Penguins.
The Penguins also have serious concerns about the salary cap for next season but just for discussion purposes Sound off in the comments forum:
Would you trade Jordan Staal & Puck moving defenseman/roster player/draft pick or prospect to Atlanta for Ilya Kovalchuk/roster player, If it guaranteed a Stanley Cup Championship in the next two years but the Penguins lose Kovalchuk to free agency in 2010
Cap hit of $6.4 million in 2009-2010