Eric Godard was informed on Saturday that he would return to the lineup Sunday night against Toronto and the likely candidate to be scratched on Sunday appeared to be Max Talbot but Dan Bylsma opted to sit Tyler Kennedy who has 0 goals in 12 games.
By making Kennedy a healthy scratch, Bylsma is sending a message in the hopes of jumpstarting Kennedy’s game.
*Pittsburgh is 4-for-10 on the power play in their last two games. While three of the goals came in Wednesday’s 8-2 rout, the Penguins have shown more movement and creativity of late.
However, for their power play to become consistent in the long run, they’re going to need some kind of production from Kris Letang (1 goal this season) and Alex Goligoski (2 assists in his last 8 games) at the left point. Evgeni Malkin playing the left point is not permanent.
*Carolina Hurricanes winger Ray Whitney is drawing significant interest around the league. A free agent at seasons end, Whitney is a mid-tier winger that could fit into Pittsburgh’s short-term plans but a source told me not to expect Pittsburgh to be in on the Whitney sweepstakes.
Meanwhile, a veteran winger on the trade block in the Western Conference (not Teemu Selanne) that is expected to draw some interest from Pittsburgh
is Blues forward Paul Kariya. Pittsburgh was a finalist for Kariya in the summer of 2007, and Ray Shero knows Kariya very well dating back to his days in Nashville.
Kariya has been a disappointment in St. Louis (8 goals – 11 assists) but the asking price is not at the level of even Ray Whitney (prospects, 2nd round pick).
Don’t be surprised if Pittsburgh looks into Kariya as the trade deadline gets closer, especially if the Blues are out of contention. They are at the point right now where they just want to get something for him as Kariya and head coach Andy Murray have not seen eye-to-eye.
Kariya’s cap hit is $6 million (final year of 3 year deal) but due to pro-rated salaries, Pittsburgh could find a way to make Kariya’s salary work in late FEBRUARY/earlyMARCH
A league source tells me Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Vancouver, New Jersey and Minnesota are among the teams already being speculated to have some sort of interest in Kariya but obviously can’t make a move on him until late February.