A source tells me the Pittsburgh Penguins have been active in recent days on the trade front but remain held up on any deals because of roster, contracts and cap space.
The Penguins are exploring a few options to clear at least $300,000 in pro-rated salaries to put themselves in better position for one or two deadline moves.
They are trying to unload at least two roster players I’m told. Martin Skoula, most noticeably, is available for basically nothing and is likely to be among the growing list of veterans to hit the waiver wire in the near future.
Craig Adams could also become a salary cap casualty, a source indicates, but the uncertain status of Max Talbot, makes the Penguins less likely to move Adams via trade or place him on waivers.
I’m also told to keep an eye on Ruslan Fedotenko ($1.8 million cap hit) who is a wildcard leading up to the deadline. Fedotenko spent the majority of today’s practice on the fourth line and could be the odd-player out on the top two lines.
AHL’ers Ryan Bayda and Tim Wallace have been scouted heavily over the past 4-5 games but the Penguins are hesitant to move anyone from Wilkes Barre until their NHL roster is close to complete via deadline moves.
Role players Pascal Dupuis, Matt Cooke and Tyler Kennedy will not be moved.
**Meanwhile, any talk of Jordan Staal and Mark Eaton being traded is bogus. For some reason, the two players were asked about it after practice today.
Neither player is going to be traded.
**Also, on the Ray Whitney front, Pittsburgh has yet to make an offer or hold any kind of substantive talks, sources continue to indicate. Bob McKenzie of TSN wrote a column yesterday saying Pittsburgh might be at the top of Whitney’s wishlist, (has No Trade Clause) but I’m told any deal for Whitney will be on Pittsburgh’s terms.
3rd round pick, low-tier prospect/ No Extension!!!
I hear Pittsburgh’s efforts are elsewhere.
**I’m told Pittsburgh will had scouts at the Blue Jackets last tonight. Aaron Portzline continues to indicate that Pittsburgh is very interested in R.J. Umberger, as Mark Madden sparked a ton of Umberger talk with his latest column from Friday but I hear scouts were there to watch Raffi Torres.
Torres played with Rick Nash.