The trade deadline is just two days away and the Penguins have not ruled out making at least one more move, after making a splash this week with the additions of James Neal, Matt Niskanen and Alexei Kovalev. Here’s some rumblings in Penguin circles.
— The Penguins this morning re-assigned Brett Sterling to the AHL. Mark Letestu could return tonight but Wednesday has been viewed as the more likely target date.
— Pens GM Ray Shero continues to insist to anyone who listens that the team is not looking to add a top-6 defenseman.
The reasons for that include that Paul Martin’s return is imminent and the team expects Brooks Orpik back before the start of the playoffs. The team is also high on Matt Niskanen being a formidable top-5 defenseman.
Therefore, the sense around the league is if Pittsburgh does add a defenseman, it will be for a borderline defenseman (NHL tweener) than a true top-6 defenseman. There is no urgency inside the organization to overpay for a top-6 defenseman.
Nick Boynton, a player the Penguins had liked a few seasons ago and veteran Craig Rivet are among the defenseman on waivers today. The Penguins are believed to have not put a claim on either player.
— A team source tells me the Penguins have the ability to get creative due to their vast amount of injuries, to add Jason Arnott’s ($4.5 million max cap hit) salary, a player the Penguins have checked into the availability for.
Arnott is now believed to be in play and whether he gets moved will go down to the wire. The Devils were said to be looking for a high return of at least a 2nd round pick. Arnott has a NMC.
Despite the interest in Arnott from multiple teams, it remains unclear if teams will meet those demands.
Sources are calling the Penguins interest in Arnott preliminary at this point.
The Penguins continue to monitor the market for another top-9 forward as the trade deadline looms.