The Pittsburgh Penguins are among several teams expressing some levels of interest in Colorado Avalanche forward Jamie McGinn, multiple NHL sources said over the weekend.
The Avalanche has been getting numerous calls on McGinn who has had a bit of a rocky relationship with new head coach Patrick Roy.
The Penguins are in the market for a top-9 forward and are starting to even do their homework on first line right winger targets, sources say, though limited cap space could make upgrades to the roster difficult this season.
McGinn, 25, has 4 goals and 8 points in 22 games this season. McGinn scored 20 goals and 37 points in 2011-2012 and added 11 goals and 22 points in 47 games last year in the shortened lockout season.
What makes McGinn attractive to NHL teams is that he’s versatile and can play anywhere in the lineup.
He’s a fast skater, plays a gritty game and hits like a “semi-truck”, when he plays physical, as one evaluator said. McGinn has good size at 6-foot-1, 210-pounds and McGinn has drawn praise from scouts for how he can play a heavy offensive game as he cycles the puck really well, a very important aspect in today’s game.
McGinn is an RFA at seasons end and is making $1.75 million this season.
McGinn would be a significant upgrade on the Penguins third line but are the Penguins and Avalanche a fit at the end of the day?
NHL sources say, the sense is the Avalanche seek a impact top-6 defenseman in return for McGinn, were they to move him. From that sense, the Penguins could emerge as a match but to nab McGinn it sounds like it would cost a defenseman the Penguins are not too keen on moving such as a Matt Niskanen or Simon Despres, compared to Robert Bortuzzo who the Penguins would be willing to move.