Rental Center Market Continues to Lack Impact Options for Pens, others

The Penguins center trade board entering the February 26th trade deadline is said to be quite long with 4-5 available targets who are available or the Penguins expect to be available.

There’s also another list of 2-3 centers the Penguins have been monitoring for months in the hopes they would become available but likely won’t.

The rentals on the Penguins list for a while now include no surprises:

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Carolina is just one point out of the wild card but have started their annual nose-dive. They haven’t began shopping Ryan yet, per league sources, and would like to resign him, but Ron Francis is always chasing draft picks so we’ll see.

Letestu who the Penguins in early January pushed hard to close a deal for, has seen his play fallen off the cliff. He has no goals in his last 17 games. I doubt we see the Penguins being willing to put a second-rounder in play anymore for Letestu and the sense is Edmonton will only get a third rounder for him.

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The Matt Cullen chatter isn’t going away. He was a healthy scratch again but returned to the lineup Tuesday night in the Wild’s 6-2 win and played 14:18, the fourth highest ice time he’s had this season.

Cullen is 41 years old, so at least in Minnesota the talk coming out of the organization is not to read too much into Cullen being a healthy scratch when he is.

Word is Minnesota, that is for now calling themselves a buyer, prefer to keep Cullen, but if the Wild fall out of the race or add another center, then Minnesota might approach Cullen if he’d like to be traded to Pittsburgh.

Montreal’s Tomas Plekanec is a player the Penguins have been scouting over the last little while but not clear with his $6 million cap hit and diminishing play if they feel he’s an ideal fit yet or not.

Brassard Getting overlooked on Market?

Jean Gabriel-Pageau is another obvious candidate on the Penguins list and a player along with Letestu, Pittsburgh made an offer for last month, though, the two sides are said to have never got close to a deal.

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— One of these three centers the Penguins would love to become available by February 26:

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Sheary will be back before the deadline

Penguins center Conor Sheary injured last week, is back practicing with the Penguins. The Penguins have believed Sheary’s timetable was around 2 weeks. He is in consideration to return this weekend.

Sheary remains a potential chip in any player for player deal but his value To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!