Latest Penguins Trade Deadline Buzz

As the Penguins are surging, is Jim Rutherford looking to strike again well before the deadline?

As some targets the Penguins have kicked tires on won’t truly become available till next month, there’s one scenario to monitor already.

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Canes GM Don Waddell has made it known to clubs he’s looking for a player-for-player type trade at this point, seeking to move Ferland for a skilled forward with term or a left handed defenseman with term.

While Carolina would like a future asset also part of any Ferland trade, the priority is to move Ferland for immediate help.

Team owner Thomas Dundon wants Carolina to go away from the Ron Francis route of trading rentals for draft picks.

There’s enough talk around the league that Pittsburgh believes they can line up with Carolina for a trade.

O[hide]lli Maatta for a package that includes Ferland would be selling low because of Ferland’s UFA status, but does Jamie Oleksiak with 2 years left on his deal + a pick or prospect get Pittsburgh in the game?

Waddell loves Bryan Rust but that isn’t happening.

While Derick Brassard would make sense for the Hurricanes with Jordan Staal’s status up in the air, the talk around the league is that Carolina has eyes on Dominik Simon.

It’s not clear if the Penguins would go there with Simon.

— Penguins GM Jim Rutherford has become drawn to Ferland for a few reasons:

1. Pittsburgh is on the hunt for a rugged north-south style of winger to combat Tom Wilson as the Penguins see Washington as the only team that can get in their way again this year out of the Metropolitan Bracket. In fact, the Penguins are looked at by some as having an obsession with Tom Wilson.

Pittsburgh also feels some of the top teams in the East out of the Atlantic division, are vulnerable to clubs that can combine speed with a physical brand, with evaluators believing there’s opportunities to wear them down like the Capitals did last year to the Tampa Bay lightning.

2. Among the preliminary list of trade deadline targets, Ferland’s crash and bang style has made him a favorite of the coaching staff for the Penguins to pursue, sources say. Ferland’s past of meshing with high-end players in Calgary has always drawn the Penguins to Ferland.

3. The Patric Hornqvist factor. Hornqvist has suffered his second concussion this season and has now suffered from five concussions in less than five seasons.

Although the way Hornqvist is wired, bet on him being back in the lineup within 10-14 days, the concussion history combined with the style he plays is always going to make him susceptible to injury.

The Hornqvist factor has some in the know expecting the Penguins to be even more aggressive in trying to add Ferland as insurance.

Pittsburgh will also be without winger Zach Aston-Reese for at least 3-4 weeks. Aston-Reese has a broken bone in his hand from a fight in the Panthers game. [/hide]