Penguins discussing Duchene as a winger target?

If there’s a big name available that makes any kind of financial sense, Jim Rutherford is looking into it.

The Pittsburgh Penguins at least willing to gauge [hide] Olli Maatta’s trade value as a trade piece for an impact long-term forward, have checked in with the Colorado Avalanche, sources tell TIOPS.

The Avalanche willing to move Matt Duchene and or Gabriel Landeskog, are seeking young defenseman in return.

“What Colorado has apparently told people is, ‘Don’t ask us about Nathan MacKinnon and don’t ask us about Mikko Rantanen,’ who was their No. 1 pick last year,” Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet said on Hockey Night in Canada, this past Saturday.

Friedman added:

“Now, if you’re asking about a Duchene or a Landeskog, from what I understand, teams have been told: ‘Look. We’re not giving these guys away because we’re panicking. If you want to come at us with young defensemen – good, young defensemen or good, young defensive prospects – we are prepared to listen.”

What type of defenseman are the Avs seeking?

The asking price for Landeskog is said to be huge with rival clubs believing GM Joe Sakic is more likely to trade Duchene.

The names Jacob Trouba and Dougie Hamilton are floating around as the type of defenseman they seek. Still, no one thought Adam Larsson would land Taylor Hall but when teams have a particular need and get desperate, a Larsson ends up landing you a Taylor Hall.

That’s why it’s smart on the Penguins that they’re at least willing to gauge Maatta’s value, which they’re believed to have started that process in recent weeks.

The Penguins have kicked around the idea of pursuing Duchene who has two years left on his current deal with a $6 million cap hit. Whether Duchene emerges as a legitimate target remains to be seen but sources say the Penguins have studied tape of Duchene playing wing in the past, including during the World Cup.[/hide]