Eight days until the trade deadline and the Penguins are in the big name conversations, namely Matt Duchene and continue to keep contact with the Blues on Kevin Shattenkirk to monitor the asking price, while the team is in quite a few conversations for mid-tier defensemen.

There’s also the Marc Andre Fleury situation that needs to be figured out.

The possibilities are wide open for the Penguins from doing something big, to just a tweak to nothing at all.

One conversation the Penguins weren’t in recently was for defenseman Michael Stone was was traded to the Calgary Flames on Monday for a third round pick and a conditional 5th round pick. Arizona also retained 50% of the cap hit.

Sources say over the last month Stone received very poor scouting reports from Penguin scouts and that took him out of consideration as a trade target. With the price Stone went for, especially with Arizona retaining 50%, it appears other clubs crossed Stone off their list.


— As some teams are dropping like flies due to what’s been described as an outrageous asking price, despite no pressure to add anything, the Penguins not dropping out of the Matt Duchene talks yet is showing they have the appetite to sell off some young assets to push for another Stanley Cup this season and beyond. For the right player with term, they’re willing to make a splash and it’s no secret around the league.

A surprising development, though, over the last couple days is the Penguins [hide] are said to be very much in the mix for Kevin Shattenkirk. I think at the end of the day Rutherford stays out of the rental market for the small percentage of players like Shattenkirk who will cost a high premium, but the Penguins continue to monitor the asking price and Shattenkirk’s the one player on the rental market the Penguins see as a game changer.

One Eastern Conference executive told me over the weekend he felt Pittsburgh’s surprise at the deadline move could be Shattenkirk.

The kicking the tires on Shattenkirk, though, is classic Rutherford. He keeps his ear in on a lot of things and is always open to deals that would upgrade his roster is the short-term.

— Even prior to the Olli Maatta injury and the Justin Schultz concussion, Penguin coaches expressed their desire to management to add another defenseman who could push Maatta or Trevor Daley for playing time.

The Penguins have been considering two types of defensemen to add:

They’ve identified 1-2 targets who they view as a true upgrades over their third pair, Shattenkirk, Dmitri Kulikov are two of them and if Detroit’s Brendan Smith isn’t a third (he was phenomenal vs Penguins on Sunday) the Penguins aren’t doing their job, and then they have a small list of players they’re considering who if acquired would be No. 6/No. 7 types who could be had for a third or fourth round pick. A Justin Schultz type cost.

Jim Rutherford told the Tribune-Review last week the Penguins could add 1-2 defenseman.

— He’s far down the Penguins wishlist, but if the Penguins only do something small at the deadline, New Jersey’s Kyle Quincey could be it to solidify their depth in the top-7. With a $1.25 million cap hit, the Penguins had been tracking Quincey prior to the Maatta injury.

— Don’t see the Penguins there or matching up for a trade with Buffalo, but told Evander Kane has received excellent scouting reports from many teams over the course of the last three weeks, including the Penguins. [/hide]