Penguins continue to eye an impact player to add to forward group

Penguins GM Jim Rutherford is asked so much about the search for a third line center, his comments will vary from a week-to-week.

One day Rutherford will make it seem like the Penguins are close to the deal, a few days later he will be quoted as saying he’s waiting for specific targets to be available.

Where things truly stand is this:


Rutherford has been talked into by his staff to avoid making a deal for the sake of making a deal, hence the trade scenario for Red Wings center Riley Sheahan that Pittsburgh could have moved on weeks ago, and instead the consensus in the organization is to wait things out for a group of 3-4 players the club has targeted since August.

These particular targets are players who are somewhat available but prices are high and the particular teams are not in the stage yet where they’re truly ready to move them just yet.

For Rutherford and his staff it’s all about laying the groundwork for when an opportunity presents it self and General Managers are often not ready to deal until around December.

“I don’t feel the urgency,” Rutherford told the Post-Gazette. “McKegg and Rowney have played well. I would like to continue to look and find somebody there. That doesn’t affect either of those two guys because of those guys can go to the wing when we add another center. As long as we can hang in there, we’ll continue to wait until it’s somebody that we’ve identified that we feel will fit into our team and help us win,” said Rutherford.

— Add another name to the list of targets Pittsburgh is watching closely:

Despite a $4.9 million cap hit through the 2019/2020 season, the Pittsburgh Penguins have had internal discussions surrounding Montreal forward Alex Galchenyuk and have not ruled out making a run at him as a trade target, league sources say.

Last summer Pittsburgh held trade discussions with Montreal about Galchenyuk where opinions vary throughout the league whether he should be a center or winger.

That dilemma has continued for Montreal this season with Galchenyuk having another slow start and demoted to the 4th line.

Galchenyuk, 23, had 17 goals and 44 points in 61 games for the Canadiens in 2016-2017. In 2015-16 he had a career high 30 goal season.

League sources say when it comes to players with higher cap hits, Pittsburgh has been drawn to players who can play center and wing.

Penguins – Rangers

— The 7th game of an 82 game season is by no means a must-win but the New York Rangers off to a 1-5 start are entering uncharted waters. You can’t fall too far behind in this division.

The Rangers have scored just 13 goals in six games and while praised for getting rid of the Derek Stepan contract, the team hasn’t replaced Stepan and have a major center problem.

It’s led to the Rangers having to play Kevin Hayes out of position as a top-2 line center and from there you have a trickle down effect.

The hope in New York has been that the winger depth they possess would be good enough to cover the hole at center for a few months until they can address it prior to the deadline. So far that plan hasn’t played out.

New York tried hard for Joe Thornton on July 1 and almost got him, but a loss tonight away from their worst start in 57 years, David Desharnais will be the Rangers second line center vs Pittsburgh with J.T. Miller and Chris Kreider on the wing.

With Lindy Ruff now behind the Rangers bench as the top assistant, the noise could start getting loud for Alain Vigneault. [/hide]