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Insider Only Penguins showed early interest in Drew Stafford before talks stalled in late October

Jim Rutherford has been on the hunt for a top-9 winger, preferably a top-6 winger and that hunt will only intensify with Pascal Dupuis out for the season.

During the intermission of the Flyers – Rangers game Wednesday night, Bob McKenzie appearing on NBCSN, claimed the Penguins had looked into both Chris Stewart and Drew Stafford of the Buffalo Sabres prior to the Dupuis injury.
At least for Stewart, there was no traction between the two sides and no substantive talks are on-going. The Sabres are said to be asking for a ransom for Stewart, seeking two high draft picks and a top prospect. Multiple teams have been scared away of the Sabres current ‘ask’ for Stewart.
Jim Rutherford has had his eye on Stewart for years, according to a source, but Stafford has been a player that has interest the Penguins for a while now and there’s still support for Stafford inside the organization from left overs of the Shero regime, which led to exploratory talks on a buy-low opportunity that got serious at one point.
Talks early in the season were serious for Stafford with the Penguins willing to send a top-10 prospect, draft pick to Buffalo but talks stalled in late October because the Penguins were looking to also include a contract in the deal Buffalo wasn’t interested in.
Kasperi Kapanen who has been injured, is averaging a point per game in Kalpa with 5 goals and 9 points in nine games. Kapane’s an option to be called up because he was ‘officially’ loaned to Kalpa but it’s not that easy.
When NHL teams send draft picks back to Europe, there’s pretty much an agreement between the the two teams that the NHL team won’t make any attempt to bring the player to the NHL until the season is over for the European team. Officially they can bring Kapanen back but it’s pretty much an unwritten rule that you don’t.

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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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