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Insider Only Post-Practice Buzz: Jeffrey odd-man out again; Bylsma talks trade deadline & more


Interesting development emerging in that based off practice today, it looks like Dustin Jeffrey won’t play tomorrow vs Tampa Bay and will remain the odd-man out of the lineup, since the callup of Eric Tangradi.
Why Jeffrey has become the odd-man out, remains unclear. There’s been no indication that Jeffrey is nursing an injury. He had a strong game against Philadelphia Saturday afternoon where head coach Dan Bylsma praised the play of his line and he’s arguably the team’s third best center among active players.
One scouts take on who the Penguins most attractive “available” trade assets are leading up to deadline:
1. Matt Niskanen
2. Tyler Kennedy
3. Robert Bortuzzo

4. Dustin Jeffrey
5. Eric Tangradi
The only scenario the Penguins would be willing to move Niskanen or Kennedy would be for a “hockey trade” not a move for rental player.
Pittsburgh used the following lines in today’s skate:
Kunitz – Malkin – Neal
Sullivan – Staal – Dupuis
Cooke – Vitale – Asham
Tangradi – Park – Adams
Extra’s: Crosby, Jeffrey
Sidney Crosby skated for the second straight day with his teammates. He has yet to be cleared for contact and of course no timetable.
Tyler Kennedy went through individual on-ice drills for the second consecutive day.
Brooks Orpik practiced again today and could return to the lineup this weekend but he still may opt to remain cautious.
— Goaltender Brent Johnson did not practice and head coach Dan Bylsma mentioned he might have tweaked something. Brad Thiessen is a possibility to be recalled.
Matt Niskanen returned to practice from an illness and should play tomorrow afternoon. “”I’m better today than the last couple of days,” Niskanen said. “I think I’ll be ready for tomorrow.”
Dan Bylsma had some funny quotes today about the upcoming trade deadline, talking about a gentleman who owns a flower shop he ran into yesterday:
“I was in a coffee shop yesterday afternoon and ran into a gentleman who owns a flower shop, ” Bylsma said.
“He told me of his dream trade and he had lots of things moving around and people coming to the Penguins. I just chuckled because it wasn’t possible with salary cap issues and all those things.
“We can’t afford to get a player like Evgeni Malkin with our salary cap situation. The best situation and best trade Ray Shero could make is for Sidney Crosby. That’s a health issue and injury situation. We don’t know what that is.
“When you talk about what would make our team better, what our team needs, the guy wearing 87 would be a good start for Ray on Monday. We don’t have any timeline on when or if that’s going to be possibility. Who knows if anything will happen for our team. The guy {flower shop owner} wanted {Rick} Nash. That didn’t quite work, ” Bylsma said.

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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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