Leading up to the March 3rd trade deadline, the Pittsburgh Penguins top two priorities have been to add a stay at home defenseman and a 2nd line winger for Evgeni Malkin.
The Penguins accomplished their No. 1 priority, acquiring defenseman Jordan Leopold for a 2010 second round pick, who according to team sources will play a top-4 role.
With less than 48 hours until the trade deadline, the Penguins are in a very interesting position and they are open to a number of scenarios.
The team prefers to just make a secondary move via a rental move but they are listening to inquries for Alex Goligoski, Kris Letang and Sergei Gonchar to a much lesser extent, although no inquiries regarding Gonchar have come about.
With 8 defensemen on their roster, multiple league sources indicate a defenseman will be moved, with anyone on their blueline in play except Brooks Orpik.
If Pittsburgh is unable to move one of their top-7 defenseman, the team will move forward with their current group of Orpik – Gonchar, Leopold – Letang, Goligoski – Eaton and Jay McKee. Therefore, Martin Skoula will be placed on waivers.
Much of Pittsburgh’s focus has now turned towards adding a forward, however, word from team sources is that the team feels no pressure to add a top-6 winger, indicating they will not overpay for any of their targets.
Penguins GM Ray Shero indicated today he is happy with his group of wingers, even stating that this group of wingers won a Stanley Cup together.
But, based on how active Pittsburgh has been over the past 48 hours, checking in on the asking prices for Ray Whitney and Raffi Torres to name a few, that could just be a ploy from management if they are unable to finalize a deal for a winger.