Penguins exploring options
Word out of the organization is that the Penguins don’t want to tie up their cap situation leading up to the draft as the team wants to keep their options open.
Nothing appears imminent but the Penguins are currently involved in preliminary discussions with a few teams on the trade front.
*Team sources say the Penguins are not a legitimate suitor in the Nathan Horton sweepstakes. Horton is expected to be moved this week as his no trade clause goes into effect on July 1, 2010. The Panthers have been actively engaged in talks with a number of teams, including the Minnesota Wild, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Boston Bruins. It’s believed that 5-to-6 teams are in the mix.
*Teams asking about Alex Goligoski have been told he’s currently not available, a league executive told Inside Pittsburgh Sports. For the Penguins to even consider moving Goligoski, Sergei Gonchar would have to be re-signed and it would have to be a deal that brings back a long-term impact winger.
*A team source says it has been internally mulled about making a play to acquire the rights to veteran winger Ray Whitney. There is believed to have been preliminary discussions between Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford and Pens GM Ray Shero in the past couple days. A deal though is not believed to be imminent as neither side have moved forward on it.
Pittsburgh is at the top of Whitney’s wish list, according to a source close to Whitney’s camp.
The veteran winger is seeking a two year deal and in talks with the Hurricanes has not shown a strong interest to take a paycut from his $3.55 million a year salary which could lead to the Penguins passing.
*Jay Grossman the agent for Anton Volchenkov tells me that there has been no indication that the Senators are shopping the rights of Volchenkov. Many believe they will end up doing so by the weekend.
*I’m told that the Penguins have not ruled out making a play for Edmonton’s Ales Hemsky. Interest is not very high.
*Look for some surprising names to be shopped this week. One name to keep an eye on is Dallas Stars winger James Neal.
The Stars are on a strict budget and Neals demands of $4 million per season has the Stars already looking around to see if there is a right deal.
more to come later today