THURSDAY’S PENGUINS TRADE DEADLINE TOP-5
1. There’s a strong sense that the Penguins and Bruins, the two top Cup contenders in the Eastern Conference, are chasing the same players leading into the April 3rd trade deadline. It’s a group that is becoming thinner and what’s interesting is that both teams are also said to be considering the same options at the deadline; Adding a top-4 defenseman, bottom two-line player or top-6 forward.
2. One team the Penguins continue to scout heavily of late is the Dallas Stars. The Penguins have scouted five of the Stars last seven games and the Penguins were in attendance last night for Stars – Avalanche game. Adrian Dater of the Denver Post points out the Penguins were the only Eastern Conference team in attendance last night for Av’s-Stars. Brenden Morrow and Eric Nystrom are two notable players the Penguins have been tracking, sources say, What the Penguins would love to add is a top-9 forward who can be an ideal fit on the third line with Brandon Sutter and Matt Cooke, but also have the ability to move up to the second line left wing spot with Malkin and Neal in certain situations. Could Morrow be that player, while also being a strong locker room presence? I hear the Penguins think so. Morrow is also a player strongly connected to the Boston Bruins who in addition to the Penguins have him on their radar.
3. Asking prices are so outrageous right now that I’m hearing the Stars are telling teams they want a first round pick and young NHL roster player for Morrow. That price will eventually come down if the Stars are intent on moving him, but that’s why there is being no movement right now leaguewide. One thing to keep in mind and why the Stars are a team to watch in regards to the Penguins is Penguins GM Ray Shero and Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk have done business in the past, most notably the James Neal trade but this season also with Pittsburgh trading Carl Sneep to Dallas for a conditional seventh round draft pick. That could lead to Morrow ending up a Penguin.
4. Could the Penguins actually be scouting Jaromir Jagr? I think there’s a better chance of Mario Lemieux coming out of retirement than the Penguins trying to acquire Jagr. That bridge was burned. However, it’s always fun to see others in media speculating of Penguins looking at Jagr. Adrian Dater of the Denver Post and SI wondered if the Penguins were scouting Jagr last night writing “Could it be Jaromir Jagr? I say, why not? If you’re looking for a winger who can put the puck in the net and be good on a line with, say, a Malkin, you need only look at Jagr. I don’t have any solid info. saying that is who they’re looking at. But it’s my opinion that they should be if they need deadline help.”
5. Defenseman Andrej Sustr has signed a two year entry level deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning this evening. Top finalists for the coveted college free agent included the Rangers and Senators. Pittsburgh was not optimistic about signing Sustr so it was not a surprise to them to be informed today by Sustr’s camp that the 6-foot-8 defenseman was signing elsewhere.