The NHL trade deadline is just six times henceforth, and the Pittsburgh Penguins are fighting for their playoff life. They locate by themselves ahead or driving the youthful, exuberant and marginally ridiculous Carolina Hurricanes who have struggled to rating plans and with goaltending but have caught fireplace driving the not likely netminder Petr Mrazek and not long ago acquired Nino Niederreiter.
Carolina has turn out to be a freight coach of on-ice limbo contests, ride-the-bull dances and residence plate celebrations to the ire of Don Cherry, who said they look like “jerks.” That ought to quell their enthusiasm, eh?
But the Penguins are also just a couple of points out of next position in the Metro Division. Welcome to NHL standings which look like the Ft. Pitt tunnel at 4:30 on Friday.
And so Penguins GM Jim Rutherford who needed to get a good look at the workforce with Evgeni Malkin, Justin Schultz, Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann in the lineup is running out of time. Head coach Mike Sullivan is nevertheless working the combos seeking to locate what he likes, although the third time period Sunday versus New York could be a good starting stage.
If Rutherford feels the workforce desires extra or wishes to make supplemental changes, the conclusion of his prospect to do so is in close proximity to. No matter if that mild at the conclusion of the tunnel is the Penguins gelling or the Carolina coach remains to be witnessed. Missing the playoffs would not be good for gamers or front workplace career protection.
Penguins Trade Bait
4. Dominik Simon
Much more than a one particular particular person in the know have explained to us Simon is perfectly regarded inside of the Penguins, which like his pace, skill to participate in with the puck down lower, and skill to build scoring probabilities (even if these don’t translate to stage totals).
Nevertheless, very last June Pittsburgh Hockey Now was the initially to report the Penguins presented Simon as portion of a bundle to the Arizona Coyotes in trade for Max Domi.
This season, Simon has 21 points in 49 games. He was a balanced scratch Saturday but returned to the lineup, Sunday. Coaches shuffled Simon off the third line when the Penguins produced sweeping changes to start off the third time period.
The 24-year-outdated signed a two-year, $1.5 million offer around the summertime so he is a charge-successful, speedy winger with some upside but the Penguins are at the moment perfectly stocked.
3. Tanner Pearson
Pearson, 26, was acquired for Carl Hagelin in November as the initially portion of the Penguins workforce shakeup. Pearson has scored points in consecutive games just twice with the Penguins and has one particular stage in his very last 11 games. He served as a balanced scratch for both of those finishes of the Penguins back again-to-back again residence games very last weekend.
Pearson notched 24 plans in 2016-17 and has a championship pedigree from his time with the LA Kings. Nevertheless, this season has long gone sideways. It isn’t tough to think about a Western Meeting workforce remembering a founding member of That 70’s Line with the LA Kings which propelled them to a Cup.
Pearson has two extra seasons at $3.75 million remaining.
PHN thinks the Penguins may possibly have to include supplemental property to shift Pearson if they pick, having said that, other educated hockey individuals we spoke to do not believe the Penguins would require to portion with supplemental property.
If Rutherford feels the require or has the prospect to include an affect participant, Pearson most likely has to be moved.
2. Juuso Riikola
Putting Riikola on the trade board has very little to do with his new scratches and every thing to do with our belief that at least one particular workforce bundled his title in conversations in the course of Rutherford’s force to shift Derick Brassard.
Riikola, 24, is the quintessential late bloomer. He has pace, a little bit of sandpaper in his sport and pleasant puck moving capabilities. Riikola’s benefit is not tough to confirm. When his ELC expires this summertime, he’ll be a restricted no cost agent but nevertheless escalating into the NHL sport. The Penguins have a speedy third pairing defenseman who nevertheless has probable.
Which is a beneficial commodity.
On the draw back, he has just 4 points (2g, 2a) in 34 games. A youthful or rebuilding workforce like Ottawa, Chicago or Minnesota could benefit a participant like Riikola and portion with a “now” type asset.
And given the Penguins blue line depth, specially when Olli Maatta returns from his suspected shoulder damage the Penguins may possibly locate by themselves ready to afford to pay for extra than they predicted.
1. Tristan Jarry
Heaven aid the Penguins if they offer Jarry for the riches which await but do not get an NHL able goalie in return or a subsequent offer. The Penguins have only won only one particular of their 5 Stanley Cups without struggling a goalie damage (1992). In any other case, the Penguins have essential at least two goalies. 3 netminders began games in 2016. In 2017, 3 goalies also dressed as Matt Murray was hurt.
For the Penguins to offer Jarry, they would require to exchange the insurance plan coverage which he signifies.
In 29 AHL commences this season, Jarry has posted a .911 help save percentage and 2.75 plans versus normal not specifically earth beater quantities.
PHN is familiar with the goalie is pissed off by his absence of inclusion on an NHL roster but also understands the circumstance. The goalie sector has been wildly inconsistent around the earlier numerous yrs and the Penguins may possibly have a blue chipper or they may possibly have a prospect which nets only a fair return. Magnificence is in the eye of the beholder.
Given that Jarry is underneath contract for subsequent season, the Penguins have minimal require to offer Jarry but the stars could align in which the Penguins get a variation maker in return. Just about anything shorter of an affect participant and the Penguins can wait right up until the summertime.
And a minimal look ahead–the Penguins may possibly also be smart to wait right up until they examine a new contract with Matt Murray this summertime right before working Jarry.