Not sure if anyone noticed, but I was gone all week, taking a vacation to Florida and Pirates spring training. Got a cool story about their prospect Josh Bell if you ask- great guy.
Anyways, onto thoughts (written Sunday night, before any trades make them all irrelevant)
#1: Biggest move of the past little bit has to be the Justin Schultz acquisition. Seems very unnecessary to add a 3rd pairing, totally offensive minded defenseman, especially when they already have Derrick Pouliot in the same role. With Pouliot being years young, better defensively and a much cheaper cap hit.
Leads me to believe something else has to be in the works to try and make another move.
But, even if not, at least the Penguins add another body. And Schultz would be only the second healthy right-handed defenseman on the team along with Kris Letang. (Though Trevor Daley is capable playing the right-side as a LH guy...And Ian Cole, well, he plays sometimes on the right too..With also the RH but injured Ben Lovejoy in the picture too.)
#2: Here's something to consider...Or at least float out there. Pouliot + something for Tampa Bay Lightning's Jonathan Drouin? Pouliot has been great lately - and his game Saturday against Winnipeg with 2 assists was probably his best of the season - can the Pens afford to move him? With Olli Maatta locked up long, Letang in the fold forever, Brian Dumoulin under team control for years to come, Daley under contract and Schultz an RFA, the Pens have bodies there. Drouin is intriguing. Not saying it should or will happen, but adding Schultz as a 3rd pairing level offensive-defenseman certainly opens up possibilities.
#3: Speaking of possibilities, the Pens called up Matt Murray again. Can they trade Jeff Zatkoff to a team like St. Louis? The Blues, with the injury of Brian Elliott would need another goalie body. Would it be best for Murray to be a backup in the NHL or go through another AHL playoff run?
For the Baby Pens, Tristan Jarry made 47 saves on 50 shots in a 3-2 loss Sunday night, he seems like he could carry the mail down there. But what's best for Murray? And would any team even be interested in Zatkoff?
One thing to consider- the Pens play 6 games in 9 nights (nice) starting tonight...They can't afford to drop points. They definitely should be playing their second best goalie (Murray) on the nights when Marc-Andre Fleury can't go.
#4: And on the Maatta note above, hey look at this post from Feb 12 where we basically said expect Maatta to sign for 6 years and $4.1 million soon. Reading Pensburgh makes you smart, tell your friends. Should be a great deal for team and player.
#5: And some food for thought, in case another trade is made today, from our own @Darnay
GMJR’s trading history w/ PIT— Mike Darnay (@MikeDarnay) February 28, 2016
As Mike would point out, Rutherford's only traded in the East with Toronto (twice). It'll be interesting to see if that trend is broken before the deadline or if he goes back to an old familiar partner out West.