As we inch closer to the beginning of free agency with every passing second, the rumors around player movement are starting to swirl at a frantic pace and won’t slow down the closer we get.
Yesterday, the Penguins found themselves in the middle of a few trade rumors as general manager Jim Rutherford is busy locking down long term deals and figuring out his plan heading into July 1st. The name in question was rumored leading up to the trade deadline but nothing ever materialized. The price to bring him in would be steep but worth it to extend this championship window as long as possible.
Let’s get right down to the headlines...
This big name being tossed around as a potential target for the Pens is Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche. While Duchene is not a free agent, there is heavy speculation that he is one his way out of Colorado and Pittsburgh could be his destination. [Sportsnet; See point No. 15]
Although trading for Duchene would be a high price to pay in terms of players and picks going to the Avs, given the Pens current situation its a risk worth taking for general manage Jim Rutherford and his staff. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
As for fitting in with an already stacked Penguins’ lineup, Matt Duchene can play either center or on the wing. Wherever he plays, over the course of his career he has been a top tier player in the NHL and his underlying statistics show how much he drives play when on the ice. [Hockey Buzz]
One piece a potential Duchene trade could involve is young winger Daniel Sprong. After recovering from offseason shoulder surgery and spending the year posting huge numbers at the junior level, Sprong is ready to be back in a Pens uniform and make a big impressions at this week’s development camp. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
Joining The Dan Patrick Show on Tuesday morning, Penguins’ captain and two time reining Conn Smythe Trophy winner Sidney Crosby talked about his Stanley Cup Final dustup with P.K. Subban and what it would be like playing goalie in the NHL. [Pensburgh]
With free agency on the horizon general manager Jim Rutherford is playing the patient game in the run up to free agency. Between working on long term deals for the likes of Brian Dumoulin and Justin Schultz while keeping tabs on the status of Chris Kunitz and Matt Cullen, Rutherford has had to sit back and let things unfold before making any major decisions. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
News and notes from around the NHL...
When free agency begins on July 1st there will not be a shortage of big names available to for teams to sign as this is shaping up to be one of the stronger free agent classes in recent years. [SB Nation]