Where there is enough smoke there’s bound to be fire, and national reports of the Penguins hot on the trail of trying to acquire Carolina Hurricanes forward Micheal Ferland have about reached full throat.
The Athletic’s Pierre Lebrun included Pittsburgh as on the hunt for Ferland in a note shared today:
My sense is that the Carolina Hurricanes don’t want to wait until too close to Feb. 25 to move Micheal Ferland. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if he got dealt within the next two weeks, according to sources. The last thing you want if you are Carolina is Ferland getting hurt closer to Feb. 25 and damage his trade value. I mean, that’s the same for any team selling any rental player, but especially true of a bruising, power forward like Ferland.
That depends of course on whether or not teams step up and meet their price.
As discussed before, the ‘Canes want at least a first-round pick as part of a Ferland deal or at least a young player that resembles equal worth to a first-round pick.
Teams that I believe have shown interest in Ferland include Nashville, Pittsburgh and Boston among others. I think Calgary internally has discussed the merits of trying to re-acquire him but not sure they’ve reached out yet.
Elliotte Friedman in 31 Thoughts only specified the Pens by name when talking Ferland, again with a similar thought conveyed as LeBrun about the Hurricanes probably looking to deal him sooner than later:
Carolina is skittish about the minor injury that prematurely ended Micheal Ferland’s West Coast trip. They don’t want that happening again, and are trying to hurry the timetable. The Penguins are among those who continue to pursue.
It’s very interesting that the Pens just called up center Teddy Blueger, a player that Rutherford called a center only option right now. On on hand, sure teams need more than just 12 healthy forwards on their roster, and Pittsburgh had been running with 12 for a while.
On the other hand, Rutherford’s not one to stand on ceremony for very long. While Ferland is a winger and the main team uncertainty is a third line center that fits, it does look like Carolina would like to get a good offer and ship out Ferland as quickly as possible.
Pittsburgh has Bryan Rust (a natural NHL right wing) playing the left side at the moment. Doesn’t take much to see that adding another winger option for coach Mike Sullivan is probably bound to happen anyways. If Carolina really is itching to move Ferland post haste, it seems like now would be the time for a contender like the Pens to step to the plate and close the deal.