Ron Hextall gave The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun some insight into the Penguins’ trade deadline plans on Monday.
The Penguins are in a multi-team battle for a wild card spot but there was no hesitation from Ron Hextall when asked what the goal was ahead of the trade deadline. My chat with the Pittsburgh GM:— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) February 20, 2023
via @TheAthletic https://t.co/WBrbx6I63e
Here’s a few bits from Hextall on the Penguins’ plans, via LeBrun and The Athletic (read the whole story here):
- On what the Penguins will look for in the trade market: “It depends on the fit, it depends on the price. I’m not willing to give up the world for rentals. But we’re looking at everything and looking at the prices, and we’ll see what makes sense for us. Obviously there’s cap constraints so we’ve got to be creative, like a lot of teams.”
- On the current bottom-six setup: “Those pieces haven’t quite fit, so if we could adjust a little bit, we would certainly look at it.”
- Hextall added he likes the team “on paper.” “But our lack of consistency has been a little bit perplexing, for sure.”
- On the goaltender situation: “We think (Tristan Jarry’s) going to play soon here. So that would be, obviously, a big boost for our group. I think we’ve been asking a lot of Casey (DeSmith) in terms of playing game after game.”
There is just over a week left until the March 3 trade deadline, after which teams will be locked in all the way until the (potential) postseason.
After three brutal division losses in four days, the Penguins sit outside of the playoff bubble as they vie for a wild card spot with the Islanders, Panthers and Capitals (all within two points of the Pens), not to mention the Sabres and Red Wings (currently within three points).
Hextall’s plan to leapfrog the Islanders and Panthers, according to LeBrun, seems to be to pray Jarry is healthy and consistent for the rest of the season and hope the Penguins will be able to dump enough salary to pick up an affordable, contracted, bottom-six forward. See TSN’s list of 35 players likely to be on the trade market here.
What do you think— can Hextall pull it off?