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Penguins Update 1/3/2014

Montreal Canadiens vs New York Rangers

As Trade Rumors build around the Pittsburgh Penguins, Ray Shero made a, not so surprising, move in claiming Taylor Pyatt off of waivers from the New York Rangers.

It may be time for Penguins fans to put those Max Talbot rumors to rest. It was announced on Thursday that the Penguins had claimed Forward Taylor Pyatt off of waivers from the New York Rangers.

Much like former Penguin Max Talbot, Pyatt is known for his grittiness and ability to chip in dirty goals from time to time.  But at 6′ 4″ and 235lbs he will bring much needed size to a small Penguins squad that Max Talbot would not have been able to.

For those unsure of Pyatt, It would be wise to not expect too much from him right away. He has struggled a bit over the last season playing for the New York Rangers scoring only 6 goals and 11 points.

A hope would be that he regains his form from the 2010-2011 season where he scored 18 goals and 31 points.

While Pyatt could be a decent bottom six forward, the Penguins are still in search of a replacement for Pascal Dupuis who is expected to be out the remainder of the regular season after knee surgery.

Over the last week we have seen players names such as Andrew LaddBlake Wheeler, Evander Kane, Mike Cammalleri and even Jarimor Jagr pop up in possible trade targets for the Penguins. While replacing Dupuis is a priority for Ray Shero, it does not mean that all the names mentioned between now and when and if a trade is made should be taken seriously.

While the report from Winnipeg states that Shero has much interest in what the Jets have, that does not mean the Penguins have anything they desire in return. Olli Maatta, who is still only 19, is maybe as close as it gets to being an untouchable asset. Besides him Pittsburgh really has some of the strongest defensive depth in the league, but unfortunately that may only benefit a team with defensive needs. Something that Winnipeg is not in need of.

I would also be shocked if Shero went for another “rental” player type of deal. So don’t look for any earth shattering moves similar to that of the Jarome Iginla or Marian Hossa trades.

Something else to keep in mind. The fact that the Penguins extended Jeff Zatkoff for 2 years does not mean the team does not intend to pursue an available back-up goalie come trade deadline. This may all depend on how management feels about Marc-Andre Fleury down the stretch and not so much on the play of Zatkoff. If the team was to look for a “rental” player, this is the position I would see it happen with.

Two Penguins already Named Olympians. 

Brooks Orpik and Paul Martin were both named to the U.S. Olympic Hockey team on New Years Day. While I believe both are deserving of the honors, would both have made it if not for being coached by Dan Bylsma already?

Much like the Canadian team should have Kunitz and Crosby on their Roster for obvious reasons. TheU.S. team is bringing Orpik and Martin who both have great chemistry together and work well within Bylsma’s system. For those who feel this is not a good move on TeamU.S.A.’s part you must realize that the tandem of Orpik and Martin has been one of the strongest in the league since last season. To not have them together on one of the biggest stages would be a mistake.

With all of that said I fully expect Crosby, Kunitz, Neal and yes even Fleury to be named to the Canadian Roster on January 7th. Along with Malkin being named to the Russian team as well.

 Upcoming Game

The Penguins face off against the New York Rangers tonight at 7:00 pm. Look for this to be another tight game much like the Penguins 4-3 shoot-out victory on December 18th.

- Robert Slavinsky

 

Robert Slavinsky

Pittsburgh Penguins writer for hockeytracker.net. Since my childhood I have followed hockey, from the years of The Great One up to The Next One I have followed the fastest sport on ice. Growing up in Pittsburgh PA, I have had the privilege to witness some of Hockey's Greats. Since the days of Le Magnifique no other team in Pittsburgh has mattered to me but the Penguins.