Penguins Possible Trade Targets

pittsburgh penguins trade rumors

Reports have already begun circulating that Ray Shero plans on looking for a Top Six Winger to replace Pascal Dupuis as he will most likely be out the remainder of the season. While the rumor mill has been full of possible replacements; who is truly a good fit for the Penguins?http://hockeytracker.net/wordpress/wp-includes/js/tinymce/plugins/wordpress/img/trans.gif 

Many believe the Penguins GM was in talks with Winnipeg just a couple weeks ago, and speculation was that Shero has interest in Blake Wheeler, Andrew Ladd and Evander Kane. And while it has been confirmed that Shero talked to the Jets GM, Kevin Cheveldayoff, it is still unsure on whom exactly, if anyone, he inquired about.

So who could be available and what is it that the Penguins desire. Are they looking short term, or are they looking to make a deal which will benefit the team in the long run?

Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review states in this article that Ray Shero does not intend on making a move for a Rental player.

“There is a sense within the organization that any move made this season would be what Shero often calls “a hockey trade,” which would require the Penguins to give up somebody significant to get somebody of worth and under contract.”

With that said, I have compiled a list of players either already rumored to being attached to a possible trade or players on teams that have a need which the Penguins may be able to help them with. Keep in mind that not all of these players fit perfectly, but could all be effective in some capacity.

(RW) Nail Yakupov – Edmonton
($925,000) RFA in 2015-2016
Nail has been the subject of trade rumors since last season. It has been stated that the former #1 overall pick has been unhappy with his role on the Oilers and would be willing to be traded if it meant going to a team which he would have more responsibility. The consensus around the league seems to be that many feel he has been uninterested since coming to the NHL. While that may be the case in Edmonton I think a change of scenery and a chance to play with fellow countryman Evgeni Malkin could re-motivate him and put him back on track.

Of course attempting to get a former #1 overall pick would not come cheap. But the fact that the Oilers are in desperate need of some strong defensemen shows that the Penguins could posses what it takes to land Yakupov. The only question is, “Are the Penguins willing to take a chance on a young player who has yet to prove himself in the NHL?” 

(RW) Ales Hemsky – Edmonton
($5,000,000) UFA This summer
Prior to Hemsky’s current contract the veteran forward was at the forefront of many trade talks for quite some time. There were even multiple times the Penguins were believed to be a possible trade partner to acquire him from the Oilers. While I would have been all for a trade to acquire Ales 3-4 years ago, I just don’t feel this would benefit Pittsburgh now. Yea a change of scenery could possibly get the Czech Republic forward back on track I think the fact of him being a UFA this summer could set the Penguins back, unless they got him for a great price.

(RW) Blake Wheeler – Winnipeg
($5,600,000) UFA in 2019-2020
The Jets leading goal scorer would absolutely look good in the Black and Vegas Gold. Unfortunately I think that the Jets may want a king’s ransom in return to acquire him. The most difficult part with trying to make a deal with Winnipeg is the fact they really don’t need defenders. That isn’t to say that Pittsburgh could not put together a deal which the Jets couldn’t refuse. But while seeing Wheeler in a Pens jersey would be welcomed, I think this next player would work out even better.

(LW) Andrew Ladd – Winnipeg
($4,400,000) UFA in 2016-2017
It was just a few short seasons ago that Evgeni Malkin, James Neal and Chris Kunitz was known as the #1 line in the NHL. Unfortunately since Crosby’s return from his Concussion Kunitz has been a regular alongside the Penguins Captain. So what does that have to do with Andrew Ladd? Well for starters they are both very similar players. Hardnosed, fast and strong on his skates. On top of his similar play of Kunitz he also has two Stanley Cups. I say it couldn’t hurt adding experience like that to this team.

If a deal can be worked out with Winnipeg for Ladd, this would be my first choice on their roster to acquire. Just thinking about how well he would fit in with the top six forwards just blows my mind.

(LW) Mike Cammalleri – Calgary
($6,000,000) UFA This summer
A welcomed addition for sure as he would no longer be on the ice to terrorize the Penguins as he has done nearly his entire career. But while it would be nice to have him on the Pens his Cap hit and the fact he is a UFA this summer would be worrisome as he would most likely become a Rental player.

(LW) Matt Moulson – Buffalo 
($3,133,333) UFA This summer
A former Penguins draft pick (2003) Moulson has really had people talking, scoring 30 or more goals each season the past three seasons. Unfortunately he could potentially turn into a rental player for the Penguins if he was acquired. Just try to imagine him on a line with Malkin or Crosby. His 30 goals a season could easily jump up to 40+ .

What makes this trade possible is the fact that the Sabres are in the start of a rebuild. They would be more than willing to acquire some talented prospects whose futures they control for at least the next 5+ years.  I say keep an eye on the Sabres as we head closer to the trade deadline. If Ray Shero cannot make that “Hockey type Trade” he wants Moulson could be a good grab.

So what do you think  are any of these players people you would like to see in a Penguins sweater be it short term or long? While there are more “rental” type players on this list I do believe Shero will make a move similar to what he did in acquire James Neal.

Right now it seems everything is status quo until after the Olympics, but I wouldn’t say a move before hand is not possible.

- Robert Slavinsky

All salary numbers were gathered using capgeek.com

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.

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