Why Penguins GM Jim Rutherford cannot be done dealing

penguins

On January 2nd Penguins General Manager Jim Rutherford pulled the trigger on a trade that brought David Perron to Pittsburgh from Edmonton in exchange for a 2015 first round pick and Forward Rob Klinkhammer. While this is absolutely the type of player this team, The Penguins, have needed since the start of the season, Mr. Rutherford cannot afford to rest just yet.

Currently the Penguins are tied with Tampa Bay for first in the Metropolitan and for third in the Conference. While that is hardly reason to panic, the Penguins have had some struggles as of late; due in large part to injuries and illness. It should come to no surprise that a slide would occur, but the real issues aren’t with what is currently going on with the team rather with what will happen once everyone, hopefully, returns to full health.

Without a doubt Evgeni Malkin is having a great year, something we haven’t seen from the Russian Star in quite some time. Problem here is Malkin’s best line-mate this season not named Sidney Crosby was Blake Comeau, who is currently out with an injury. What if he still had the likes of James Neal on his wing, or even someone like Petr Sykora?
I am in no way bashing the Neal trade here, I fully support the Penguins decision to part ways with him. I would however like to question Rutherford on why he has yet to replace Neal. Yea, I get that Hornqvist is essentially his replacement. But let’s not kid ourselves, we all knew that Hornqvist would be better suited along side Crosby which in turn obviously leaves Malkin without a legit top four winger.

So who is out there that could be had to play along side him?
Not two weeks ago rumors began twirling that former Penguins Jarimor Jagr was/is unhappy in New Jersey. No official trade request has been made by Jagr publicly and I do not expect to hear about one. However he is open to the idea of being traded to a contender and Pittsburgh is just that. You can sit there and say you are against him coming back but you are only fooling yourself. He would fit in nicely not only with Malkin but the Power Play as well. The only issue here is the asking price and from what I gathered there hasn’t even been anything set yet. Also if you are rumbling something about Mario never letting this happen he would be more foolish not to let it happen as it would be one of the smartest business moves he could make. Who wouldn’t want a shirt or something that said “The RETURN of 68!”? I know I would.

#JagrWatch2015

Other names that are out there but VERY unlikely are Nail Yakapov, Vinnie Lecavlier, Evander Kane, Jordan Eberle and Joffry Lupul. All have their perks but none truly deliver how Jagr would on this team.

Now this isn’t to say that GMJR wont find another player not listed above, but this isn’t a time where Penguins management can just waste a season like Malkin is having. Getting him a true top four caliber winger needs to be priority immediately and heading towards the trade deadline.

With the NHL now seeing the likes of Derrick Pouliot, Brian Dumoulin, Scott Harrington, Olli Maatta and Simon Despres it may be time to relinquish the stranglehold the team has on talented young defenders. Could a Despres or Harrington score you a Jagr? It would’t hurt to try.

Thanks For Reading!
-Robert

#JagrWatch2015

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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