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LIVE NHL Trade Deadline Blog: Late VGK Blockbuster; Penguins Quiet



Pittsburgh Penguins, Sidney Crosby, Ryan Graves

BOSTON — The Pittsburgh Penguins kicked over the first big domino of the NHL trade deadline when they traded Jake Guentzel to the Carolina Hurricanes late Thursday night. Reliable sources tell Pittsburgh Hockey Now that the Penguins have received interest in more players, who could have new addresses by the deadline at 3 p.m.

Lars Eller and Reilly Smith are two players who have drawn interest. A pair of Stanley Cup contenders have called about Eller, but Dubas’s interest in parting with the 34-year-old center who has become a conscience of the team, or the price tag, isn’t known.

Last week, Smith spoke with PHN and pushed back on rumors of his unhappiness but acknowledged he’d heard the trade rumors.

At the 2023 NHL trade deadline, the Washington Capitals recouped a 2025 second-rounder for Eller (and ate one-third of his $3.5 million salary).

Penguins president of Hockey operations/GM Kyle Dubas acquired five assets for Guentzel Thursday night, including gritty winger Michael Bunting.

Must Read: Jake Shake(up): Penguins Trade Guentzel to Hurricanes

As of 9:15 a.m., we haven’t yet had the next domino fall after Guentzel. However, Tony Androckitis, who covers the AHL, reports that Ty Smith, whom the Penguins included in the deal to Carolina, will remain with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins because Carolina does not have an AHL affiliate.

PHN has all bases covered today. Dave Molinari and Shelly Anderson are at the UPMC Lemieux Complex in Cranberry. They are covering the Penguins practice. I am currently at the Warrior Ice Arena in Boston. Dubas currently isn’t scheduled to speak, but it is customary for the Penguins GM to address the media following the deadline. Whether Dubas will do it in Pittsburgh or Boston, or at all, isn’t yet known.

Keep the comments coming. We’ll respond there, too. The blog will be updated in real time for moves. Otherwise, we’ll update every 15 minutes as we wait.

Saddle up.


MAJOR TRADE 3:00 p.m: BOOM. The Vegas Golden Knights have acquired Tomas Hertl. Details to follow. Per Darren Dreger: “Details of Hertl to Vegas. A first in 2025, David Edstrom (Vegas’s first-rounder in 23), for Hertl at $6.75 million (17% retained), a third in 2025, third in 2027.”

The other 3 p.m. deals were Colin Miller from New Jersey to Winnipeg and Jack Roslovic from Columbus to the Rangers for a fourth-rounder.

SMALL PENGUINS TRADE 2:50 p.m: The Penguins traded Magnus Hellberg to the Florida Panthers for depth goalie Ludovic Waeber and a conditional seventh-rounder. Hellberg had one NHL win and helped Tristan Jarry complete a shutout in Anaheim.

Waeber, 27, played in the Swiss league before coming to North America this year. He has not distinguished himself in 15 AHL games with an .887 save percentage.

2:45 p.m.TRADE: Matt Dumba and a seventh-rounder from the Arizona Coyotes to the Tampa Bay Lightning for a 2027 fifth-rounder. That’s more peanuts to Arizona, but Dumba has not been good this year.

I still like Dumba, and maybe some good hockey will revitalize him. Since Mikhail Sergachev is out long-term, I like the pickup.

NO TRADE 2:26 p.m: Kevin Weekes reports the Bruins had a deal cooking, but Linus Ullmark nixed it because of location.

TRADE 2:19: Bruins get D-man Andrew Peeke from the Columbus Blue Jackets for Jakub Zboril and a 2027 third-rounder.

Zboril is a talented prospect, but the rubber never met the road. The Bruins get tougher to sore on, and Zboril gets a fresh start in a low-pressure environment.

TRADE 1:51 p.m. Now we’re cooking with gas. Flyers trade faded prospect (and Ron Hextall draft pick) Wade Allison to the Nashville Predators for Denis Gurianov. Believe Pierre LeBrun had it first.

Allison never clicked with the Flyers, and the big forward spent the entire year in the AHL after scoring 15 points in 60 NHL games last season. Allison had 17 points (10-7-17) in 47 AHL games

TRADE 1:40 p.m.: Jake Allen to the New Jersey Devils, per Elliotte Friedman.

Bad trade for New Jersey. Unless we find that Montreal is eating 50%. NJD has a good team, and they deserve a good goalie. With respect to Allen, he’s not been one this season.

MINOR TRADE 1: 27 p.m.: Detroit receives Radim Simek and a seventh-rounder from the San Jose Sharks for Klim Kostin.

You may recall Kostin would have been on the board when the Penguins picked last in the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft, but the Penguins traded the pick and Oskar Sundqvist to St. Louis for Ryan Reaves and St. Louis’s second-round pick. The Penguins selected defenseman Zachary Lauzon, who was later concussed in junior hockey and retired. Kostin began his NHL journey like a blazing meteor, infuriating Penguins fans who changed their mind about Reaves and fighting after the trade.

1:20 p.m. Larry Brooks of the NY Post reports that Max Pacioretty coming back to the Rangers is a “real possibility.”

ANALYSIS: Given the collapsing prices, such as Zucker going for only a sixth-rounder, it’s entirely plausible that some GMs (*ahem, Dubas) pull some veterans back and wait to try again this summer.

1:12 p.m.: Penguins practice. Bryan Rust is back, but Jansen Harkins was absent. And hey–look here, Michael Bunting.

SMALL TRADE 12:53 p.m.: Turner Elson from New York for forward Nic Petan. You might be asking yourself, who is Turner Elson? You might be asking yourself, how did I get here? How did I get here?

TRADE 12:50 p.m.: Holy cow. Jason Zucker is a Nashville Predator. No salary retention by the Arizona Coyotes. Zucker goes to Nashville for — get this — only a sixth-round pick. Huge pickup for Nashville. Terrible return for Arizona, but they can’t afford a free lunch, so their penance for playing in an embarrassing 4800-seat college rink is no money to get a better return.

PENGUINS TRADE 12:07 p.m.: Penguins trade Chad Ruhwedel, NOT Sidney Crosby, to the New York Rangers for a fourth-rounder. More on the Penguins trade.

For a defenseman who is a 7D, that’s a solid return. I must confess I’ve had some criticisms of Ruhwedel’s play this season, especially early in the season and lately. Dubas’s failure to upgrade the spot was glaring, though Ruhwedel can hardly be blamed for the Penguins’ biggest foibles. He’s a perfect seventh defenseman on a good team.

TRADE: 11:56 a.m.: Per Lance Lysowski, the Sabres traded Kyle Okposo to the Florida Panthers for defenseman Cale Sjalin and a conditional 7th-round draft pick. Acccording to Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News, the seventh-round pick for Okposo becomes a fifth if Florida wins the Stanley Cup.

Okposo has a $500,000 bonus in his contract if he wins a Cup. He now has a real chance.

What to know something? I think Florida is the best team since the 2016 Pittsburgh Penguins. No joke, they’re going to change the game but make it more physical, whereas the Penguins made it faster.

TRADE 11:38 a.m.: Pat Maroon 5, who brings Stanley Cups, was traded from the Minnesota Wild to the Boston Bruins, per The Athletic’s Michael Russo. UPDATE: Minnesota gets Luke Toporowski and a conditional 2026 sixth-round draft pick from the Boston Bruins.

TRADE UPDATE: 11:26 a.m.: The Winnipeg Jets are closing a deal with New Jersey for Tyler Toffoli, according to Darren Dreger. The return is a 2025 second-rounder and a 2024 third.

MINOR TRADE 11:17 a.m.: Wow… The Blue Jackets acquired Malcolm Subban from St. Louis for future considerations. Subban will be assigned to Cleveland.

There should be a lot more movement by now. This is shaping up to be a) a blood bath between 2 and 3 p.m., or an absolute snoozer.

11:08 a.m.: Jordan Eberle signs a $4.75M x two-year extension with the Seattle Kraken. That salary means he can upgrade to a one-bedroom apartment and step around fewer tents on the sidewalk. 

10:53 a.m.: Jeremy Rutherford reports that it looks like Pavel Buchnevich will remain in St. Louis.

TRADE! 10:43 a.m.: Pierre LeBrun reports the Washington Capitals traded Evgeny Kuznetsov to Carolina with a 50% salary retention for a third-round pick.

I love the trade. I believed the Penguins should have been in on a similar deal. A straight Kuznetsov is a premier player. Low risk here.


It’s quiet. Too quiet. So, let’s talk about the Guentzel return.

Oh…my…Gawd. The supposed bible of the industry that fired all of the good writers and replaced them with AI, Google SEO tricks, and unqualified writers who’ve never actually written anything professional is pushing Sidney Crosby trade stories, wondering if the Penguins will trade him to New York. No, we aren’t linking to them. And if you click on it, you’re contributing to the destruction of integrity.

That’s flat-out embarrassing. Absolutely a disgrace to the business.

Back to the Guentzel return, but first:

So, the Penguins will be trading away a few million in salary … unless they want to play shorthanded. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Eller this season. When there’s something that needs to be said or a question you’d like answered without sugar, Eller is the guy. As he told me early in the season, he speaks his mind, consequences be damned. He got himself in trouble early in his career in Montreal, but he shrugged away concerns of such.

He called out the team for lack of effort and lack of being ready. However, it appears the team was just a bit too old to listen.

The Penguins’ new prospect to watch isn’t Vasily Ponomarev, who scored his first NHL goal a couple of months ago, but Ville Koivunen, who has 55 points in 57 points. Show me a 20-year-old who can put up points against the men, and I’ll show you a kid with a chance.

Still, his skating needs to improve, and he’s only 165 pounds. He has to gain weight and get faster simultaneously. It won’t be easy.

Both Danny Shirey and Mark Madden used the same analogy regarding the Penguins trade haul: Lottery scratchers. The reality is none of the prospects have a better-than-average chance of making an impact in the NHL.

10:03 a.m.

Boston Hockey Now’s Jummy Muprhy is reporting the New Jersey Devils kicked the tires on Linus Ullmark, but are OUT of those sweepstakes. Sources continue to tell Jimmy (and I know the sources) that the Devils are still eyeing Jacob Markstrom.