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From J.T. Miller to Ben Chiarot, Penguins Trade Deadline Odds & Analysis

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Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL trade, Ben Chiarot

Five days. Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ron Hextall probably does not yet hear the tick-tock or chimes of the clock. Five days is an eternity with the looming March 21 NHL trade deadline. There will be bedfellows, breakups, and pleas to get back together when other options fall through.

Following up on Montreal Hockey Now and Pittsburgh Hockey Now reports, the Penguins are interested in Montreal Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot. Sources say the Penguins are pushing hard for a deal.

Last Friday, Hextall said he would like to add a forward. Still, the dalliances with defensemen, both acquiring and trading–Vancouver is known to be interested in John Marino and Marus Pettersson–suggest Hextall may be plugging a hole before he creates it.

The Hextall chessboard looks to be set up to acquire a veteran defenseman, then trade a young one for the forward help the Penguins (perhaps) desperately need. It’s the type of sure-footing strategy Hextall for which Hextall is known.

Names like J.T. Miller, Brock Boeser, and even (why?) Phil Kessel has been tossed about. Some names are speculation, some are educated guesses, and some names have been connected through sourced reporting.

However, without a Vancouver forward coming this way, the likelihood is that we don’t yet know the name of the forward whom the Penguins could snare by March 21, but we’ll try.

Pittsburgh Penguins NHL Trade Deadline Odds:

Ben Chiarot: 25%

He can play both sides of the blue line. He’s a big body (6-foot-3, 225 pounds) and a trusted d-man. There are lots of suitors with serious interest. He seems to be one of the apples of the Penguins’ eye, and the 30-year-old will be a healthy scratch in Montreal until a trade is completed. He’s probably worth the premium.

Josh Manson went for a good prospect and a second-rounder. That’s the Penguins equivalent of P.O. Joseph and a second-rounder. That’s a big ask.

Robert Hagg: 20%

The Penguins and Buffalo Sabres did their scouting dance, and Buffalo AGM Jason Karmanos recently spent a couple of games in the Penguins press box. Hagg is a locker room leader, a steady defenseman, and affordable ($1.6 million). He won’t command the premium of Chiarot but would upgrade the Penguins’ blue line, perhaps freeing Hextall to move one of his young d-men for the needed forward.

J.T. Miller, Vancouver Canucks: 1%

The cost for Miller far outkicks the Penguins deadline coverage. He’s a Bryan Rust-type player who fills the net and is signed for a team-friendly $5.25 million for another year. He recently put the Canucks locker room on notice for poor play in a win over the Washington Capitals. As coach Bruce Boudreau marched towards the room to give the boys a wake-up call, Miller stopped him.

“I’ll take care of this,” he said.

You don’t give up that player. You pay that player. Vancouver Hockey Now was the first and strongest to report J.T. Miller was essentially untouchable on the NHL trade market.

Brock Boeser: 10%

Elliotte Friedman and Pierre LeBrun have tied Boeser to the Penguins in mild ways. Interested, but…  Boeser is due a $7.5 million qualifying offer this summer, which well exceeds his value. If the Penguins are going to shell out big money, this keyboard thinks Bryan Rust is more deserving, and the Penguins know it.

On Monday, Friedman said the idea is all but dead as the Penguins pulled back from talks over a young defenseman. But don’t forget the trade deadline caveat. It takes just one phone call to change everything.

Artturi Lehkonen: 20%

Call this a hunch. The gritty winger checks the boxes the Penguins have to fill. The Penguins have put multiple scouts in the Montreal press box to watch the Canadiens rebirth under head coach Marty St. Louis. While we know the Penguins like Chiarot, Lehkonen is right there.

Lehkonen has 28 points (13-15-28) in 55 games but eight points (6-2-8) in his last seven games. He’s more third line than second, but who knows who will find chemistry with Evgeni Malkin. Also, the Washington Capitals are interested.

Phil Kessel: Seriously?

Stop it. Unless Arizona is willing to attach additional assets to accept Phil Kessel, and Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan has plenty of TUMS, this just ain’t happening. Kessel has six goals this season. At 34-years-old, the player doesn’t take care of himself and his declining play combined with playing his own system and burning bridges in the Penguins org just screams no.

Calle Jarnkrok: 25%

Our colleague Josh Yohe of The Athletic first tied Jarnkrok to the Penguins. The 30-year-old Swede is a versatile bottom-six forward with 26 points (12-14-26) in 49 games and an affordable $2 million salary. He checks the boxes and will be a UFA after this season. Seattle has no reason to hang onto him unless they re-sign him.

Jarnkrok seems to always be around the play and has a complete game.

Tomas Hertl: 5%

Forgive PHN, we laid out the case to chase the 28-year-old Tomas Hertl last summer, and it struck a chord. Hertl has been tied to the Penguins ever since, including Sportsnet’s “5 Destinations for Hertl” published on Tuesday.

It makes great sense. Hertl is a top-six center or winger. He’s on an expiring contract, so his price will never be lower. He plays the game with skill and speed. What’s not to like?

San Jose Hockey Now scribe Sheng Peng played GM and asked several writers (me included) to represent our teams. The best I could come up with was P.O. Joseph, a No. 1 pick and another prospect.

However, Hextall could add a young NHL defenseman to the table to sweeten the deal. I still think Hextall is wisely avoidant of high-priced rentals, but it’s a different situation if San Jose can shed some light on the contract number. If the Penguins like the potential number, and Hertl will sign it, go for it.

At worst, it’s Evgeni Malkin insurance. At best, it’s a very good player who can help for another six or seven years.

Names we Haven’t Heard, But…

Max Domi, Columbus

It makes sense. The UFA-to-be is likely to be dealt. He can be a top-six winger and is creative in the offensive zone. Those skills make us wonder if he could be a top-notch setup man for Evgeni Malkin. He can play in the middle or LW, too. He has 31 points (9-22-31) in 50 games, and his $5.3 million AAV expires after this season.

Jordan Eberle, Marcus Johansson Seattle

The Penguins need offense. Eberle isn’t a hard-nosed, gritty winger. No, he just finds a way to put the puck in the net. He has 34 points (13-21-34) in 49 playoff games over the last three seasons, including a pair of New York Islanders series wins over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

We like the connection and know the Penguins have scouted Seattle ahead of the NHL trade deadline, but it’s unlikely. Eberle has two more years on his contract, which carries a $5.5 million cap hit. In fairness, the New York Islanders missed Eberle’s production this season.

MoJo is another player we like. He needs a good centerman beside him and hasn’t had that opportunity in Seattle, so his numbers are in the tank (6-17-23) in 49 games. He’s not a hard player, but he knows how to score. In his last 53 playoff games going back to 2016 with the Washington Capitals, Johansson has eight goals and 26 points. He makes $1.5 million.

Andrew Copp, WPG

A pending UFA with middle-six capability, position flexibility, size, and an affordable contract. The 6-foot-1, 206-pound Copp has 32 points (13-19-32) in 54 games. He makes $3.2 million on an expiring deal, and Winnipeg’s playoff hopes are muddled as part of a six-team gaggle within three points of the sinking Vegas Golden Knights.

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Michael Pizzulli
Michael Pizzulli
8 months ago

I would looooove Hertl, but Copp would be welcomed too!

Jason.C
Jason.C
8 months ago

I hope the pens get Chiarot and Lehkonen I think it makes the most sense and both would fit nice!

Ric
Ric
8 months ago

I don’t like anyone on this list but Miller and Chiarot, and Chiarot is the only realistic option. The rest is crap and not worth breaking up what we have nor giving up picks for

Kris
Kris
8 months ago
Reply to  Ric

Miller yes. Chiarot oh hell no.
Trader Jim is wanting Marino so I wouldn’t be so sure about Miller being off limits.

Logan
Logan
8 months ago

No chance of aquiring Garland?

Fredrick
Fredrick
8 months ago

I think a name missing from this is Travis Konecny. Hextall traded up in the draft to acquire him, and he is one of his favorite right wingers in the game. I know the Flyers and Penguins rarely make direct trades, but maybe a 3 way deal with Vancouver with Boeser going to Philly and Konecny coming to Pittsburgh. He fits the bill for us as an aggressive scoring winger who does a lot of damage in front of the net.

mstar80
mstar80
8 months ago

I would love Lawson Crouse if he’s available. Has 19 goals this year and has the size that would translate in the playoffs. I would also like Konecny. I think he needs a change of scenery. I think his game would work well in the Pens system.

Paul
Paul
8 months ago

Until HexBurke actually do something before the deadline, I’ll assume they either 1) know this team has virtually no chance in the playoffs, or 2) aren’t on the same page, or 3) lack the stones and know-how to address problems via trade(s). Which door do you pick, girls and boys?

Last edited 8 months ago by Paul
DaGama
DaGama
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul

#2 seems right. Commander Sully continues to try fitting square pegs into round holes.

Kris
Kris
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul

How about (4) they know what they are doing; are trying to do something; but the lack of cap space and resources to trade (that another team really wants) just might be ham-stringing them.

DaGama
DaGama
8 months ago
Reply to  Kris

Because (4) isn’t fun

RYAN
RYAN
8 months ago
Reply to  Kris

Ok…but this team as us gets soundly beaten in the first round. 5 games. Make sure they put that stupid Stanley cup playoff decal on the outside of the paint bucket now to get proper use outta it 👍🏻

Katz
Katz
8 months ago

I just think there is a mental block a diversion from reality. Anyone who watched this teams past 4 playoffs will plainly see physicality was a strategy to defeat them. The 2nd Rnd loss to Washington Wilson injured two or three Penguins. The sweep loss to the Islanders this team had no answer for the Isles energy line . The Montreal loss this team couldn’t get close to Price , zero PP goals as the Montreal D-men toyed with the z Penguin forwards. Last year Guentzel was beaten like a Red Headed stepchild. I’ve been harping that theme forever to… Read more »

Fredrick
Fredrick
8 months ago
Reply to  Katz

I think you definitely speak the truth when it comes to what we have lacked in the playoffs. It started with the Brassard trade. We traded Cole (a sandpaper shot blocking Defenseman), Reaves (nothing more needs to be said about what he brought), and ZAR got knocked out by Wilson during that series. All all grittier players who added grit to this team. We have been very one dementional every since. It looks like Hex is trying to bring bring in some of what we were lacking. Don’t get me wrong he brought in smaller talent which underperformed one season… Read more »

Kris
Kris
8 months ago
Reply to  Katz

So overhaul the roster then, is that what you are saying? Who goes, who stays?

Katz
Katz
8 months ago
Reply to  Kris

Kris ,…Rutherford made a hockey trade to address the physicality of the after 2017 seasons 2nd round WIN vs Washington. The Penguins went on to win the Cup but that 2nd Round victory was a war. Rutherford traded for Reaves primarily just to get by Washington the next year. For the life of me I cannot understand why they just didn’t keep him though the playoffs , but no they made another historically bad deal with Brassard. The Penguins lost in the 2nd Rnd to Washington I believe if they don’t make that trade they win that series and go… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Katz
Dan N
Dan N
8 months ago

Carson Soucy defenseman Seattle..I think if they trade it’s with the Kraken

tom
tom
8 months ago

the guy who i think would help alot is oleksiak

Ryan
Ryan
8 months ago
Reply to  tom

A retread? Pass

The 814
The 814
8 months ago

Hi Dan, thank you for getting me through this morning’s string of meetings at work! As much as I like to play GM and think about world-class line combinations, I keep coming back to a comment in your article that I think is where the true decision(s) come from. Re: Hertl you said, “an expiring contract, so his price will never be lower.” That places my non-counting-vote (wish) there. Even at 5% odds, wouldn’t Hertl (or someone else out there that Hex may be lookin’ at) be the most beneficial for the current/continuing/long term solution? No matter what shakes out,… Read more »

Frank
Frank
8 months ago

I get a laugh every time I see fan reaction to the Penguins losing a game in which they were largely very movable objects for the opposition. Barring the occasional attempts to add a “physical presence” the team has in one sense or another had the just “play the right way” mantra burned into their culture for a long long time. In their world that means quick, skilled, hockey intelligent players. Some where down the list . . . way down the list . . you will find “size” and/or “physicality” as an consideration. Get ready . . . the… Read more »

Jason.C
Jason.C
8 months ago
Reply to  Frank

You realize most people don’t have that long of attention spans stick with short and sweet

Frank
Frank
8 months ago
Reply to  Jason.C

Nah! (Short enough for you)

Katz
Katz
8 months ago

Make changes

Wash Rinse Repeat

Doing the same thing and expecting different results

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6_GA2YiesPE

Crazyhorse87
Crazyhorse87
8 months ago

Hextall, Burke and Sullivan know what they need, they have help from other areas of the organization as well. You just never really know what you are getting, not all the time it balances out. Sometimes you get it from someone you least expect, you just never really know, but they must’ve had some kind of notion. It seems Hextall thinks of all avenues, so that’s why he seem extra cautious.

Jeff Young
Jeff Young
8 months ago

Kapanen for Jagr

A. Lifeson
A. Lifeson
8 months ago

Last year the Pens got Physically beat in the Playoffs which led to them being eliminated. Jake Guetzel was shut down cause of this and their was even talk of trading him after that and the Pens lacked that Physical Style. Hope they’ve learned their lesson from last year and make some last minute moves to improve this weakness.
So where has Malkin been the last Three or Four games since his outbreak performance inTampa. So inconsistent. Like Hextall quoted that everyone is available except Crosby. Hope he remembered saying this and make a big move.

RYAN
RYAN
8 months ago
Reply to  A. Lifeson

Crosby will get locked down in the playoffs just as he has the previous 3 years as constructed. Get your popcorn.

moe
moe
8 months ago
Reply to  A. Lifeson

Malkin has no one to play with besides himself!

Lars Nelson
Lars Nelson
8 months ago
Reply to  A. Lifeson

The Pens played their game and controlled play for vast stretches and their goalie did not play well. If he plays as well as he has in the regular season we will be good enough to beat the Rangers.

Jason.C
Jason.C
8 months ago

Where you at Dan on these trades tonight? Chiarot going to the panthers for a hefty price and Calle J going to the flames. I am guessing maybe there looking at Hagg and Lekkenon now??

A. Lifeson
A. Lifeson
8 months ago

So much for Chairot going to Pittsburgh. Headed to Florida

Ethan
Ethan
8 months ago
Reply to  A. Lifeson

Flo Rida starting to really piss me off. Already got Bennet, Duclair, and Reinhart this summer and now Chiarot! Gonna be a tough out come playoff time–will we?

RYAN
RYAN
8 months ago
Reply to  Ethan

You’re not happy with pettersson and Marino being “locked up”? How about those trades for zucker and kapanen (part deux)?

The issues are great and real.

trackback

[…] trade deadline. Chiarot and Jarnkrok are off the board, but there’s some meat left on the bone. Pittsburgh Penguins trade deadline […]

William Maloni
William Maloni
8 months ago

PO Joseph, weighing 180 pounds, never will be a good NHL blueliner(Same with Poulin).
Put them in a package and get your bottom-six forward and RH Dman.

Last edited 8 months ago by William Maloni
trackback

[…] Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey NOW: Well, the Penguins and Ron Hextall tried for Ben Chiarot however didn’t like the worth. It seems to be like the overall supervisor is in search of a defenseman to accumulate to arrange a deal delivery off one other blueliner. This is likely to be a part of a bundle that nets him the ahead he covets. […]