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NHL Trade Rumors

LeBrun Says Teams Interested in Reilly Smith; Penguins Listening on Many



Reilly Smith, Pittsburgh Penguins

The March 8th NHL trade deadline is just over two weeks away, and the Pittsburgh Penguins have not improved their position in the standings. Several new players have not integrated well into the Penguins lineup, wins have become scarce, and things are not looking rosy for the Penguins to make a playoff push.

Tuesday evening, TSN Insider Pierre LeBrun said Penguins players are drawing interest on the NHL trade block, and president of hockey operations/GM is accepting calls. LW Jake Guentzel remains the Penguins’ biggest trade chip, but LeBrun reported some teams are also eying winger Reilly Smith, whom the Penguins acquired from the Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights last June.

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Smith, 32, has struggled to produce during his tenure with the Penguins. After a torrid start, Smith has four goals in his last 37 games, though he does have three points, including two goals, in his last six games. This season, Smith has

“He’s not your prototypical player that’s dealt at the deadline because he’s not a rental. He’s not a pending UFA. He’s got another year on his deal at $5 million,” LeBrun said on the Canadian sports channel. “But I know that some teams have him on their list because of that Cup-winning experience, and want to see where the Penguins are close to March 8 and see if they’re willing to move him.”

The Penguins are nine points behind the Philadelphia Flyers for third place in the Metro Division with only three games in hand. They trail the Detroit Red Wings by eight points with two games in hand.

The closest the Penguins would get to a playoff spot if they won all of their in-hand games is three points. The team is 1-4-1 in their last six games and 3-6-2 in their last 11.

Should the Penguins begin a sell-off, LeBrun says president of hockey operations/GM Kyle Dubas is listening on nearly all players not named Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, or Kris Letang.

“What I can tell you is that the Penguins are pretty much listening on all of their players, other than their core guys,” said LeBrun during the segment. “Because of where they are in the standings — while Kyle Dubas has not given up on the playoff race, he still believes his team can make a run — he has no choice because we’re two and a half weeks out that he is listening on a lot of his players, just not his core guys.”

The TSN Sportscentre segment with LeBrun and host Dan Onrait is available only to Canadian readers but can be accessed here.