The Pittsburgh Penguins had eyes on the Colorado Avalanche hosting the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday night, which came at a curious time for Colorado. Penguins pro scout Craig Patrick, who holds a special place in Penguins history and the Hockey Hall of Fame GM was hired as a Penguins pro scout last season, was in the press box in addition to other high-powered personnel. The NHL trade rumors went into hyperdrive.
Not only did the Pittsburgh Penguins scout the game, so too did Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin with his Director of Hockey Operations, Scott Mellanby.
It’s a curious time for Colorado because starting goaltender Philipp Grubauer was injured during the Stadium Series game on Saturday when defenseman Ian Cole collided with the goaltender. Grubauer left the game, and his status is still uncertain, which has created worries among Avalanche management.
Colorado has been one of the best teams in the Western Conference this season, but internal doubts have grown about Grubauer’s long-term future. Grubauer is 18-12-4 with a .916 save percentage but a 2.63 goals against average.
An industry source told Pittsburgh Hockey Now that Colorado was one of the teams which expressed interest in Tristan Jarry last summer, and it is believed they would have pounced if Penguins GM Jim Rutherford attempted to send Jarry through waivers.
A source confirmed Colorado very much likes Jarry but did not confirm any trade attempts.
Rumors and ideas from credible sources sprang forth, including Mike Kelly of the NHL Network, who openly opined it made sense for Colorado to acquire Montreal goalie Carey Price. Which brought a
Less credible NHL trade rumors also emerged with Jonathan Quick and Henrik Lundqvist. Every goalie who might be available, and some who are not, are being linked to Colorado.
The Penguins have three NHL goalies, but Jarry and Matt Murray will be RFAs this summer. Casey DeSmith, who was banished to the AHL for salary cap reasons, is signed for two more seasons at an affordable $1.25 million AAV.
Jarry, 24, has had a breakout year with spectacular numbers. Jarry is 19-8-1 with a .930 save percentage and a 2.14 goals against. However, PHN reported two weeks ago, Jarry is the 1b option. Murray will be the primary option for the playoffs and important divisional games.
It is an unsettled situation in Colorado at the wrong time of the season. Colorado may not be a player for the Penguins goalies before the Feb. 24 NHL trade deadline, but they could be a team to watch this summer.