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NHL Trade Rumors

Penguins Trade Deadline Updates; Luke Schenn and Chicago



Pittsburgh Penguins trade talk, Sam Lafferty, Chicago Blackhawks

The NHL deadline is now eight days away, and the clock is counting down with a speed that only adds more pressure to Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ron Hextall, whose team is trending sideways in a crowded Eastern Conference wild card race. While fans clamor for a Penguins trade to address the third-line cratering, the team still controls its playoff fate.

But a few other teams are doing something the Penguins are not.

The other teams are winning.

The Penguins’ flaws and shortcomings are on full display, seemingly every night. The team leads the NHL with eight blown third period leads. They hot-potatoed a pair of games to the New York Islanders over the last week and were soundly beaten by the New Jersey Devils in between.

Reports from Chicago indicate the Penguins scouts have been regular viewers of the Blackhawks, who are bottoming out in anticipation of their complete rebuild process. Going back to Feb. 7 and 10,  the Penguins had two scouts in the seats. Recently, only one scout has attended.

On Tuesday, the pattern continued when Chicago hosted the Vegas Golden Knights.

There are plenty of available players on the Blackhawks, from former Penguins depth forward Sam Lafferty to the high-end target Patrick Kane.

Though you can most likely scratch the idea of Kane for cost, salary, and fit purposes.

Potential third-line center Max Domi has been a good fit in Chicago and perhaps part of their rebuilding plans. Defenseman Jake McCabe, like Lafferty, is front and center on the NHL trade block.

The Penguins have recently turned up at Ottawa Senators games, too, but not with any regularity.

However, many teams, like the Penguins, have shifted to not listing the scouts in attendance. So, our picture is admittedly incomplete.

Luke Schenn?

Elliotte Friedman caused a little stir during the Winnipeg Jets intermission on Wednesday night. Friedman, the Sportsnet reporter extraordinaire, reported the Boston Bruins and Penguins have checked in on the Vancouver Canucks rugged stay-at-home defenseman.

A righty, Schenn has 21 points (3-18-21) in 55 games. He makes only $850,000 and is in the final year of a two-year deal. He is not a favorite of the analytics community but is being chased by several teams for his defensively responsible and physical play. He is a remarkable plus-9 on the struggling Canucks.

Schenn would appear to be a redundancy of Jan Rutta’s role with the team, but Rutta has been out of the lineup since Jan. 14.

Tuesday, Pittsburgh Hockey Now reported that Penguins righty Jeff Petry was made available on the trade block.

Despite the Penguins’ obvious shortcoming on the third line, the only notable connections have been to defensemen. Previously, Friedman opined that Anaheim rearguard Dmitri Kulikov also made sense for the Penguins.

Anaheim center Adam Henrique, whom PHN has circled as a potential get before the NHL trade deadline, is out of the lineup with a lower-body injury. There is not yet a timetable for his return.