Don’t shoot the messenger, all right? Over the past 24 hours, a pair of national Canadian reporters have confirmed or otherwise dropped Penguins trade chatter on a thirsty audience. From trying to acquire Marc-Andre Fleury from the Vegas Golden Knights to the possibility of a Penguins trade of Sidney Crosby, it’s been an interesting week.
Yes, PHN agrees. We would be floored, flabbergasted, and downright shocked if Sidney Crosby asked for a trade. Like Mario Lemieux before him, this is Sidney Crosby’s franchise.
Then again, the hot rumor in 2004 was that Mario Lemieux temporarily flirted with putting the team in escrow and taking one last shot with the Montreal Canadiens. But that legend was probably more myth. It was never confirmed and faded away.
So, the Sidney Crosby Penguins trade rumors. To be clear, new President of Hockey Operations Brian Burke and new GM Ron Hextall flat out said their job is to build around Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
But Darren Dreger of TSN floated an alternate scenario.
“How will you bring the pieces in to help Sidney Crosby win that Stanley Cup in the next two or three years. So, for me, it’s all about this season,” Dreger said on TSN radio. “If the Pittsburgh Penguins miss the playoffs this year, I think it’s a really tough conversation for Ron Hextall, Brian Burke, and Sidney Crosby and company in the offseason.”
Remember, don’t shoot the messenger. I’m just reporting what a national TSN insider is saying. Dreger envisions a scenario in which Crosby could try to save the Penguins by leaving. That would seem like a Sid thing to do, wouldn’t it?
“It wouldn’t shock me at all if Sid said, ‘look, I want my legacy to be you collecting the pieces by moving me to the Colorado Avalanche or the New York Rangers, or whatever the team is,” Dreger continued. “Colorado makes a lot of sense to me, by the way, (getting pieces) that are really going to jumpstart a rebuild…”
Now–here’s a little something we’ve not touched previously. After Jim Rutherford resigned, there was a hot rumor that a Crosby trade was broached with the Montreal Canadiens. The inside hockey gossip was that Lemieux and old friend Marc Bergevin, who is the Montreal GM, talked about the possibility before Lemieux snapped out of it.
That rumor was being discussed among scouts and some hockey executives. PHN did not print it because one Penguins team source vigorously shot it down and offered something we knew to be true:
“Don’t touch it. You’ll look stupid.”
But there’s chatter. Yes, I find it mostly ridiculous, too. But, Dreger’s alternate reality in which Crosby does the Penguins a solid doesn’t seem insane in that context.
Now, onto another Penguins trade target, Marc-Andre Fleury.
According to Bob McKenzie on NBCsn, those rumors we heard over the summer were true.
“They tried very hard,” McKenzie said of the Penguins trade efforts. Not only did Rutherford try to pry the Flower from the desert, but interim-GM Patrik Allvin also tried.
But Vegas, which doesn’t have enough salary-cap space to afford a free lunch, wouldn’t budge.
Fleury spent the first 13 years of his career in Pittsburgh, and the mere mention of his name excites fans. This season, the future Hall-of-Famer is 5-0-0 with a jawdropping 1.80 GAA, and a .920 save percentage.