Connect with us

Penguins Trade Talk

Penguins Trade Talk: Pens Looking at Minnesota, Again



Penguins trade talk: Minnesota Wild Kevin Fiala
ST. LOUIS, MO. - OCTOBER 30: Minnesota Wild leftwing Kevin Fiala (22) during a NHL game between the Minnesota Wild and the St. Louis Blues on October 30, 2019, at Enterprise Center, St. Louis, MO. (Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire)

The Pittsburgh Penguins have salary cap space to add and may have roster space to fill. Tuesday afternoon, a source close to the Penguins front office told PHN that Penguins trade talks have included an old friend. Penguins GM Jim Rutherford may be discussing a deal with his former assistant GM Bill Guerin, who was named the GM of the Minnesota Wild in August.

The source told PHN the Penguins inquired about small, but tenacious forward Kevin Fiala. As Minnesota GM, Guerin signed the 23-year-old left wing to a two-year, $6 million contract on Sept. 11.

Fiala is 5-foot-10, 193 pounds, and a speedy forward with good stickhandling skills and high compete level. In 2017-18, which was his second NHL season, Fiala scored 23 goals and 25 assists for the Nashville Predators. Last season, he slumped to 39 points (13g, 26a) in 83 games split between Nashville and Minnesota.

Fiala was dealt to Minnesota at the trade deadline for Mikael Granlund.

Penguins winger Patric Hornqvist was injured Saturday, and the Penguins announced he would be out “longer-term.” Fiala has just two points, including one goal in nine games this season. Minnesota’s nine points this season are tied for worst in the NHL.

Guerin has the unenviable task of retooling Minnesota despite aging stars with onerous contracts. Defenseman Ryan Suter is 34-years-old but signed for another five seasons with a cap hit of $7.5 million. Winger Zach Parise, 35, is also inked for another five years at a $7.5 million cap hit.

The Penguins dealt defenseman Erik Gudbranson more than a week ago and saved $4 million, so another deal is not required for the Penguins, which have been decimated by injuries. Fiala would fit in the new Penguins identity of fast players who are hard on the puck, but the knock on Fiala is strength. The Penguins might be looking to snipe a former 20-goal scorer on the cheap.

The Penguins have 96 shots in their previous two games and have allowed just 52 as their speed and tenacity have dominated opponents.

Rutherford and former MN GM Paul Fenton reached agreement in June for Penguins winger Phil Kessel and Minnesota winger Jason Zucker, but Kessel vetoed the deal.

The source did not indicate a deal was imminent or the level or seriousness of talks. In fact, the Penguins filled their open roster space Tuesday afternoon when they recalled rookie Sam Lafferty, who had six points (3g, 3a) in 10 games last month.

Guerin was the Penguins assistant GM from 2014 to 2019. He won a Stanley Cup with the Penguins as a player in 2009.

Subscribe to PHN+

Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Hatrick Pornqvist
Hatrick Pornqvist
2 years ago

Doesn’t mags much sense to me to go after a guy like Fiala. Lafferty seems more than capable. Plus who do we move? With Letang out its not like we have a bunch of extra D kicking around. Unless they are super high on Fiala for reasons unknown and can add him for minimal return (Riikola and a 5th, etc) then why do it. I guess if you gave a guy getting over-nacho’d and some space then why not.
It seems I have no opinion either way. Thank you for letting me work that out.

2 years ago

While not advocating for this trade, simply assuming that Lafferty is capable of doing what Fiala has already done based upon an 8 game sample size and a few preseason games is…well, it isn’t really wise. And that’s on many levels. I think people really need to pump the breaks on Lafferty. I love the speed and I love the effort but a lot of fans are acting as if he was an offensive juggernaut…which he was, for all of two games and then he disappeared on the score sheet until he realized that he was about to be sent… Read more »

jessevereb (@jessevereb)
2 years ago

he is very similar to Jared mccann from a stat standpoint atleast… maybe better. and a right handed shot. I’m good with it. especially if they get a good deal. Minnesota sucks right now. he had almost 50 pts at 21. and should have played in the Stanley cup finals if I’m not mistaking ? wink. sign him up for the good guys.

2 years ago
Reply to  jessevereb

He is nothing like McCann. Defense and physical game are non existent and unlike McCann, Fiala has been given consistent and sustained opportunity solely in prime offensive roles while McCann rarely is. And Fiala has had less than desirable results coming from those opportunities while McCann’s results have been positive only to be denied an opportunity to remain in said role. I am actually worried that Sullivan is going to screw up McCann because he has no clue about maximizing a blue chip offensive, skilled player to the benefit of the team or how to structure a team to maximize… Read more »

2 years ago

If it’s Minny we’re talking, I hope Greenway is in the conversation. I think he can become a beast.

dweth2 (@dweth2)
2 years ago

I don’t think we need to worry about a trade right now, team is playing well the wins will come. I agree with jessevereb, let the young ones work.

2 years ago

not sure why Minnesota would be looking to trade a 23 year old. unless Billy G is planning an 8 year rebuild Fiala would seem to be one of the players you would rebuild around. so either Billy G is wanting to add more veterans thinking the Wild can win now, or there is something that makes a rebuilder want to dump a 23 year old, either way, it just doesn’t smell right to me.

Join PHN Extra!

Join PHN+ today for exclusive content from Dan and Shelly plus a completely Google ad-free experience.


Or enter your email below to sign-up for our mailing list.

Thank you!

Something went wrong.

No thanks. I don't want.