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Source: Penguins Talking Trade with Minnesota

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NHL trade, PIttsburgh Penguins, Ron Hextall

Six weeks ahead of the NHL trade deadline, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Minnesota Wild are talking trade.

Over the weekend, a source with direct knowledge told Pittsburgh Hockey Now that Penguins GM Ron Hextall’s trade discussions have included talks with the Minnesota Wild. The conversations have been confined to higher levels of the organizations.

The Penguins have been on a skid since the NHL holiday break. The team lost two of three games going into the break and has sputtered with only two wins in eight games since the break.

Over their last 11 games, dating back to the Dec. 18 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, the Penguins are 3-6-2

The focus of the Penguins’ trade talks was not readily known, but the teams appear to be a good match.

Minnesota has something the Penguins crave: cap space. CapFriendly.com and PuckPedia.com project Minnesota to have about $3.7 million in salary cap space, and both sites list the Wild as currently having over $7 million in cap room.

CapFriendly.com projects the Pittsburgh Penguins to have just over $18,000 in cap space. So any trade must be salary-neutral or salary-out for the Penguins.

According to a recent Minnesota report in the Athletic, Minnesota GM Bill Guerin admitted the team has received calls on right-side defenseman Matt Dumba. However, Guerin said he is not actively shopping the d-man, and any deal would be a hockey trade.

The Penguins are well-stocked with right-side defensemen (Kris Letang, Jeff Petry, Jan Rutta), so, Dumba’s $6 million salary and pending UFA status would make him an unlikely Penguins trade target.

The Wild might need offensive help at center. Sam Steel and former Penguins pivot Frederick Gaudreau are centering the Wild’s top two lines (but playing fewer minutes than “third line” center Joel Eriksson Ek). Gaudreau has 20 points (11-9-20) in 42 games. Steel has 22 points (8-14-22) in those same 42 games. Both are respectable centers but are perhaps playing a line or two above their optimal spot.

Minnesota also has a trio of responsible but low-scoring defensemen on their left side (Jacob Middleton, Jonas Brodin, Jon Merrill), too.

It seems the Penguins have an asset or two that could help both situations, and Minnesota has cap space that could facilitate a Penguins trade.

The Penguins have two young left-side defensemen, Ty Smith and P.O Joseph, who could be valuable assets for a team looking for more mobility and offense on the left side.

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said last week that the left-handed Smith was “making a strong case for himself.” The 22-year-old d-man has been running the Penguins’ top power play in Kris Letang’s absence. Despite playing his off-side, he has three points (1-2-3) in seven games.

To balance the blue line, coaches put Smith on the right and veteran Brian Dumoulin on the left. The pair have drawn positive reviews, and Sullivan said he thought Dumoulin has been playing his best hockey over the last couple of weeks.

Joseph’s ice time has recently varied. He has 12 points (2-10-12) in 38 games, and Guerin would be familiar with Joseph from Guerin’s time as the Penguins AGM.

Center Jeff Carter might seem to be a fit in discussions, but he does have a no-movement clause on his two-year deal, which expires after next season. The 38-year-old center carries a $3.125 million cap hit and has 19 points (7-12-19) playing a primarily defensive role in the Penguins’ bottom six behind centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

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.

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Tim Curtis
Tim Curtis
11 days ago

The Penguins are in real trouble! Their underachieving offense and lack of depth are threatening any chance of competing for a playoff run!
For the past 3-4 seasons, they’ve have NO money to spend because of high contracts for certain players.
It’s the same old song and dance this season!

cacastine
cacastine
11 days ago
Reply to  Tim Curtis

oh boohoo watch some hockey

Bryant bechtol
Bryant bechtol
11 days ago
Reply to  Tim Curtis

How about fire Sullivan

James
James
11 days ago
Reply to  Tim Curtis

Crosby is underpaid. Malkin is about right. Letang is underpaid.
What high contracts are we talking about here?
If YOU were to ask ME this question, I’d say, Dumolin, Carter, Kapanen…mmmaaaaayyybe Petterson?
But everyone else? It’s either Hall of Fame players still playing elite level hockey, or pocket change fourth liners.
This team is loaded with top end talent, and their salaries are beyond fair.

The Binker
The Binker
4 days ago
Reply to  James

Underpaid? Letang? Have you seen him play this season?

Steve Malik
Steve Malik
11 days ago

Not sure if BG is foolish enough to take Carter and Kappen of our hands !!!!

Dean
Dean
11 days ago
Reply to  Steve Malik

He would be smart enough to take Kappy.

James
James
11 days ago
Reply to  Dean

Let him do it.

Irish Hammer
Irish Hammer
11 days ago
Reply to  Steve Malik

He’s not. He win any trade with us. Plus Greenwood is a Power Forward plus he’s young. He’s a 6’6 235 lb young stud. A bottom 6. Would be good on PPbin crease. Pens don’t like a big Forward in crease area. Pens don’t use Power Forwards. Middleton is big tough Dman. Pens don’t like any toughness. Dumba’s under 30 also.

Dean
Dean
11 days ago

I hope the Pens are not that dumb to trade either Joseph or Smith. I would trade Pettersson before either of them, especially if we can replace him with a true shutdown puck moving defenseman. You put Joseph and Smith with a 6’4” 210 Lb shutdown LD and you would have a strong, inexpensive left side.

Kris
Kris
11 days ago
Reply to  Dean

So Dumoulin, Joseph and Smith are your left side defensemen? Wowser.
Pettersson would be helpful for salary dump but the two players that most need moved off this roster are Kapanen and Joseph. One has been given every chance and has scored what 1 goal in the last 18 games. The other one has to be sheltered from any meaningful time, otherwise he is exposed getting regularly burned by oncoming skaters with even average skill.

But hey they are both young so they must be goo right?

Irish Hammer
Irish Hammer
11 days ago
Reply to  Kris

Bill wouldn’t want Dumoulin or Peterson. BG was a Power Forward that played a tough game. His team will not be soft or play a soft game. His stars won’t be roughed up on his teams.

Moe Ali
Moe Ali
11 days ago
Reply to  Dean

Finally someone is talking my language. TRADE Petterson for any value he has to reduce the cap hit!

James
James
11 days ago
Reply to  Moe Ali

Absolutely not. Trade Dumolin. This is an absolute no brainer.

cacastine
cacastine
11 days ago

I hope when he says Dumo has been playing his best hockey recently he means the best he has played in the last two years, and even that is questionable.

Dumo used to be somebody. Used to be arguably a top 15 D-man in this league for several years.

Arthur Frampton
Arthur Frampton
11 days ago
Reply to  cacastine

Think Sullivan meant “Dumo hasn’t sucked as much as he usually does.”

Mark Fisher
Mark Fisher
11 days ago

No to trading POJ or Smith.

Last edited 11 days ago by Mark Fisher
Kris
Kris
11 days ago
Reply to  Mark Fisher

Please trade Joseph to anyone who is dumb enough to take him. Guy is a poser as a defenseman.

Mark Fisher
Mark Fisher
11 days ago
Reply to  Kris

No to trading POJ and Smith.

Alex
Alex
11 days ago

Hoping this just becomes no NHL players and offloading Dumo and Kap/Heinen, hope we move POJ and Smith to full time roles on the healthy Defense, then you have cap space to make another move or 2 for the FW group for a 3C to push Carter to wing and bring in a better 3LW, guys like Barbashev, Meier, Horvat, Henrique, maybe even JVR, Towes, Chychrun, Duclair or Domi, if you move POJ/Smith and Dumo you have to think about another Dman

Geoff
Geoff
11 days ago
Reply to  Alex

Heinen doesn’t make sense to trade. He’s on a 1 year 1 mil deal.

Jeremy Strickler
Jeremy Strickler
11 days ago

If Hextall trades young players and picks to add more veterans to this team, it’s a mistake

Kris
Kris
11 days ago

Yes we definitely should keep these young players because they are young and they are young. They suck, but hey they are young so we should keep them. Because you can’t win with older players like say the Tampa Bay lightning who have been to the SC finals 3 years in a row (winning two cups by the way) with the second oldest roster in the league. Nope we need young players. All those “stars” in Wilkes Barre would have us in first place by now. It’s definitely Sid, Geno, Rust, Letang et al that is holding this team back.… Read more »

James
James
11 days ago
Reply to  Kris

Yes. Sid, Geno, Rust, Letang, Rakell, Zucker, Petry, Guentzel, are the only reason this team can compete. Oldness isn’t the problem. It’s strength, talent, and cohesion in our bottom six and our suddenly discombobulated defense, including at goal. And no one in the depth charts to fix it. I get so tired of people saying old this and old that. I hate to break it to them but it’s the ‘old’ guard keeping them alive at this point. They can’t do it alone because other teams can just shut them down and they know they’ll win. Things are too simple… Read more »

Last edited 11 days ago by James
Joseph Berardo
Joseph Berardo
8 days ago
Reply to  James

Nobody is mentioning the (bad) goaltending we have. De Smith is just what he is a backup and Jarry has spurts of playing solid but ends up hurt at all the most important times. We need a solid Goalie now .

Phil
Phil
11 days ago
Reply to  Kris

Perfectly said!

The Binker
The Binker
11 days ago

Not a Dumba fan, but if Letang sits out the remainder of the season, he makes some sense here, especially if Guerin takes some combination of Carter, Kapanen and Heinen in return.

Last edited 11 days ago by The Binker
The Binker
The Binker
11 days ago
Reply to  The Binker

Never mind. According to Left Wing Lock, Letang will rejoin the team shortly. Better to tank for a top 10 draft pick.

djr5899
djr5899
11 days ago

I would not be surprised if the move ends up something like Brian Dumoulin for Alex Goligoski. Goligoski has been a healthy scratch over 20 games this season. The Wild have 6 d-men they like better, but Goligoski has not been terrible. He is still a much better driver of offense than Dumoulin. Goligoski is 2M this season and next. Dumo is 4.1M this year then free agent. The incentive for the Wild to make this swap would be allowing Goligoski to play more games, as well as removing Goligoski’s 2M cap hit next season. The Wild’s dead cap hit… Read more »

Fredrick
Fredrick
11 days ago
Reply to  djr5899

I was thinking the same thing! I think Gustavsson, Goligoski, Greenway, Reaves, Gaudreau, and Steel might be players we would be interested in. I definitely could see Dumo, Kap, and maybe Heinen as potential trade candidates. Or potentially some prospects. Or maybe they go after someone like Carter?

Irish Hammer
Irish Hammer
11 days ago
Reply to  Fredrick

Can’t see Guerin trading with Pens unless he takes them on the trade. He might try going after a Zucker or Rust. Maybe a McGinn, I don’t think he’d want Teddy. Pens got some really weak teams coming up for hopefully a couple of easy wins.

Frank
Frank
11 days ago
Reply to  djr5899

Smallish over 35 year old with diminishing skills . .. fits the Penguin profile perfectly. Maybe he has another cup in him too.

Mike
Mike
11 days ago

Send Carter for a prospect or 7th rounder, which would provide cap space for a trade. Trade Smith for Domi. Lemieux wanted Domi forever and now he’d fill Carter’s spot with punch and scoring touch. Letang and Petry return to replace Ruhwedel and Smith.

Timm
Timm
11 days ago

Why the F@(% are there so many comments saying “trade POJ” or “trade Petterson, he sucks” still? Those 2 have been the 2 biggest surprise turnarounds this year! Night after night, I see POJ making noticeably key saves, as well as providing offense. Petterson is statistically the best defenseman on the team as of now. These people must not be watching closely enough. Drop the buzz phrases from the last couple seasons. Should we trade Zucker too?

Phil
Phil
11 days ago
Reply to  Timm

Cannot reason with some in this fan base. They just constantly have to place blame and vilify everyone from top to bottom. You got some still whining about size? When we had jack Johnson and erik gudbranson they were big lots of toughness but the fan base blamed them for slowing down the rush and literally everything else. No matter what some will blame the very players keeping this team competitive. They dont care about anything rational. Just the team sucks and everyone sucks. We are so fortunate to have a team that has won 5 Stanley cups. And when… Read more »

Mark Fisher
Mark Fisher
11 days ago
Reply to  Timm

They complain about the older guys then want to ship the younger ones out. I want to see POJ and Smith stay up here and playing regularly through the rest of the season as well.

Bean
Bean
10 days ago
Reply to  Timm

I agree, it seems blowing up the top 6 or trading away our proven d-men seems to be the agenda for most of the Monday QBs here. I guess they all just suck. The GM sucks as well as the HC. Firing them will fix all the problems. We do need to make a move trading Joseph could be a good move if the return is in line with our needs. Never move smith. Someone might take Dumo bc he is an ufa at the end of the season other than that we have a pretty good team. We need… Read more »

Ujn Hunter
10 days ago

Who were the Penguins interested in again?

Rob
Rob
10 days ago

So when Petry and Letang comes back, who sits? Let’s see, Friedman sent down again and Ruhwedel and ?

Joseph Berardo
Joseph Berardo
8 days ago

Why after all this article you suggested a trade you know isn’t going to happen. Carter is happy here and probably will retire a Pen . Why would he uproot his life to go to Minnesota?