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NHL Trade Rumors

Should Penguins, Senators Explore a Trade?

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NHL trade speculation, Pittsburgh Penguins, Penguins trade fit with Ottawa Senators

The Pittsburgh Penguins still have nine NHL defensemen and enough money to keep only seven at the NHL level. Ty Smith and Mark Friedman are with the WBS Penguins, while P.O Joseph plies his craft in the big league after three years in the AHL. Following a summer of NHL trade speculation and at least one rejected deal, the Penguins trade chatter has died down despite a seven-game winless streak and no change in the surplus stock.

The Penguins turned down the chance to trade winger Jason Zucker to a Metro Division team because the other team also wanted a first-round pick to be included.

The quieted trade chatter could change quickly.

Center Teddy Bleuger appears to be ready to come off LTIR, which would fiscally shove the Penguins back to only 12 forwards on the roster. Salary cap limitations and injuries already forced the Penguins to play with seven defensemen and only 11 forwards once this season. GM Ron Hextall indicated there was a chance Blueger could be ready last weekend, but thus far, Blueger remains on the long-term injury list retroactive to the first game of the season.

He can’t stay there forever.

NHL Trade Partners?

Conversely, the Ottawa Senators have been big-game hunting for a defenseman on the NHL trade market.

They reportedly are interested in Arizona Coyotes defenseman and a hot commodity on the NHL trade market, Jakob Chychrun. Like every other team, Ottawa has balked at the Coyotes’ asking price for the oft-injured blue liner.

The price includes a first-round pick and top prospect or talented (but cheap) NHL players.

Ottawa GM Pierre Dorion may have painted himself into a corner this season. Following last season, Dorion told fans, “The rebuild is done. Now we’re stepping into a new zone.”

Yet Ottawa currently has four defensemen 25 and under on their blue line. Top-pairing left-sider Thomas Chabot suffered a concussion on Saturday when he was hit from behind by Philadelphia Flyers forward Travis Konecny.

Chabot is out for at least a week.

Ottawa is in last place in the Atlantic Division and needs a little more help.

Available Pieces

The Ottawa Senators have another issue they have yet to deal with, too. Lightning-fast LW Alex Formenton is an RFA and still unsigned. The Senators have until 5 p.m. on Dec. 1 to get him under contract, or he cannot play this season.

Formenton, 23, had 18 goals last season and 32 points (18-14-32) in 79 games. He also had four shorthanded goals as one of Ottawa’s primary penalty killers.

The Penguins PK remains mired near the bottom of the league.

PHN polled contacts about Formenton. One NHL team executive said Formenton has 25-goal potential if he slows down. The 6-foot-2, 165-pound winger won’t bring jam to a lineup, but he did have 101 hits and 44 takeaways last season. Also, his speed is elite.

Formenton, the Senators’ 2017 second-round pick (47th overall), projects to get around $1.5-$2 million on a new deal, but speculation is that Formenton wants a longer, higher-paying deal.

Ottawa also has about $4 million in salary cap space, which might be more valuable than any player they could offer.

The Penguins have a glut of defensemen and experience, which could help the young Senators. Brian Dumoulin and Jeff Carter are team leaders, but there are replacements for both.

Dumoulin’s rough start to the 2022-23 NHL season recently led to coach Mike Sullivan shuffling his defense pairings, and Dumoulin landed on the third pairing. Marcus Pettersson has more than competently filled Dumoulin’s top-pair spot beside Kris Letang.

Also, Ottawa center Josh Norris is out long-term, with no timetable for a return this season after suffering a torn labrum in October. That also creates a need for a center, especially one who can lend a hand offensively and be a leader like Carter.

Dumoulin makes $4.1 million on a deal that expires after this season, meaning the Penguins would have to accept salary in return or hold back part of Dumoulin’s or Carter’s salary.

Carter, 37, is signed through next season with a $3.125 million cap hit. He has eight points (2-6-8) in 12 games this season.

Whispers remain that Blueger could also be a trade chip. Former Montreal Canadiens first-round pick Ryan Poehling has centered the fourth line in Blueger’s absence.

The Pittsburgh Penguins trade cupboard also includes the spare defensemen toiling in the NHL. Both Smith and Friedman have NHL experience and value. However, Friedman cleared waivers before the season and has only two assists in 10 AHL games. His value is versatility and physicality.

On paper, the Penguins and Senators could be a good match, and the numbers line up, too. It’s the type of deal the Penguins need to pursue to activate Blueger and keep a spare forward on the NHL roster.

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Erica
Erica
13 days ago

Uh, Carter has a NMC and Dumoulin has an eight team no trade and you wanna bet Ottawa is on it. Neither will be interested in going to Ottawa lol

Brandon O
Brandon O
13 days ago

I believe the pressure is on in Ottawa, but despite the expectations, this team still needs to build. They still have their 1st, and a realistic shot at Bedard if they continue on this trajectory. None of their recent moves suggest they would trade for Carter. They’ll have to resign debrincat and most of their d are hitting Rfa/Ufa as well. Carters salary for next year will probably keep him in Pittsburgh. Dumoulin definetly fills a need but only if they realistically see themselves as a playoff team. With Bostons surprising start and Buffalo on the rise, it seems like… Read more »

Dean
Dean
13 days ago
Reply to  Brandon O

They may consider Dumo a cheap rental especially if the pens kept 25% of the salary.

Uros
Uros
13 days ago

Jeff Chychrun has retired. I don’t think the asking price for him is that steep.

Last edited 13 days ago by Uros
Kris
Kris
13 days ago

Hard PASS.

Silver
Silver
13 days ago

There are rumors Formenton has a part in the Hockey Canada scandal. Innocent until proven guilty; but that’s not a risk I would be willing to take considering the little assets we do have as trade bait.

knobman
knobman
13 days ago
Reply to  Silver

If there is a chance to dump some salary, it might be worth the risk. Any new contract would probably be voidable if he is guilty? Also, cap friendly has him listed at 6’3″ and 195 pounds.

Jay95
Jay95
12 days ago
Reply to  Dan Kingerski

It seems like both may be a little off. He looks to be in the 180-185# range with “in season” conditioning now. Maybe jumped up to 195 in the off-season, but wouldn’t retain it. I believe the 165 is from his original prospect profile.

So, a lot bigger now, though not pushing 200…🤷🏻‍♂️

Eric Bouchard
Eric Bouchard
13 days ago

would Love Formenton with the Pens. But isnt he in the players suspected of raping a young girl with all the Hockey Canada scandal?

Last edited 13 days ago by Eric Bouchard
Alan Smith
12 days ago

Must be 10 former Pen defensive players playing for someone else this year! Why do we go through this every year and still have a second class defense year after year?

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[…] Pittsburgh: Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now writers that the Ottawa Senators and Penguins could be ideal trading partners. The Senators are looking for defensive help and the Penguins have defensemen to move. Pittsburgh Penguins.  […]

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[…] Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The Pittsburgh Penguins have 7 defensemen on their lineup, however 9 NHL defensemen in their company– Ty Smith and also Mark Friedman remain in the AHL. Pierre-Olivier Joseph remained in the report mill this offseason, however points have actually silenced down. The Penguins turned down one Joseph profession deal. […]

trackback

[…] Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The Pittsburgh Penguins have seven defensemen on their roster, but nine NHL defensemen in their organization – Ty Smith and Mark Friedman are in the AHL. Pierre-Olivier Joseph was in the rumor mill this offseason, but things have quieted down. The Penguins rejected one Joseph trade offer. […]

trackback

[…] Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The Pittsburgh Penguins have seven defensemen on their roster, but nine NHL defensemen in their organization – Ty Smith and Mark Friedman are in the AHL. Pierre-Olivier Joseph was in the rumor mill this offseason, but things have quieted down. The Penguins rejected one Joseph trade offer. […]

Jay95
Jay95
12 days ago

I think the team needs to find someone to take Kapanen. I’d take the chance on Formenton just to get rid of Kap. I mean, there are guys in the AHL who can put up those 5 points and play just as uninspired as he’s capable of. Nylander?

trackback

[…] Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The Pittsburgh Penguins have seven defensemen on their roster, but nine NHL defensemen in their organization – Ty Smith and Mark Friedman are in the AHL. Pierre-Olivier Joseph was in the rumor mill this offseason, but things have quieted down. The Penguins rejected one Joseph trade offer. […]