Tonight, I will first, explain how I write this column, as in my mindset. Fact vs. fiction. Where do these rumors come from? My hope is that by the end, you are more educated when it comes to how trade rumors crop up in the NHL universe, and how a trade actually works between two teams.
I’ll also dive into a few specific rumors hanging around the Penguins, and address those as I see fit.
First and foremost; for those of you who read my blog on a pseudo-daily basis, for starters; THANK YOU! It means the world to me. You undoubtedly have noticed that a lot, nay, most of my work is opinion-based. Save for the recaps of the games, this is where I come to get out my thoughts on my first love; The Pittsburgh Penguins. I am by no means “connected” to anyone within the Penguins organization (I am however, working to change that). So understand that whatever information you get from here, is from me and me alone. These, again, are my opinions. Educated opinions, but opinions nonetheless. So when it comes to trade or free agency rumors, keep in mind that the rumor was started somewhere else, and I’ve seen it and thus formed an opinion on said rumor that I now share with you.
I feel it is my job as a knowledgeable and (hopefully) respected blogger to sift through the mounds of rumors popping up at this time of year (and right before free agency) and give you, the reader, the rumors which I feel have the most legitimacy. For instance, the Jarome Iginla to Pittsburgh rumor is legitimate from the standpoint that it makes a lot of sense for both teams. But a few rumors that I’ve heard, say, Matt Niskanen to Dallas for Jamie Benn and Alex Goligoski, is simply preposterous.
And so, without further adieu, on to the rumor mill!!
Jarome Iginla has been linked to the Pens since 2008, when he was Sidney Crosby’s right wing at the Vancouver Olympics. The two had incredible chemistry together which would of course jumpstart the rumor that he would want to play here. But the fact of the matter is, Calgary GM Jay Feaster essentially has to get the go-ahead from Flames ownership to blow up the current roster. Even Iginla himself would have to waive his no-movement clause (and that, presumably, would be a non-issue) for a trade to go through. But this rumor is legitimate in my book for a number of reasons. For starters, should Calgary fall out of the playoff race over the next two weeks, then its high time that Feaster and the ownership made some significant changes to that roster.
Iginla would essentially be in the same boat as Ray Bourque was in 2000; and aging superstar, beloved by the only team he has ever worn a sweater for, and has never won a Cup. The Penguins would be adding skill, grit, and maybe most importantly, strong leadership. Much like the Billy Guerin trade in 2009. The pieces returning to Calgary, in all likelihood would be: the Pens 2013 1st rd draft pick, Joe Morrow (speculation) and either Tyler Kennedy or Dustin Jeffrey (my guess is it would be Jeffrey. Kennedy’s contract is up at the end of the season, plus Calgary needs a true centerman). This trade works for both teams.
Another rumor, one that started back at the draft last June, has the Coyotes sending Keith Yandle to Pittsburgh. This rumor has the potential to be either very hot (depending on how the timetable for Letang’s return) or very cold. Ray Shero supposedly was engaged in talks with Yotes’ GM Don Maloney during the later part of the 1st round at least year’s draft for Yandle. But the deal never materialized. Since then, Phoenix has signed arguably its best defenseman in Oliver Eckman-Larrson to a contract extension. Which may make Yandle expendable (I don’t agree with that theory, but some noted hockey pundits do). Phoenix could use some depth at forward, which is NOT something Pittsburgh has a lot of. So if this deal were to go down, you can expect there to be a name involved going to the Coyotes that won’t make you (or any Pens’ fan) very happy (think Pascal Dupuis).
I was begging last summer for Shero to pull off this move. But Yandle’s value has dipped a bit so far this season. Some hockey scouts are now saying that he may be a one-trick pony. A VERY offensive-minded defenseman, who brings little value to his own end, which is certainly NOT what the Penguins need, considering the defensive woes from earlier this season.
The last rumor, and I can’t believe that I’m even honoring this, is the idea of Max Talbot returning to Pittsburgh. The idea that Philadelphia would give Pittsburgh something they wanted is odd in and of itself. The only thing that I could see going back to Philly are draft picks, or maybe Tyler Kennedy. This is a rumor that is pretty unsubstantiated, but interesting nonetheless, as it does make sense for the Penguins. The Tanner Glass experiment is not working in Pittsburgh, which leads me to believe that he may also be included in a deal to reunite Mad Max with his rabid fan base here in the steel city.
One last note; Corey Perry tonight signed an 8-year $69 million extension to remain in Anaheim, effectively taking his name OFF the trade block, and the free agency list for next summer.
Needless to say, it should be an interesting two weeks coming up. I’ll be blogging and tweeting all day during the trade deadline on April 3rd. So be sure to follow me.
That’s all for now. I’ll be at the Caps-Pens game tomorrow night in 217. Stop by and say hi. Cheers to good hockey!