It has been no secret that the Pittsburgh Penguins need more production from the left winger on the Evgeni Malkin-James Neal line, which always begs the question of if Pens’ general manager Ray Shero will look to improve the current team via trade.
Rookie Beau Bennett’s recent call-up should assure him a lengthy look in the future, but if the Penguins don’t feel that Bennett is ready just yet, a deal is certainly something that Shero is likely considering.
With that being said, NHL Trade Rumors are certain to start flying and the first has the Penguins potentially looking at a pair of Minnesota Wild forwards.
Pro Hockey Talk’s Ryan Dadoun recently reported that the Pens could have interest in either Devin Setoguchi and/or Pierre-Marc Bouchard.
The Star Tribune’s Michael Russo also noted that Shero was in Minnesota while his team got ready for their game in Winnipeg on Friday. He also noted that Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher and coach Mike Yeo both worked for the Penguins before coming to Minnesota and Pittsburgh is believed to be in the market for a top-six forward.
I don’t know how much the fact that Finder and Yeo having ties to the Penguins organization plays in Shero attempting to make a trade, but there could be something small to it.
The bad news is that both Setoguchi and Bouchard have struggled this season.
The good news is that maybe Minnesota would be willing to part with one of them in an effort to shake things up and given their struggles, they likely could be had cheap.
Setoguchi has had his share of difficulties since a 31 goal, 68 point season in 2008 with the San Jose Sharks.
He did score over 20 goals in both 2009 and 2010, but that number dropped to 19 last year in his first season with the Wild and through 14 games this season he has tallied only two goals and three assists.
But he is a guy with talent who could take off playing with the talents of Malkin and Neal.
Bouchard is a player I like a little less for the Penguins.
He is very talented, evident by scoring 20 goals in 2006 and registering a career-high 63 points in 2007. But his career has trended downward, with 46, 38 and 22 points in his last three campaigns, not including the 2009 season in which he played in only one game.
This season, Bouchard has only two goals and one assist in 13 games.
The bottom line is that this is all speculation as the trade deadline isn’t until April 3, but until the Penguins find the proper fir to play on the second line, there will be plenty of rumored deals to discuss.