Pittsburgh Penguins’ general manager Ray Shero has never been shy about improving his team at trade deadlines in the past and this year has been no exception with the recent trades that brought both Brenden Morrow and Douglas Murray to Pittsburgh.
But that doesn’t mean that Shero is done.
According to several reports, including one from ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, the Penguins aren’t done dealing yet and could still become major players in the Jarome Iginla sweepstakes.
It’s not such a far-fetched idea when you consider the Penguins cap situation.
Shero didn’t add money before the lockout began and freed up extra room by trading away Jordan Staal’s contract. We had speculated back then that due to the fact that the Pens couldn’t land a top winger in free agency that they could become major players at the deadline and that’s exactly what is happening.
“It just seems this is the one year too that teams have that extra cap space, Shero told NHL.com.”Where a team like us in the last couple of years really didn’t have any cap space and maybe moving forward with the cap going down, we might not have that in the future.”
It certainly appears as if Shero is taking an all-in approach with a team that is certainly one of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup.
Another factor is the fact that both Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin have only one year left on their deals after this season. While it is presumed that Shero will find a way to keep both in a Penguins sweater, you just don’t know how things will ultimately play out with the salary cap going down next season, so it makes perfect sense for the Penguins to go for it this season.
Iginla would bring yet another veteran presence to the Penguins locker room not to mention he is still a productive player, scoring nine goals with 13 assists in 31 games this season. Given the fact that he would be playing with either Malkin or Sidney Crosby, one would expect those number to increase if he were acquired.
The Boston Bruins are also on Iginla’s short list of teams that he would accept a trade to, so there is also the opportunity for Shero to keep him away from a team that the Penguins may have to face in the playoffs.
So while Shero struck early, he may not be done yet as he has just under a week to pull another rabbit out of his hat.