After a surprisingly active NHL trade deadline eve, we’re still waiting for the swaps to get going as of late Wednesday morning.
The Pittsburgh Penguins continue to be among the frontrunners to land Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler, with the Ducks and Flyers reported to be their primary competition in that effort.
However, according to Tribune-Review beat reporter Rob Rossi, Pens general manager Ray Shero isn’t sure his Canucks counterpart Mike Gillis is authorized to deal Kesler, especially after he traded franchise goalie Roberto Luongo to Florida on Tuesday.
Also per Rossi, the Penguins’ standing offer for Kesler remains Brandon Sutter, first- and third-round picks, plus the Canucks’ choice of defense prospects Simon Despres and Brian Dumoulin. 2012 first-round pick Derrick Pouliot could also be in play, as he was earlier this season when Shero and Gillis first discussed a Kesler swap.
Kesler has a no-movement clause in his contract, but the Penguins believe he would prefer to play for them above any other NHL team.
Beyond Kesler, who has been Pittsburgh’s primary target for the past few days at least, there have been various reports that Oilers winger Ales Hemsky is getting a serious look in the Penguins front office. Hemsky has struggled in recent years, but he could be a short-term fit on Sidney Crosby‘s right wing.
Finally, legendary Devils goalie Martin Brodeur has reportedly submitted a list of teams to GM Lou Lamoriello he wouldn’t mind being traded to. There’s been no definitive sign that the Penguins are interested in supplementing their netminding depth, although it’s a possibility with Jeff Zatkoff being unproven and Tomas Vokoun‘s status still uncertain.
TSN’s Darren Dreger said Brodeur doesn’t need to be a No. 1 goalie with his new team, so presumably backing up Marc-Andre Fleury wouldn’t be an issue for him.
UPDATE (12:20 p.m.) - TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports that Hemsky is on his way to Ottawa for a couple of draft picks.
Hearing EDM is getting 3rd and 5th round picks from OTT for Hemsky. #Tradecentre
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) March 5, 2014
Cross him off the Penguins’ list.
Appears Penguins are waiting on Kesler but will go for Vanek if a deal with VAN can’t be worked out and TV is still available.
— Chris Botta (@ChrisBottaNHL) March 5, 2014
Botta is a former Islanders employee and is still very well connected with the organization. Should be an entertaining end to the trade season.
UPDATE (3:15 p.m.) - The deadline has passed, but trade reports have been known to flow in up to an hour or so afterwards. According to Elliotte Friedman of CBC, the Canucks did not deal Kesler, but Newsday in New York says the Islanders have moved Vanek to Montreal
There are also reports that the Penguins were pursuing Flames winger Lee Stempniak as the deadline approached. Calgary teammate Mike Cammalleri stayed put, while Predators center David Legwand is going to Detroit.
UPDATE (4:30 p.m.) – Media reports confirm that Stempniak joined the Penguins prior to the deadline. Full report here.