With Pascal Dupuis out of the lineup, the Penguins have a hole to fill. GM Ray Shero has a history of blockbuster deadline deals - is another on the way in 2014?
Pascal Dupuis' season-ending knee injury leaves a huge hole on the Pittsburgh Penguins' forward lines that GM Ray Shero could try to plug with a trade.
The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson suggested Calgary Flames winger Mike Cammalleri as one option, noting he doesn't check as well as Dupuis, but has a better scoring touch. Cammalleri is due to become an unrestricted free agent in July and could be moved by the March trade deadline.
Gary Lawless of The Winnipeg Free Press claimed Shero is said to have interest in Winnipeg Jets wingers Andrew Ladd, Evander Kane and Blake Wheeler and could come calling on Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff.
Lawless speculated it could cost the Penguins a combination of blueline prospects and draft picks for one of those forwards. Unless Shero offers up promising defenseman Olli Maatta, Lawless doubts the two clubs can work out a deal. The Jets already possess sufficient depth at defense and their own scoring woes makes Cheveldayoff unlikely to part with one of his offensive wingers.
CSNPhilly.com's Tim Panaccio wondered if Shero would try to bring back Max Talbot. The former Penguin was dealt earlier this season by the Philadelphia Flyers to the Colorado Avalanche.
Dupuis is just one of several Penguins sidelined this season by injuries. Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang Tomas Vokoun and Paul Martin are also out indefinitely while Brooks Orpik and Rob Scuderi only recently returned to action. James Neal missed the opening month of this season recovering from an upper body injury.
Despite leading the league in man-games lost to injury the Penguins remain atop the Eastern Conference standings. That gives Shero the luxury of time to shop around for a potential replacement for Dupuis.
Shero has a history of making significant moves near the trade deadline, landing Jarome Iginla last season, Bill Guerin in 2009 and Marian Hossa in 2008. He could attempt another big splash, but not at the expense of Maatta or another promising youngster. Any moves by Shero will depend on who's available and the asking price come deadline day.
A THIRD CAPITAL ASKS TO BE TRADED
CSNWashington's Chuck Gormley reported agent Patrik Stefan, who represents Capitals backup Michal Neuvirth, believes it's time for his client to move on. Neuvirth's seen action in only seven games this season and wants a chance to play. “I ask Washington that if he can't play there then give him a chance somewhere else,” Stefan said.
Neuvirth was sidelined by a leg injury in late-November, forcing the Capitals to call up Philipp Grubauer. Neuvirth has been healthy since mid-December, but unable to get back into action because of Grubauer's strong play.
Capitals GM George McPhee could find it difficult to move Neuvirth, though. The trade market is reportedly stagnant and the 25-year-old has another season (at a cap hit of $2.5 million) remaining on his contract.
Neuvirth is the third Capitals player to request a trade this season joining winger Martin Erat and defenseman Dmitry Orlov. Erat's been waiting more than a month to be moved. Orlov, on the other hand, may be reconsidering after a steady increase in playing time throughout December.