We are pretty sure the Pittsburgh Penguins' entire dressing room hates to see general manager Jim Rutheford unhappy with the team's success. While the Penguins managed to win their previous contest 4-0 over the Arizona Coyotes, and have a chance to start a winning streak tonight against the New Jersey Devils, Rutherford has already mentioned he is taking calls for the possibility of pulling a trade to guide his team in the right direction.
“Has this team been together too long? It’s something I always have to watch for,” Rutherford recently said on the radio. “When do you have to make those changes? The players are doing everything they can to tell me now’s the time.”
And the players, and their fanbase, should be worried: Rutherford has never been afraid of making a blockbuster move to get some fast results. It has therefore motivated writer Rory Boylen of Sportsnet to dress a list of four players who could land on the trading block shortly in Pittsburgh.
Young forward Daniel Sprong has been mentioned several times in the past week as the Penguins are looking to get an interesting return for his services.
“What that’s done is kinda created a little bit of a market for the Penguins,” Chris Johnston said on Hockey Night in Canada‘s Headlines segment. “They’ve received some calls. There’s been interest on Daniel Sprong, a player they are willing to move on from. As we look around the league and wonder where some trade activity may come from, it does appear Pittsburgh is the place. They’re not happy with how things have gone … they’re looking for some secondary scoring help behind their big dogs.”
However the list does not stop there and the three other names are expected to shock fans in the Burgh. Boylen believes Carl Hagelin, Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust could land on the trade block as well, and you better believe they will get teams on the phone with Rutherford. According to Boylen once again, this comment from the Pens GM could be about Hagelin, who is making $4 million against the cap, or Guentzel:
“It’s almost like the guys come to the game and say, ‘Let’s just let the top guys do it. Let Sid and Geno and Phil and Letang carry us and we’ll just get through the game and move on to the next game,’ and forget about the work ethic it takes or forget about the role they play,” Rutherford said in that same radio interview.
Recently moved off Crosby’s wing and down to the third line, Guentzel hasn’t scored a goal since Oct. 25... a change of scenery might be beneficial some may ask?
As for Rust, he signed a four-year extension in June for $14 million after a productive year. However this season, he has one goal and four points in 15 games and is playing with Crosby. Rutherford could see him as expandable...
Smells more and more like a trade could be taking placer soon in Pittsburgh.