Most of us were expecting the Pittsburgh Penguins to make significant changes to their lineup this week as general manager Jim Rutherford had been quite clear about his disappointment with his team and his desire to make a trade. That's what took place on Wednesday when forward Carl Hagelin was moved on a player for player deal with the Los Angeles Kings, in return for Tanner Pearson.
And now, Rutherford is believed to be working on another trade. According to NHL insider Elliotte Friedman, the Pens GM has already targeted a team, one that keeps struggling since the beginning of the season, and an imminent trade could be in the works. Especially seeing that same team lost again last night.
Since the start of the 2018-19 season, the Anaheim Ducks have been down in the dumps. Sure, they've dealt with injuries, but they also have come to realize, like the Kings, that they need to get faster to win more games and create more offense. Friedman strongly believes the Penguins could be willing to make a trade with the Ducks, who lost 5-0 at the hands of the Vegas Golden Knights last night.
“This has been brewing for a little while. Rutherford has been doing a slow burn as to how his team has been playing. I think he’s got a couple other things on the go. I heard there was something going on with potentially Anaheim and Bob Murray over the last few days. From what I understand it didn’t involve Carl Hagelin, who was involved in this trade today. So I think the chances that Pittsburgh is done are very limited," Friedman explained during a Wednesday appearance on Sportsnet’s Tim and Sid.
“Now the biggest question is going to be what is Pittsburgh willing to give up. A lot of their players they’ve talked about so far are not guys who are going to bring in a huge return, and unless they’re willing to give up something closer to one of their core players, it’s going to be very difficult for them to really move the needle like they want to.”
It remains to be seen what Rutherford could put on the line for the Ducks. Young forward Daniel Sprong has been mentioned several times in trade chatter, however, he is not expected to bring in a huge return for Pittsburgh. He could however be a great option for speed and youth when it comes to the Ducks.