The Pittsburgh Penguins are still on the hunt for a top-six winger to help replace the injured Jake Guentzel, who is expected to be out until May. But general manager Jim Rutherford is not worried about affecting the team’s chemistry with any deals.
“I don’t worry about it that much at all,” he said to The Athletic’s Josh Yohe. “My job is to locate players who will fit in with our style. This team is so glued together right now that a new player or two aren’t going to affect the character of this team, not one bit. The leadership and the character that we have are really, really strong. I think adding a player or two will only help this team.”
‘Can we do that, in terms of the right style of player and the right cost? That’s the ultimate question, but we are looking into it.”
The Penguins have been linked to Minnesota Wild forward Jason Zucker, and now Yohe believes Chris Kreider could be an option if the Penguins elect to enter the rental market.
It remains to be seen if Kreider fits the style Rutherford is looking and if the gritty forward could have an effect on the team’s chemistry…
“I’m open to all options,” Rutherford added. “I’m OK with a rental if that’s what’s there. Sometimes it’s actually better if a guy is an unrestricted free agent at summer. My main thing is finding a player who is the proper fit. I don’t care as much about how many years we’ll have him for. Sure, you consider that. But I want to win right now, this season. The goal is to win now.
“We have identified guys out there who we think can help us.”
According to CapFriendly, the Pens have $1.9 million cap space, but could free up $4.9 million by moving forward Alex Galchenyuk, who remains quite the challenge to be shipped out before the deadline.
Pittsburgh currently sits second in the Metropolitan Division, six points back of the Washington Capitals.