The Pittsburgh Penguins (15-11-3) are slowly beginning to look like the dominant team that has won the previous two Stanley Cups - right on time for the December holiday trade freeze.
This is the time of year where most teams have a good sense of whether or not they are a playoff contender or not. In the case of the Penguins, very few don't see them making the playoffs - albeit their slightly above average record this season.
Jim Rutherford is one of the better general managers in the NHL when it comes to swinging an in-season trade to give his team a much-needed boost as the playoffs roll around.
This season should be no different, according to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Jason Mackey.
"Get the sense this year might look a lot like last. Make an early move, then polishing things up -- with a D -- at the deadline. I believe Rutherford will do something in December," Mackey writes.
This was an answer in reference to a question asking Mackey whether or not we'll see a Streit or Hainsey-like trade made this season to shore up the blueline and give it some veteran depth.
A defenseman seems to be a sure add, while it is well-known that Rutherford also wishes to add to the bottom 6th - preferably a 3rd line center that can perform in that role better than Riley Sheahan has since being acquired earlier this season.
Any way you shake it, something is going to happen - and it might happen within the next two weeks.