Unable to produce any sort of consistent secondary scoring this season, should the Pittsburgh Penguins be on the lookout for another third-line center to replace Brandon Sutter?
Perhaps, Nashville Predators‘ forward Colin Wilson?
Having recorded 12 points (3G, 9A) in 24 games so far this season, Wilson would be a slight upgrade over Sutter, whose only collected nine points (4G, 5A) through 25 contests.
Both players are 24-years-old and each were high first-round draft picks, so the one-for-one swap seems plausible if some other minor additions’ were included. With Wilson making $2 million over the next two seasons, he would also help bring the payroll down a little due to Sutter reeling in $2,066,667 million this year.
The only issue that would shy Nashville away is the fact that Sutter will be a restricted free agent after this season. However, despite his status, the organization has the eighth-most salary cap space in the NHL – so the ability to re-sign him shouldn’t be a problem.
The willingness to deal Wilson, obviously, has a stall on the deal too. Seemingly on pace to have the most points he’s ever registered in the NHL this season, Wilson ranks fifth on the team in scoring, and for a team like Nashville who has a hard time putting goals up on the board, it might take a few more pieces to pry him away.
Standing at 6-foot-1 and weighing 216-pounds, Wilson is a strong, crash-the-net type skater that the Pens’ desperately need to fill-in on their third-line. Sutter, although taller than Wilson, has looked relatively soft and has lost a number of face-offs that’s put the defense in multiple bad positions this season.
If Pittsburgh wants to become a well-balanced squad, they need to add more physical bodies. The team, and the fans for that matter, might not think that size factors into how far you go in the postseason, but it definitely does. And although they still have skaters that are tough-cookies, the loss of forwards’ Matt Cooke, Jordan Staal, even Maxime Talbot, have really hurt.
So while it may seem difficult to pull-off a deal for Wilson – because of his potential compared to Sutter’s – Pittsburgh also has more than a few solid prospects to chip-in that could possibly sweeten the pot. It might not be in their plans considering they’ve dealt a handful of young players over recent years, however, their salary cap suggests it’ll be hard to sign all of them when they eventually reach the NHL-level.
It’s just a thought, but in my opinon, Wilson would be a huge benefit to a team that is lacking serious contributions from their bottom two-lines.
The team has scored 71 goals; if you count Jayson Megna and Deryk Engelland, the third and fourth lines have scored 16 of those goals – so if trading for Wilson isn’t an option, then something has to be done.
I dont’ even know why they demoted Megna in the first place – guess they felt he didn’t fit into their plans.