We don’t know what’s exactly ailing Pittsburgh Penguins’ forward Pascal Dupuis just yet, but it didn’t look good.
While there’s a chance that he could return to the ice relatively soon, there’s also a speculating doubt surrounding his current issue. The fact he was helped off the ice by two teammates strengthens the possibility of a severe injury.
And should Dupuis be out long-term – or, fingers-crossed, the season – is it time to start thinking about a replacement? Although the WBS’ players have filled in nicely, I find it hard to believe the team would roll them out in the postseason.
So that means General Manager Ray Shero could be manning the phones once again. Perhaps he doesn’t have to make a splash, however, the return package in any deal he pulls through must be talented and cheap.
The team is already bordering the salary cap limit, and so the player they acquire has to match the amount Pittsburgh’ departs with. Now, the team can play it out and wait until forward Beau Bennett comes back, but who knows how long he’s going to be sidelined. Bennett’s had multiple wrist injuries, and knowing this is his second one in the last couple years, you can bet the team is going to take it slow with him this time around.
Here’s a look at who the Pens may be able to afford:
- Lee Stempniak, RW, Calgary Flames – $2.5 million
- Dustin Penner, LW, Anaheim Ducks – $2 million
- Daniel Cleary, LW, Detroit Red Wings – $1.75 million
- Ryan Jones, RW, Edmonton Oilers – $1.5 million
- Brad Boyes, RW, Florida Panthers – $1 million
- Mason Raymond, LW, Toronto Maple Leafs, $1 million
- Brandon Bollig, LW, Chicago Blackhawks, $575,000
Stempniak seems to be a stretch – because of his contract – and due to his lack of productivity this season, the team would probably be best suited looking elsewhere. Although, he still remains a possibility because of the experience he has.
Raymond also would be a tough catch to get. The 28-year-old is having a fantastic year with Toronto so far, and any deal involving him would most likely cost Pittsburgh a top prospect or draft choices.
The Florida Panthers, however, would be willing to part with Boyes, considering he’s a little older and the team isn’t performing well this season. And because he’s a goal-scorer, it makes it all the more plausible to see him skating alongside captain Sidney Crosby.
Boyes’ salary is low at $1 million, he will become an unrestricted free agent following the season, and the Pens could get him for a low price. In my opinion, he’s certainly a candidate to keep your eye on at the trade deadline, should Dupuis’ injury be season-threatening.
But as of right now, we don’t know how hurt Dupuis is. If he’s not injured badly, by all means, these possibilities will be for not. However, should he be, look for the team to make a small trade down the road to fill his loss.