Pittsburgh Penguins’ captain Sidney Crosby is still without an official right winger for his line.
Brian Gibbons, who’s currently down in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, has filled in steadily for the Pens, however, might not be quite ready for the animal that is the postseason.
With the trade deadline rapidly approaching (Mar. 5), and given Pittsburgh’s trigger-happy front office over recent seasons, history suggests they’ll inevitably find some sort of deal that suits them.
However, because they have endured so many injuries, it’s hard to predict if they will due to their payroll.
Pascal Dupuis’ likely out for the season, Kris Letang’s return is uncertain due to a stroke, and Paul Martin, whose gone down with a boat load of injuries in the past year, currently has a cast around his hand, and is kind of hard to rely on heading down the stretch, in terms of remaining active.
Same goes for forward Beau Bennett. Even though he’s expected to return relatively soon, who knows how he’ll perform, or if he can stay on the ice. And Bennett’s suppose to be Crosby’s right winger.
If they do somehow manage to pull off a trade though, is Edmonton Oilers’ forward Ales Hemsky in the Pens’ sights?
According to Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, they might be.
— Rob Rossi (@RobRossi_Trib) February 23, 2014
Or perhaps, he was just playfully guessing. Either way, it was interesting take to see him choose Hemsky out the bunch, because he’s a rather specific, yet plausible, name.
Hemsky, 30, is due to become an unrestricted free agent after the season, and would give Pittsburgh a $5 million cap hit – per Capgeek.com. It’s hard to predict how much cap room the Pens will have because of all the foggy timetables surrounding their current injured players, but Hemsky’s salary might be on the cusp of their payroll.
It wouldn’t take much to acquire Hemsky – I’d imagine – considering the Oilers are probably not going to sign him after the season – equating to them ultimately trading him.
Through 52 games so far, Hemsky’s compiled 24 points (7G, 17A) and skated to a minus-11 rating – per hockeyDB. His stats are not necessarily going to overwhelm you, however, he can certainly transform into a prolific goal scorer alongside Crosby.
Pittsburgh’s in a tough spot, because of Bennett’s situation. Is he going to stay healthy? How much of an impact can he provide?
Judging by general manager Ray Shero’s desire to build depth, I could, theoretically, envision him going after someone like Hemsky.
Only question with him is, he hasn’t sniffed the postseason since the 2005-06 campaign. So, how effective he’ll be once that day arrives is iffy.
Still, having Crosby as your facilitator isn’t a bad thing either.
Topics: Pittsburgh Penguins