Pittsburgh Penguins Looking to Acquire Forward and Defenseman From Leafs


The Pittsburgh Penguins have not been shy this season when it comes to pulling the trigger to re-shape their team.

After making numerous changes this offseason, GM Jim Rutherford has continued to reshape his roster throughout the 2014-15 campaign, adding forwards David Perron and Maxim Lapierre thus far.

According to a report from ESPN’s Pierre Lebrun, the Pens may not be done dealing.

Rutherford still seeks a forward and a defenseman, according to LeBrun, and the Pens have some specific players in mind – three of them coming from the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Forwards Daniel Winnik and Mike Santorelli could both be targeted by Pittsburgh, as could touted defenseman Cody Franson.

While the Pens’ forward corps looks fairly well-stocked at the moment, following the triumphant returns of Blake Comeau and Beau Bennett, one of the Leafs’ forwards could certainly be a good fit in Pittsburgh’s bottom-six – pushing Craig Adams or Zach Sill out of the lineup.

Franson would undoubtedly be an excellent addition as the Penguins currently find themselves without the services of Olli Maatta or Christian Ehrhoff. With 32 points in 53 games for the Leafs, Franson has shown flashes of elite skill, and could truly thrive if given the chance to play with the Pens’ all-star forwards.

It seems Toronto will not be hesitant to make some moves either, as the team has reportedly decided to move in the direction of a full rebuild, and will look to strip down their roster with an eye on building through the draft.

That being the case, the Pens won’t have to give up quite as much as if they were seeking assets the Leafs felt were part of their future plans.

Regardless, Franson won’t come cheap, as the Leafs brass are surely aware of the defender’s talent and the league-wide need for defensive upgrades.

Per LeBrun, Pittsburgh is also eying Jeff Petry of the Edmonton Oilers, Scott Hannan of the San Jose Sharks, and Jan Hejda of the Colorado Avalanche.

Petry is reportedly the one Pittsburgh is look at most out of those three, and Edmonton is certainly in more of a position to deal as the club once again sits in the league basement.

A strong puck-moving defenseman with a right-handed shot, Petry is another potential addition that could see his game flourish in Pittsburgh.

The Pens will most likely deal from their position of strength, which is defense.

Young prospects Scott Harrington and Brian Dumoulin remain the most viable options to be shipped off, while more established blue-liners like Paul Martin, Christian Ehrhoff, and Robert Bortuzzo could also be included if the haul is promising enough.

Currently sitting second in the Metropolitan Division with a record of 31-15-8, the Pens are certainly not in dire need of help up front or on the back end, but as we’ve seen through the team’s recent additions, one piece can still make all the difference (see: Perron, David).

As the Mar. 2nd trade deadline is only a couple weeks away, and Rutherford has stated publicly that he likes to finish dealing well before the deadline passes, the Pens may look to pull the trigger on another deal or two as early as this week.

With numerous options available for the team, Pittsburgh will have a tough decision ahead of them in terms of who will be the right fit to complete Rutherford’s vision.

Who do you think the Pens should acquire? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments below!