Pittsburgh Penguins: Possible Big Names Available via Trade This Summer


The Pittsburgh Penguins offseason has officially started thanks to the Chicago Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup in six games against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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Now, the waiting begins for hockey fans until we start all over again in September with the 2015-2016 regular season.

The offseason is an exciting time for most hockey fans because of free agency, the draft and of course the unpredictable blockbuster trades. While free agency may be less than intriguing this summer due to a lack of stars available, the trade world should be booming.

Speaking of trades, the Pittsburgh Penguins will be looking to acquire one or two top 6 wingers, and Jim Rutherford made it clear that they would likely come via trade. There are two potential big-name targets that could be a viable option for the Pens.

T.J. Oshie

The “American Hero” of the Olympics last year for the United States, scoring goal after goal against Russia in the shootout could be coming to Pittsburgh. Rumors have been swirling that the Blues are shopping him around the league. Many teams have obviously showed interest in him, especially the New York Rangers, who have cap issues they need to address. The 28 year old right winger is coming off a 55 point season (19G, 36A). Oshie is signed until the end of the 2017 season at a $4.175 cap hit with the St. Louis Blues.

What would it take to get Oshie in Pittsburgh?

I would imagine it would be a combination of players, prospects and even draft picks. I bet Brandon Sutter, Beau Bennett and prospects could be part of a deal. Maybe we can dump Scuderi’s contract via trade? It depends on what the Blues want and what the Penguins are willing to offer.

Oshie HERO chart (via ownthepuck.blogspot.ca)

Radim Vrbata

The 6’1″ Czech right winger is coming off his best season in the NHL with the Vancouver Canucks. He also recorded over 30 goals for the second time in the past 6 years. Last July, the Canucks signed the free agent to a two year contract. With one year left on his contract, the Canucks are looking to move him before free agency in 2016. Vancouver desperately needs a center in their lineup who can contribute offensively and defensively. The Penguins might have the player they are looking for in Brandon Sutter.

The issues with Vrbata are his age (34) and his salary hit of $5 million. But, if Radim is able to contribute 30+ goals and assists like he did last season it could be worth trading Brandon Sutter and a third round draft pick to acquire the scoring winger.

I am not one to compare players, but Vrbata is similar to James Neal, but possibly more skilled which makes him special. This guy is a sniper who likes to score goals and I would like to see him on the second line with Evgeni Malkin.

Vrbata HERO chart (via ownthepuck.blogspot.ca)

While watching the right-handed Vrbata below, it’s easy to see why he’d fill the Pens’ top-six void so well.

Next: 5 Reasons the Pens Will Not Win the Cup in 2016

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