Pittsburgh Penguins Trade Ramblings 5: T.J. Oshie, Phil Kessel, and More


When the offseason began I discussed five possible trade targets for the Pittsburgh Penguins, and my assumption was that there’s little chance of a big-name, headline acquisition this summer.

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As the summer progresses and we find out more info about potential trade targets for the Pittsburgh Penguins, I’m beginning to wonder if I was wrong and maybe Jim Rutherford could swing a major deal. The Pens have limited assets but the few they have are good ones. Given their commitment to a young, cheap defensive corps, maybe a big move is coming after all. They’ll surely have the cap room for it.

Dave Molinari reported this morning that Rutherford and the Pittsburgh Penguins have at least a “kick the tires” interest in the availability and asking price for Phil Kessel. Though unlikely, it’s fun to imagine what it would be like to watch Sidney Crosby and Kessel dominate offensively.

Crosby has turned himself into a much more well-rounded center and focused on his two-way game last season. A pure shooter like Kessel would benefit greatly from a playmaking, two-way center like Sid. Kessel isn’t good defensively, but he wouldn’t have to be. Let’s face it, if there’s anyone that can get the puck on Kessel’s stick in prime shooting areas, it’s number 87.

Kessel carries a salary cap hit of $8 million per year until 2022, which also makes this an unlikely option. Of course, the Leafs know that they’ll likely have to retain cap to move Kessel, and will surely be willing to in order to officially start their rebuild. I’m just not sure they’re willing to retain as much as the Pittsburgh Penguins would need them to which is at least $2 million per year, maybe more.

While it’s unknown how reliable the source is for the T.J. Oshie to Pittsburgh talks, that rumor has taken off this morning. The reported return for Oshie is Beau Bennett and Anton Zlobin. And, that return is what makes me believe that there isn’t much truth to this report.

While Zlobin is a solid prospect and Bennett can be a very good player if he stays healthy, both players mentioned suffer severely from the injury bug. Also, Zlobin has a lot of work to do before his game is refined enough to play at this level. If you throw Brandon Sutter into the mix, maybe you’re talking about something realistic, but Bennett and a prospect isn’t fetching Oshie for the Pittsburgh Penguins. I do think Oshie to Pittsburgh is a possibility and a great fit, just not for the return that is making it’s way around the internet today.

It seems that it’s impossible to talk about trade possibilities for the Pens without mentioning Patrick Sharp. In a recent piece for the NY Post, Larry Brooks again alluded to Patrick Sharp joining the Pittsburgh Penguins. I’m very weary of the idea due to Sharp’s decline in production, age, and cap hit.

Rutherford told Molinari in his article from this morning that he expects things to heat up in a big way over the next week. As I’ve said, this is shaping up to be an eventful offseason on the trade front, mostly due to the undesirable free agent class. I fully expect a few deals to occur this week but would look for the most action to occur at the draft next weekend.

Thanks for reading. Of course, follow me on Twitter at @Michael29Angelo and keep it here at PensLabyrinth.Com for all the most recent rumors, news and opinions regarding the Pens.

Next: Should the Pens Target Jiri Hudler via Trade This Summer?

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