Pittsburgh Penguins: Trade Talks Sour – Pursuit of Top-Six Winger Continues


The Pittsburgh Penguins entered draft weekend with the assumption that they could answer the question of who will fill a top-six void for this team in 2015-16. But, after a ton of rumors, speculation, and trade chatter, there wasn’t a deal to be made and the Pens are now left with a lot of questions to answer.

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As we all know, rumors surrounding Phil Kessel, T.J. Oshie, Jeff Skinner, and Patrick Sharp were flying through the world of social media over the last couple weeks, but really took form on Friday afternoon. The Pittsburgh Penguins reportedly found their man in Toronto’s Kessel, but apparently there wasn’t a deal to be made between the two teams. Not yet, anyway.

The last rumbling I heard coming out of Saturdays draft is that the Pittsburgh Penguins are continuing to work on a Kessel deal, but could circle back around for T.J. Oshie if things don’t work out. And, despite what looks to be Jim Rutherford‘s best efforts, I don’t believe anything will work out.

According to multiple reports, Rob Rossi stated that the Pens offered Derrick Pouliot, Chris Kunitz, Rob Scuderi, and their 2016 first round pick to Toronto for Phil Kessel and were turned down. I tried to verify whether or not this came from Rossi on Twitter…

As you could imagine, I have not received a response. Therefore, I’m unable to determine the validity of that report. If they did indeed make that offer and weren’t able to complete a deal with the Leafs, it’s time to shut down talks and move on to the next option in my opinion.

But, what is the next option?

The Pittsburgh Penguins are currently believed to be one of two teams, with the other being the Washington Capitals, most likely to acquire Patrick Sharp from the Chicago Blackhawks. At this point, it looks like Jim Rutherford is waiting to see if the price drops. No matter what deal he ends up making, if he makes one at all, it’s likely going to include one of  the Pens’ young defensemen. Rutherford made that clear when speaking to the media from the draft floor.

The Pens also held conversations with the agent that represents Paul Martin to discuss a possible return to Pittsburgh. The deal that they discussed is said to be in the ball park of three years, totaling $15 million which means he would likely carry the same $5 million cap hit as his previous contract with the Pens.

A rumor that I had mentioned previously and seems to be carrying some weight is Martin St. Louis signing with the Pens.

The fact that the Pittsburgh Penguins are now linked to St. Louis and Joel Ward of the Washing Capitals, I’m starting to wonder if there’s a bit of panic in the organization regarding what they’re capable of pulling off this summer. These guys aren’t the young faces that Pittsburgh fans expected to see in 2015. And, let’s face it, they have very limited assets to use in a trade and aren’t in a situation to overpay in free agency. Even if they were, I obviously wouldn’t want them to.

I’m still holding out hope that the Pens are able to finalize a deal for T.J. Oshie. I’ll admit that watching Kessel and Sidney Crosby play together in their primes would be pretty exciting, but I just don’t see a deal getting done. Oshie is a great fit for what the Pens need and carries a manageable cap hit.

We’ll continue to monitor these situations, so be sure to keep it here and follow me on Twitter at @Michael29Angelo.

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