Looks like the chase for a third-line centre is almost over for the Pittsburgh Penguins
According to Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford, the Penguins have narrowed their search for a third-line centre down to three possible players.
The search has been ongoing all offseason ever since Nick Bonino left the Penguins as a free agent to join the Stanley Cup runner-up Nashville Predators. There have been many speculations about who the Penguins may be looking to sign as Bonino’s replacement. Well now it seems like the winner has almost been chosen.
“We have our focus on three guys right now. I think one or two of those guys will become available, maybe before the season starts, but maybe not,” Rutherford said.
Rutherford did mention that he is in no rush to acquire a third-line centre. With the regular season less than a month away, most people wonder why he wouldn’t be in a rush. But he has a plan. He said he expects Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin to be able to make up for the hole.
“That’s why I don’t have to be pressured to have one for opening night when you have those two centers,” Rutherford said. “They carry the load.”
Options Right Now
Rutherford also discussed the possibilities of moving one of Carter Rowney or Jake Guentzel to that third-line centre option. Although it can make sense for the time being, Rutherford doesn’t want to take any action of the sort.
“That’s an option, but we prefer Jake to play the wing and continue building on what he and Sid did last year,” Rutherford said. “If it’s short-term it’s OK, but it mixes up what we’re trying to do with our lines. The good thing about that is, there is an option. There is a guy that can move to that position.”