Who’s Who of the Pittsburgh Penguins Trade Rumor Circus

TAMPA, FL - APRIL 18: Mark Letestu
TAMPA, FL - APRIL 18: Mark Letestu /
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NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 03: Ian Cole #28 of the Pittsburgh Penguins shoots the puck as Taylor Hall #9 of the New Jersey Devils defends in the first period of an NHL hockey game at Prudential Center on February 3, 2018 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NJ – FEBRUARY 03: Ian Cole /

Penguins Trade Bait?

  • Conor Sheary (Pittsburgh Penguins, Left Wing, Right Wing) [$3.0m, 2 years] – Sheary is a difficult one to judge, as he’s shown flashes alongside Crosby but has also disappeared at times. Rumblings came out that several teams were scouting Sheary before his injury. He could be an attractive piece in a trade heading out of Pittsburgh.
  • Carl Hagelin (Pittsburgh Penguins, Left Wing) [$4.0m, 1 year] – Hagelin is another tough candidate to analyze this year. Through the first part of the year Hagelin had one of his worst campaigns in his career. Recently though, Hagelin has been scoring and when he hasn’t been, he’s been making plays to help create chances. Hagelin’s price tag makes him an attractive option to jettison if the Penguins need the room.
  • Daniel Sprong (Pittsburgh Penguins/Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins, Right Wing) [$0.693m, RFA] – If the Penguins make a splash to land a coveted forward, they’ll have to include Sprong as a top-tier prospect.
  • Zach Aston-Reese (Pittsburgh Penguins, Center, Right Wing) [$0.925m, 1 year] – The same logic applies for Aston-Reese, but he’s more likely to be included in a deal for a power-forward.
  • S. Dea (Pittsburgh Penguins/Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins, Center) [$0.650m, RFA] – I’m not sure Dea is really someone the Penguins want to move, but they may not have a choice. If they need to move a prospect not named Aston-Reese or Sprong, Dea could very well be on his way out.
  • Frank Corrado (Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins, Defense) [$0.650m, RFA] – Corrado didn’t get a great start with his time with the big-club this year. With little time remaining on his deal, they could include Corrado as a piece heading out.
  • Ian Cole (Pittsburgh Penguins, Defense) [$2.1m, UFA] – This might be the hardest piece of the Penguins to figure out prior to the deadline. There’s something going on in this relationship and I’m not sure anyone, including Cole or the Penguins, has a good grasp on it. Cole has been a solid upon his return to the lineup as a regular, but it seems like the Penguins don’t have long-term plans for him in Pittsburgh. Trading Cole and bringing in a cheaper defensive defenseman could free-up some cap space and ease what has been a tense and strange situation.
  • Matt Hunwick (Pittsburgh Penguins, Defense) [$2.250m, 2 years] – I believe the Penguins would trade Matt Hunwick if given the chance. I don’t believe Sullivan is particularly impressed by Hunwick’s decision-making with the puck. At $2.250 million for two more years, he is eating valuable cap space while eating nachos in the press box. Unfortunately for the Penguin’s brass, there aren’t likely many buyers for what Hunwick has to offer.

Here’s my predictions for two paths the Pittsburgh Penguins could take:

Playing it safe:

  • Cullen to the Penguins for conditional 5th
  • Hunwick and a 4th to the Coyotes for Luke Schenn
  • Vanek to the Penguins for Corrado and a 3rd

Taking a risk:

  • Hagelin, Sprong, and a 2nd (2019) to the Senators for Brassard and Oduya
  • Hunwick to the Coyotes for a conditional 4th (If Pittsburgh Penguins make Conference Finals, pick becomes 3rd)
  • Corrado and a 2nd (2018) to the Rangers for Grabner

Next: Building a trade for Evander Kane

With about two weeks left until the deadline, things can change, including injuries and teams moving in/out of the playoffs. It’s anyone guess but this list could change by the NHL Trade Deadline Day.