3 major trade acquisitions the Pittsburgh Penguins could pull off for a deep playoff run

The narrative is that the Pittsburgh Penguins are out of the running, having accumulated just 51 points through the 2024 All-Star Break.

Jan 25, 2024; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Ottawa Senators defenseman Jakob Chychrun (6) shoots the puck in
Jan 25, 2024; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Ottawa Senators defenseman Jakob Chychrun (6) shoots the puck in / Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports
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Vladimir Tarasenko could add a legitimate scoring option to the bottom-six

Tarasenko Trade

The Ottawa Senators will be selling at the trade deadline after their major acquisitions from last season, and the previous offseason have not delivered the results they were looking for. Someone like Vladimir Tarasenko can still play and thrive in a middle or bottom-six role, but his presence has done nothing to improve Ottawa’s situation.

While it would be tough to see many teams willing to offer a first-round pick for Tarasenko these days, it could play into Pittsburgh’s hands. However, the $5 million cap hit is a major obstacle standing in the Penguins way, so Dubas would have to do some serious work in such a scenario.

For this trade to work, the Senators must retain 25 percent of Tarasenko’s contract. The Penguins must drop a player whose contract they no longer want, and Lars Eller is again someone they can afford to cut ties with. With some lineup shuffling on Pittsburgh’s part, Tarasenko wouldn’t just realistically fit in here, but he would be a legitimate scoring option that the Penguins still need.

For the trade to be completed, Pittsburgh would drop a second-rounder in 2024 and in 2026 to complete the deal. Sure, it would cause the Penguins to be short on draft picks should such a situation occur, but Kyle Dubas is the kind of executive who shouldn’t surprise us when he finds ways to get them back.