Tag: pittsburgh penguins

Looking Back At 2019 NHL Trade Deadline Deals…

Matt Duchene: Since Duchene has came to the Blue Jackets he has been a little quite and so have the Blue Jackets. Since coming to the Jackets Feb. 22 Duchene has 2 goals and 3 assists. He recorded two points on February 23rd and since then he has recorded 1 goal and 2 assists in nine games…

Ryan Dzingel: Also a member of the Senators who was sent to Columbus for a playoff push/Stanley Cup run has been better than Duchene actually. Since coming to Blue Jackets Dzingel has 1 goal and 5 assists in 9 games. Better production compared to Duchene certainly.

Mark Stone: Stone was the big deadline acquisition. Coming to Vegas on February 25th the team has been not only playing better since he arrived but Stone has been a big help it seems too. Stone has 2 goals and 3 assists in 7 games. The Golden Knights are 6-1 with Stone.

Mikael Granlund: This was a trade that came out of left field sort of. The Predators sent over young Kevin Fiala for a more seasoned Granlund. Both play similar styles but Granlund has a bit more experience and the edge over Fiala. Granlund joined the Predators on March 1st. Since then he has 1 goal and 3 assists in 6 games. The Predators since acquiring Granlund are 3-3 through six games.

Kevin Fiala: Fiala was apart of the Granlund trade a 1 for 1 deal that left some confused. Fiala is only 22-years-old and already has some experience in the playoffs. Since joining the Wild on February 25th, Fiala has 2 goals, they also came in the same game. He has 2 points in 8 games and no points in seven of them. The Wild are also 3-5 since acquiring Fiala.

Charlie Coyle: The Coyle trade was a bit of surprise for some fans as the Bruins swapped out their young prospect Ryan Donato for a struggling Charlie Coyle. Since coming to the Bruins on February 20th Coyle has played in 10 games adding 1 goal and 1 assist. The Bruins are 7-4 since adding Coyle.

Ryan Donato: Apart of the Coyle deal, Donato was sent to Minnesota and has enjoyed his time there it seems. He was not seeing regular minutes in Boston like he is Minnesota. Therefore the young forward has thrived. Donato has 2 goals and 7 assists in 11 games. Also to note he had 2 goals and 5 assists in his first five-games with Minnesota.

Wayne Simmonds: Simmonds was another deadline deal for the Predators and another forward who bolstered their already deep roster and make their power play even more of a threat. Simmonds tough and gritty style is much needed when it comes playoff time. Simmonds has played in 7 games with the Predators and only has one assists so far. The Predators are also 3-4 since adding both Granlund and Simmonds.

Kevin Hayes: The Jets big deadline acquisition was adding depth down the middle and to their already stacked offense. Hayes was enjoying a career year in New York. He was sent to Winnipeg at the deadline and has played in 8 games, in those eight games he has 2 goals and 2 assists. The Jets are also 4-4 since acquiring Hayes.

Jake Muzzin: Muzzin was not a deadline deal but was a big trade that was around the deadline time frame. He has spent already a month on the time and has played in 21 games for the Leafs. In those 21 games the Leafs are 13-6-2 in that span, Muzzin has 2 goals and 10 assists with a +5 rating.

Nick Bjugstad/Jared McCann: The two came as a package, that is why they are together. McCann has surprisingly been the more successful one in Pittsburgh but Bjugstad still has been of significance to the team. Bjugstad has 7 goals and 4 assists in 21 games. McCann has 9 goals and 4 assists in 21 games. McCann’s share has come in the last nine games where has collected 6 goals and four assists. Bjugstad’s production has been spread out pretty evenly during his time in Pittsburgh though.

HBK Line 2.0; McCann-Crosby-Guentzel..

Something a lot of fans do not talk about is Jake Guentzel. The 3rd round 77th overall in the 2013 NHL draft. Guentzel emerged in 2016-2017 when he scored 16 goals with 33 points in 40 games and continued his tear in the playoffs scoring 21 points in 25 games. The next season Guentzel scored 48 points, 22 goals in 82 games.

Since Guentzel emergence in the NHL he has been able to form a bond with captain Sidney Crosby and the two have been near inseparable since Guentzel joined Pittsburgh in 2016-17. Crosby and Guentzel had solid 2017-18 playoff runs but fell short. They struggled to find a third line mate all season but after the Jared McCann and Nick Bjugstad trade it seems they have found their third partner to help rally the Penguins.

One thing a lot of people credit the Penguins success to is Sidney Crosby byt Jake Guentzel has certainly been the main focal point of that lines success or could be an argument for being a major contributor to that McCann-Crosby-Guentzel success.

This season a lot of people clearly knew about Guentzel after his amazing playoff appearances and first 40 games in the NHL. But, not many fans had him on their radar as a potential 40+ goal scorer. On the year Guentzel has 36 goals in 71 games along with 68 points. Since the emergence of Jared McCann Guentzel has been on-fire, along with McCann himself. Since the February 1st acquisition of McCann, Guentzel has 12 goals in 21 games. The two paired up only a few games ago and since McCann has moved on the line of Guentzel and Crosby the three have propelled the Penguins to a top-three divisional spot and now definite playoff contenders.

Guentzel has not received the necessary praise due to McCann catching fire plus anytime you play with Crosby it is hard to stand out. Since February 19th Guentzel has 8 goals and 6 assists over 12-games. McCann has 5 goals and 4 assists in 12 games and Crosby has 8 goals and 12 assists in 12-games. The HBK line that helped surge the Penguins to their 2015-16 Stanley Cup could be in the making once again, this time with Guentzel-Crosby-McCann. They do not have a witty name like the HBK line but this trio could possibly be a huge deal breaker for the Penguins come playoff time.

Right now the Penguins are looking to be playing the Islanders. Their first round will not be an easy opponent no matter what but with the veteran ship of the Penguins and now their offense finally starting to pick up they could be a force to be wrecking with come April…

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NHL TRADE: Panthers Send Nick Bjugstad & Jared McCann To Penguins For Derick Brassard And More

The typical Penguins move, always ahead of the curve always a deadline move and always a move that improves their roster at the perfect time. The Panthers in this case do not necessarily improve their roster right now but they do receive three draft picks.

The full trade breakdown is right here…

Panthers receive: Derick Brassard, Riley Sheahan, 2019 2nd round pick, and two 2019 4th round picks

Penguins receive: Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann.

Also to note neither team ends up retaining any salary in this deal. Which means the Panthers take Brassard and Sheahan’s contract and Penguins take on Bjugstad and McCann’s contract.

Who wins the deal? 

Right now we have to say the Penguins they add some better and younger forward depth, while Brassard and Sheahan are considered forward depth the Penguins definitely upgrade adding Bjugstad and McCann. Bjugstad is a potential 40 point player, despite struggling this year with just 12 points in 32 games he has put up four 35+ point seasons in his career. McCann is a solid bottom six forward who can bring you the same as Sheahan but potentially more down the road as McCann is just 22-years-old and is a former first round (24th overall) pick. McCann has played 46 games this year collecting 18 points, and on pace for his best year yet.

The Panthers do walk away with getting rid of Bjugstad at a 4.1 million annual value (AAV) and McCann’s 1.25 million hit, while Brassard is a 3 million AAV and Sheahan is a 2.5 million AAV the difference is small. BUT the Panthers have already said to be in rumors of moving Brassard before the deadline which means they can free up his 3 million AAV and anywhere from 4.5-6.5 million in cap space for the off-season.

Penguins (potential) forward lines now:

Jake Guentzel- Sidney Crosby- Dominik Simon (or Nick Bjugstad)

Bryan Rust- Evgeni Malkin- Phil Kessel

Tanner Pearson– Nick Bjugstad (Or Jared McCann)- Patrick Hornqvist

Chad Ruhwedel- Jared McCann(Matt Cullen)- Garrett Wilson (or Dominik Simon)

My guess is the Penguins slot Bjugstad with Crosby and Guentzel, keep the second line together slot McCann on the third line with Pearson and Hornqvist and then have Cullen Ruhwedel and Simon on the fourth line.

Detroit Red Wings set steep price for Gustav Nyquist and Jimmy Howard

We all saw this coming. The Red Wings were close to moving Howard last season but did not and almost, or at least entertained the idea of moving Howard early in the year but did not, obviously. The Red Wings have set a price for Jimmy Howard and Gustav Nyquist and it is a first round pick. The Red Wings want a first round pick for each player, to clear any confusion. I am not sure the Red Wings will get that unless they go as a package deal but if they split up I don’t think any team would be interested in giving a first round pick for Jimmy Howard.

Jimmy Howard has spent the last 13.5 years with Detroit, he has played in 494 games posting a 2.51 goals against and .915 save percentage. Nyquist has spent the last 7.5 years with Detroit playing in 468 games collecting 120 goals, 168 assists for 288 points (.62 points per game). Nyquist is definitely the bigger trade piece here as he has 29-years-old, a 0.62 point per game player, has playoff experience, can literally play with anyone it seems like and is also having a great year. Howard is 35-years-old nearing the end of his career and while he is having a decent year this year Howard at 35 is just not appealing to many teams.

The top suitors for Nyquist would be a contending team perhaps San Jose and Pittsburgh but I’ve also seen Edmonton, Buffalo, Anaheim on the list as well. These are some of the names I’ve seen be kicked around. Jimmy Howard I have not heard much news on him besides the confusion from fans about how he got picked for the All-Star game this year. Anyways the price is remaining high for these two and the Red Wings said they are going to keep the price high and hope someone bites closer to the deadline.

Five Teams That Could Use Jake Muzzin

Aside from the fact that most if not all teams in the NHL (besides Nashville) would benefit from a Jake Muzzin type of player. Muzzin will more than likely end up on a contending team, a team in the market for a top-three defenseman, therefore the list is not too big but looking at what Muzzin brings to the table. These five teams could use him.

Pittsburgh Penguins: This team cannot make a playoff run again with their number one defenseman being Brain Dumoulin, therefore Kris Letang needs to stay healthy and the Penguins need to add a d-man. In comes Muzzin, a defenseman who can play the penalty kill, power play, move the puck, contribute in the offensive end and play sound defense. Muzzin has 20 points in 46 games played this year, that is not chump numbers. In his career he has 493 games played with 212 points (.43 points per game). He has been a 40+ point defenseman in three seasons of his five and a half years in the NHL so far. The Penguins are always on the hunt for back end talent and Muzzin could be there guy.

Toronto Maple Leafs: The Leafs have been longing for another defenseman for two years now, with the Norris like play of Morgan Reilly their blue has been a little better this year but the Leafs still have some holes back there. With Jake Gardiner being a little more offensive minded, Ron Hainsey aging and having younger talent picking up the slack. Jake Muzzin and his playoff/Stanley Cup experience plus his defensive mind would be perfect for Toronto. The Leafs also said their first round pick was up for grabs therefore that is available and they have the best prospect pool out there. It would be foolish not to try for Muzzin.

Philadelphia Flyers: The Flyers need a d-man, they are not contenders but they have been asking for a defenseman for nearly a decade it seems like. Plus they have more than a first round pick to give up. The Flyers could easily throw Wayne Simmonds name in the conversation, a name the Los Angeles Kings are familiar with. I’m sure the Kings would not be opposed to seeing Simmonds back in Kings colors. Muzzin is a good fit for the Flyers too, tough, defensive-minded, posses some offense to his game and he comes with no learning curve and can be throw right into the fire. Again it would be asinine for the Flyers not to kick the can around with L.A.

Vegas Golden Knights: The Knights are again contenders this year and their General Manager has come forward and said he is not going to sit tight and be content with his current roster he is always planning and always looking to the future. Muzzin would definitely help that Vegas back end, one of the more so unexperienced blue lines in the NHL right now. Vegas has some decent forward but more importantly a ton of draft picks. Muzzin would definitely be a top-four defenseman on this team and I’m sure Vegas would feel a little more comfortable with Muzzin back there rather than Jon Merrill. It would be a smart move for this possible Cup contending team to make a move for a veteran defenseman like Muzzin.

Colorado Avalanche: With two defenseman ready to hit free-agency the Avalanche could easily fix that issue with Jake Muzzin. The Avalanche have one very important guy to worry about in the off-season which is Mikko Rantanen but they have also 13 million in cap space plus with the cap raise the Av’s should be fine. The Avalanche are a contending team right now that could use some help on the back end, on both the defensive side and offensive side. The Av’s also have two first round picks this year and some decent prospects to throw in the pool. I would not be surprised to see this team take a stab at Muzzin.

Where Wayne Simmonds Can Land At The Trade Deadline

It confirmed the Philadelphia Flyers are moving on from Wayne Simmonds. The reasons, we do not know. Speculation could be, he is going to be a UFA come the off-season expecting 5.5-7 million a year for a longer term deal. Simmonds has been in a little of a funk lately, only producing 46 points in 75 games last season and only 19 points in 44 games. Either way the Flyers are looking to actively shop Simmonds and are looking for a goaltender, top-six forward and fifth defenseman. Therefore where can we see Simmonds land?

  1. Edmonton Oilers: They need a top-six forward and that’s what Simmonds is plus paring him with Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl is a no-brainer for the Oilers. Plus the Oilers can trade Cam Talbot or Darnell Nurse, Kris Russell type defenseman and they have a few picks to give. Simmonds would pair well in Edmonton even though Milan Lucic has been rather unsuccessful recently and Lucic, Simmonds play similar games. Simmonds is a little more used to scoring goals and playing a goal-scoring role.
  2. Colorado Avalanche: The Avalanche have a ton of suitable prospects, Semyon Varlamov and fifth defenseman. Yes, Varlamov, he is a UFA in the off-season, the Avalanche trade Varlamov, get Simmonds and go after Bobrovsky, crazy but a possibility. Either way Simmonds would be a suitable partner for Philadelphia, the Avalanche can give up Samuel Girard or Alexander Kerfoot and Patrick Nemeth, plus a pick for Simmonds and something else.
  3. Columbus Blue Jackets: Word on the street is Sergei Bobrovsky wants to be traded… well the Flyers and Bob can reunite and swap Simmonds for Bob. The only concern is the Flyers will need to give more like a second and Bobrovsky for Simmonds, maybe more. Also Bob is going to cost 7.5 million same as Simmonds so what would be the point? Unless the Flyers are willingly to spend money on a goalie, which they should.
  4. Carolina Hurricanes: If the Hurricanes are interested in trading Faulk, Hamilton or Frolik this could be fit. Again the issue is the Hurricanes need to resign a few players and Sebastian Aho therefore Simmonds will be costly for them. This could be a possibility and Simmonds would actually fit well in Carolina basically a better Justin Williams.
  5. Calgary Flames: A small possibility, the Flames have a ton of defenseman on their backend and Mike Smith and David Rittich to trade if they wanted to shed a goalie it would probably be Mike Smith. Either way the Flames can move Travis Hamonic and Michael Frolik for Simmonds. Although the Flames are hot right now and I would not mess with their roster, the Flames are a suitor.
  6. Pittsburgh Penguins: When are they not in the running? They contacted Carolina about their two defenseman on the block and Ferland. Therefore why not entertain this conversation with Philly and see the offer sheet for Simmonds. He would basically another Patric Hornqvist just younger. Also the Penguins can move Casey DeSmith, Derek Brassard and Jamie Oleksiak. Simmonds would be a great fit in Pittsburgh honestly…

My Top Buyers and Sellers For The NHL Trade Deadline

The NHL Trade Deadline is about seven weeks away, therefore usually around this time, 40+ games, teams making pushes for the playoffs and other teams doing the opposite. A lot of trade talk is about to approach so let’s get you ready for what can be a pretty exciting 2019 NHL trade deadline.

Top Buyers: 

Pittsburgh Penguins: It is no surprise here that the Penguins are again buyers. They continue to be a top-10 team in the NHL that have the tools to be a Stanley Cup team therefore around this time they usually always are involved in trade talks. There most recent trade talk has been with the Carolina Hurricanes for either Michael Ferland or defenseman Justin Faulk or Dougie Hamilton, not all three or two probably just one of the three. Either the Penguins could use another top-six winger but more importantly can certainly use a top-four or even number five defenseman. The Penguins by no surprise can score goals but they struggle to defend consistently, with a defense of Kris Letang (injury issues) Jack Johnson, Brian Dumoulin and Olli Maata they need to add another tool back there.

Toronto Maple Leafs: Much like the Penguins the Leafs are going to be buyers come the deadline, they really do not need any more forward depth due to the fact William Nylander is a third liner almost. The Leafs would have no reason for a forward. The thing the Leafs could use is a top-four defenseman, Ron Hainsey may not cut it much longer for Toronto, Morgan Reilly is proving number one capability and Jake Gardiner is a solid number four but they still another d-man, someone who is a good two-way defenseman. A Dougie Hamilton or Justin Faulk would be perfect but as of now there has not been much from Toronto. The Leafs could also use a potential back-up/fringe starter to help Frederick Anderson before the playoffs come around. Someone who can play at least half the games remaining in the year to get Anderson 100% healthy for the playoffs.

Edmonton Oilers: The Oilers need to make a move for a forward if they want to be a playoff team their current offensive roster is not going to cut it for the playoffs or a playoff run. They need one top-six forward and a borderline top-six/bottom-nine forward soon. The Oilers have tried line scheme after line scheme this season and not much is working consistently. They will probably look to the Rangers for Kevin Hayes, Mats Zuccarello, Vladislav Namestikov or the Senators for a few of their bottom-six forwards, the Blues have a slew of forwards, the Hurricanes Michael Ferland. Either way they need to be inquiring about someone.

Colorado Avalanche: With their 11 million in projected cap space the Avalanche should be shopping for a top-six, bottom six forward. They have the two best players in the NHL right now but someone else needs to supplement those two when the playoff run comes around and playoff time comes. The Avalanche have a lot of young potential but they will need some more proven success. Out there is as mentioned above, the Avalanche will be doing some necessary shopping over the next two weeks or so.

Top Sellers:

New York Rangers: Not a shock to many, the Rangers are definitely over performing considering the roster they have but they are still not a great team. Plus it does them no good to win games right now or not consider being big sellers. They have a few players to shed as well but with Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello current UFA’s in 2019-2020 they will more than likely be trading those two. They have 2 million in cap space and with those two gone it will free up about 9.6 million making them a true contender for Artem Panarin this offseason.

Los Angeles Kings: They have no reason to buy and they do have a few names that can be useful elsewhere. I.e. Tyler Toffoli, Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, and some bottom six forwards. Not a great year for L.A. but they have around $89,000 in cap space right now with three free agents in 2019 summer and Brown/Carter on unfavorable contracts.

Carolina Hurricanes: I did not expect the Hurricanes to be sellers but it seems their GM is in favor to shed Faulk, Hamilton and Ferland. Therefore making sellers for sure, they have 16 million in cap space and getting rid of two of those three would leave them with a nice dollar amount to sit on in the offseason. Plus they need to free up cap for Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen, Jordin Martinook, and possibly Justin Williams. The Hurricanes have a ton of UFA/RFA to consider in the offseason and they cannot afford Faulk, Hamilton and Aho therefore we can see these guys selling heavy come the deadline.

St. Louis Blues: I almost want to say why not sell for this team. You have Brayden Schenn, Jaden Schwartz, David Perron, Patrick Maroon, Vladimir Tarasenko, Tyler Bozak, etc. At least two of these guys or even one can go and will provide a decent return. The Blues have rumored to be in talks to shed Vladimir Tarasenko, which I mean sounds ridiculous but realistically this team is not going to win anytime soon, get a good return on the guy sooner than later.