On Nick Bonino …
Darren Dreger: At least 10 teams have serious interest in free agent center Nick Bonino.
Aaron Portzline: The Columbus Blue Jackets are believed to be among the teams interested in Bonino.
Mark Madden: Have been told that the Penguins have given up on the idea of being able to re-sign Nick Bonino. Bonino is looking to get a four-year deal and $16 million.
On Trevor Daley …
Mark Madden: Have been told the Penguins have given up on keeping free agent defenseman Trevor Daley.
Pierre LeBrun: Both the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings are contenders to land defenseman Daley.
On the Pittsburgh Penguins …
Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: It looks like third-line center Nick Bonino won’t be back next year and the Penguins may have to go the trade route to replace him.
“That’s an option that I’ve always considered, which you have to at this point in time,” Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said. “We’re considering different trade options.”
Replacing Bonino with a free agent usually means you are overpaying someone.
It doesn’t appear likely that Matt Cullen will be back next.
Elliotte Friedman has brought up Matt Duchene but it’s hard to see how Duchene’s $6 million salary fits in if they can’t pay Bonino $4 million.
“If Nick doesn’t come back, then we have to look at, is there somebody available there that’s already given more production in the league?” Rutherford said. “Then, of course, adding another guy gives us more depth.”
On Penguins free agent Chris Kunitz …
Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Chris Kunitz’s agent has said that he’s received calls from 10 teams that have a legitimate interest.
“I don’t know where it’s going to end up,” Hankinson said. “Chris does have interest from a lot of teams. Who knows exactly where that interest is going to be once the offers start flying around, but he does have a lot of interest.”
There are likely at least two or three teams that could offer Kunitz more more money and a bigger role than the Penguins could.
“There’s a lot of moving parts with the Penguins and what they’re doing,” Hankinson said. “Obviously they have some good, young forwards. It would be a big loss losing Chris, but I also think they’re trying to figure out money-wise where he fits in.
“The other part of it is if he signs somewhere else, then it’s a couple-year deal and security comes into play.”