Finding the most likely Pittsburgh Penguin trade bait…
Shelly Anderson of Pittsburgh Hockey NOW: The Penguins trade bait focuses on three players basically. Patric Hornqvist, Nick Bjugstad, and Bryan Rust. Now, a problem exists in the fact that teams know Pittsburgh needs to make a move to stay safely under the cap.
Why these three? Too many other names are players that Jim Rutherford just will not part with for a variety of reasons.
Matt Vensel of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette (Q&A): When expanding the “trade net” so to speak, expect a few wrinkles to pop up. The Brandon Tanev signing sent Pittsburgh back into the danger zone and made at least one more player expendable. That six-year term eats away for a longer duration as well.
Pittsburgh stands $1.6 million under the salary cap with two RFA players left to sign. A trade is certain — maybe even two if need be. Out of the options, Nick Bjugstad and Bryan Rust seem again the most likely. They carry more value than players like Jack Johnson and even Patric Hornqvist.
Speaking of the Jack Johnson battle, the cap still may keep the possibility of moving him a little higher than say, the aforementioned Patric Hornqvist. As several pundits have said, the forward group is deep but one wrong sacrifice could set it back a good way.
Rob Rossi: It is odd how the space to clear for Brandon Tanev has now turned into an extension for Marcus Pettersson. This morphed into the debate to make another trade then worked into a way to buy out Jack Johnson. The common theme seems to be moving Jack Johnson even if Jim Rutherford opposes such a move.
What is next for Pominville?
Bill Hoppe: Then, there lies Jason Pominville. He skated at the Buffalo facility throughout the Spring but little has been heard of since. The question becomes at this point, who would want Pominville.