On the Pittsburgh Penguins …
Matt Gajtka of Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Defenseman Matt Hunwick was a healthy scratch for 35 of the Penguins final 44 games. He was two years left on his contract.
The Penguins could see if they could trade his $2.25 million cap hit to a team looking for some depth. The free agent market isn’t the greatest this year.
If the Penguins can’t move him, maybe pairing him again with Olli Maatta would improve his play. Hunwick showed some promise when on the ice with Maatta.
Chris Nichols of FRS Hockey: Elliotte Friedman on Sportsnet 960 talking about the Mark Madden radio report that the Penguins were considering trading Phil Kessel.
“Well, I think what you have to be careful of is when you say ‘closer to becoming a reality,’ do they have a partner yet,” wondered Friedman. “I do think Mark’s right on. I don’t have any reason to doubt his reporting. He knows that organization really well and I think there is truth to that. But I just think it’s going to be a kind of complicated deal.”
Friedman wonders if the Penguins were going to trade Kessel, how much salary would they eat? The Maple Leafs are paying $1.2 million, and the Penguins are at $6.8 million. Friedman adds that the Penguins will do all they can to be in a position to win as long as Sidney Crosby and Evgeny Malkin are in their prime.
Sportsnet 960 is based in Calgary, so Friedman was asked if Kessel could be an option for the Flames as they are looking for a top-six scoring winger.
“First of all, I think you’re always making the call,” noted Friedman. “If I’m Brad Treliving, I’m not doing my job if I’m not making the call and at least saying, ‘What do you want. What are you willing to do,’ because I do think a player like Kessel could help Calgary.”
Friedman notes that you need a strong group around Kessel, something the Maple Leafs didn’t have around Kessel when he was there.