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Will Penguins Make a Move With Jason Zucker Out Long-Term?

Will the Pittsburgh Penguins make a move after finding out Jason Zucker will be out long-term with an injury?

Jason Zucker Pittsburgh Penguins
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The Pittsburgh Penguins got some bad news on Thursday. It was hoped that after a mix-up with Washington Capitals’ defenseman Nick Jensen and after awkwardly falling into the boards that winger Jason Zucker wasn’t seriously hurt. He was sent back to Pittsburgh to be reevaluated, but the injury is apparently a severe one.

Matt Vensel of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette noted on Wednesday that the team was hopeful his lower-body injury wasn’t as bad as initially feared. It could be worse. Head coach Mike Sullivan called Zucker a fighter, but told reporters this morning that Jason Zucker would be out “longer-term”.

Related: Crosby Responds to Trade Rumors out of Pittsburgh

As such, the Penguins may have to potentially finish the season without the 29-year-old forward. His absence will open up a hole in the team’s top-six and if he goes on long-term injured reserve (which it is assumed he will), the Penguins will have some short-term cap flexibility to find a replacement.

The Penguins have said they are leaving this year open as their window to be competitive. New hires Ron Hextall and Brian Burke both said the team has some difficult decisions this offseason to make and while Zucker hasn’t been his traditionally productive self in 2021, his absence does hurt the Penguins odds of being competitive over the final 30-or-so games.

If this is the last run this group can make before changes set in, are the Penguins going to look to the trade market to find some help?

Jason Zucker Penguins injured against Washington Capitals

Teams Are Becoming Sellers

While there’s not such thing as good timing for an injury, there are NHL clubs getting ready to become sellers. The Nashville Predators, Detroit Red Wings, Ottawa Senators and others among them. Might Pittsburgh look to a couple of these teams for help?

The Penguins will be getting Jared McCann back in short order, but that might not be enough, especially if Burke and Hextall want to make one final run with the veterans all in Penguins jerseys. Could someone like Bobby Ryan be a fit? Burke has had him before.

Next: Edmonton Oilers May Plan NHL Expansion Draft Around Puljujarvi

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