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NHL Trades and Rumors

Penguins Poking Around on Max Pacioretty Trade Talks

Is Max Pacioretty to the Pittsburgh Penguins an option in trade? Apparently, the Pens are kicking tires on the idea.

The minute TSN’s Frank Seravalli noted that Max Pacioretty was being shopped by the Vegas Golden Knights, there were multiple reports of teams that were rumored to be interested. We covered four possible trade destinations in a feature article on Wednesday, but we didn’t have the Pittsburgh Penguins among our four potential destinations. Apparently, we should have.

Related: Four Potential Trade Destinations for Max Pacioretty

According to Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now, the Penguins are poking around when it comes to Pacioretty and there are reports that multiple sources have said the Penguins are among the NHL clubs expressing interest. It seems like an odd fit considering the Penguins lack of space to add a $7 million forward to their current roster, but Kingserski writes that GM Jim Rutherford recently circled back on Pacioretty and is waiting to hear back.

The scribe said talks are exploratory and writes:

The winger has three-years remaining at $7 million AAV per season, and everything about the Penguins acquiring Pacioretty would seem to be both economically impossible and lineup implausible. As an expensive and offensively productive LW, Pacioretty is a top-six winger, and the Pittsburgh Penguins are full up on the left side.

Why Would the Penguins Be Interested?

First, the Penguins always seem to be interested. Like the Golden Knights, the Rangers or the Maple Leafs, the Penguins are a team that seem to be in a lot of conversations when a big-name player becomes available. Rutherford likes to wheel and deal and if there’s a move to be made, his tendency is to figure out if the Penguins can be players.

Jim Rutherford Penguins GM
photo via Bleacher Report

Second, the club is desperately trying to keep its window to win open. There’s been a ton of talk about the aging roster and how competitive they’ll be in three or four seasons. If the Penguins are going all-in to win again in the next two or three years and while players like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are still producing at an elite level, it shouldn’t come as a shock that Rutherford might be willing to move pieces to add a 32-goal scorer.

The question will be money. Pacioretty is a $7 million forward and the Penguins have all of $1.3 million in cap space. At best, Rutherford can ship $2-$3 million the other way but the Golden Knights won’t take more than that.

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