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Penguins Looking to Add a Defenseman, Could Pull Trigger on Trade Soon

Jim Rutherford notes that he may not be able to wait 20 games to make a deal for another defenseman as many of the Penguins blue are injured.

Jim Rutherford Penguins GM

According to Darren Dreger of TSN, during today’s Insider Trading segment he noted that Jim Rutherford of the Pittsburgh Penguins is looking for a defenseman via trade. With Mike Matheson (undisclosed) and Zach Trotman (right knee) already on injured reserve, Marcus Pettersson and Juuso Riikola leaving Tuesday’s 5-4 overtime home win over the Washington Capitals is not good news.

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Needless to say, the depth of the blue line is about to be questioned. The Penguins do have Cody Ceci as well as left-handers Pierre-Olivier Joseph and Kevin Czuczman who can step in, but Dreger notes there are multiple issues fueling trade talk. “Part of that is through urgency and necessity and he’s already experienced injury to the Pittsburgh Penguins blue line,” Dreger said. The other is that Rutherford has an itchy trade finger.

Dreger adds that Rutherford is historically always trying to get his shopping out of the way early. “He’s in the market for the best available defenseman, but in reality, he knows that he is going to have to settle for a third-pairing defenseman.”

It’s interesting that Rutherford has already decided that this is the time to make the move. It could be because the Penguins have struggled early through four games with a 2-2 record. He knows the record doesn’t necessarily represent the fact that the play of the team has been questionable. Add that to the injury issues and perhaps Rutherford is sensing their could a problem coming.

Jim Rutherford Pittsburgh Penguins GM

Penguins May Not Reach 20-Game Mark

Josh Yohe of The Athletic quoted Rurtherford who said, “I’m not going to judge anything that I’ve seen so far this season. Not at this point.” He added, “We had the short training camp. I haven’t really known what to expect.”

That said, if the struggles continue, the GM is going to have to make decisions sooner than later.  “Yes, I usually like to give a team 20 games before I draw any conclusions. … But it’s tough and 20 games might not really be long enough to gauge what you’ve got in a team.”

Unfortunately, this season is not like others where he has the luxury of being a bit more patient, Rutherford said he wasn’t sure if he could wait 20 games without making some kind of a move if things don’t go well. It will be interesting to see how many more losses before he feels his team is at that point.

Next: Auston Matthews Possibly Out of Friday’s Lineup for Maple Leafs

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