NBC Sports Adam Gretz is reporting that that the Pittsburgh Penguins might be focused on adding some size prior to this year’s NHL Trade Deadline and he believes a realistic target for the team might be former 20-plus goal guy Anthony Mantha out of the Detroit Red Wings organization.
Suggesting that both Brian Burke and Ron Hextall are executives who fancy teams with size, Mantha might be the type of player that puts a surging Penguins team over the hump and Gretz wouldn’t be surprise if rumors start to surface that Hextall is kicking tires in that regard.
Gretz admits that the Penguins don’t really have the firepower to trade for any big names on the market, but he believes the 26-year-old Mantha — who has struggled with injuries over the past couple of seasons — could be a good find. He writes:
Setting aside my belief that it’s dumb to look for [insert random trait here], I have been trying to think of realistic targets.. Realistic as in: 1) Big player that is also good 2) Could realistically be acquired in a trade. Players in column 1 are rare. Teams don’t often trade them. Washington isn’t giving you Tom Wilson. Calgary isn’t giving you Matthew Tkachuk. Plus, the Penguins do not really have a lot to trade anyway. So given all of that the player I keep going back to is Anthony Mantha.
How Realistic is Gretz’s Idea?
This year, Mantha has just nine goals and 16 points in 34 games and it might be worth finding out if general manager Steve Yzerman has him on his list of available assets for trade. If so, the next step would be for the Penguins to unload salary and then find a return that would make the Red Wings happy. Burke has already acknowledged that the Penguins don’t really have picks to give, so they’d need to find creative ways to offer other assets or prospects.
Without first, third, fourth and sixth-round picks in 2021, we’re not sure what the Penguins could send back that would make it worth the Red Wings moving a player who still has three seasons left on his contract after this one.
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