Penguins do not need to trade to improve their defense; all they have to do is get Justin schultz return to the queue.
Schultz, after breaking his left leg on October 13, joined the Penguins on ice on Wednesday, albeit in a contactless t-shirt, for their morning skiing at the PPG Paints Arena before their 4-2 victory over Tampa Bay Lightning.
When Schulz returns, everything will be as if the Penguins have added a defender before the Deadline for trading in the NHL on February 25 at 3 pm. Alien without giving up anything. This is the reason why general manager Jim Rutherford felt comfortable with trading at quarterback Jamie Oleksiak to the stars of Dallas on Monday to select the fourth round in the 2019 NHL draft.
One of the reasons why Oleksiak was considered an expendable material is that Pittsburgh deeply protects the defender with the advent of Marcus Pettersson and Yuuso Riikola, The return of Schulz will give them eight NHL defenders.
This depth should allow Rutherford to explore the Penguin improvement options ahead, perhaps by adding a left wing that could play on the second line with the center Evgeni Malkin and right wing Phil kessel,
Rutherford could acquire this player by trading the center of the third line. Derik Brassardwhich is in the last season of his contract.
Pittsburgh saw how a compound without Brassard could look on Wednesday when he was absent due to an injury to his upper body. Matt Cullen moved to the center of the third line with the left wing Tanner pearson and right wing Patrick Hornquist, 42-year-old Cullen played 14:53, the maximum from which he played from the season 15:21 on October 18.
Pittsburgh could also try Riley Sheehan as the center of the third line, especially if they acquire another left wing.
Their depth in the defense of the defender as soon as Schulz returns, and their strength below the middle puts the Penguins in a strong position to actively try to improve in other areas until the deadline.
Video: Phil Burke on Penguin Fight Recently
New York Rangers
Right wing Mats Zuccarello hopes to be in line when the Rangers play with the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on Thursday (7:00 pm EST; MSG +, MSG, ESPN +, NHL.TV).
On Tuesday, Succarello missed a 1-0 defeat to Philadelphia due to a foot infection, and there will probably be a lot of scouts in the building to see how he and others are playing.
The 31-year-old, who can become an unlimited free agent on July 1, has nine points (four goals, five assists) in his last five games and is one of the key attackers who can be traded.
However, his teammates do not want him to go somewhere.
Rangers goalkeeper Henrik Lundquist told the NHL.com senior fantasy editor Pete Jensen at the 2019 Honda All-Star Weekend that he hopes that zuccarello will not be sold,
Rangers Center Mika Zibanehad Lundquist repeated thoughts after the game on Tuesday.
“It’s inevitable to know and hear about, but I don’t want him to leave,” said Zibanjad. “This is the case, and you cannot control much of it, but obviously he is a great leader in this dressing room and has been a great player for a long time. He likes everyone. He really activated his game. ”He returned after a hard start with an injury. I am very happy every time I play with him, and obviously I want him to stay here. "
Rangers Center Kevin Hayes and protector Adam McQuade, each of which can be an unlimited free agent after the season, are also potential trading chips. Heys was open about his desire to re-sign with the rangers but said the team did not offer him a new contract.
Wayne simmonds He said that he prefers to continue playing for the Flyers, and not to trade until the Deadline for trade in the 2019 NHL on February 25 at 3 pm. ET, Courier Mail,
"I was here for eight seasons, and I would like to continue longer, but whatever happens, it happens," the striker told the newspaper on Thursday. “All I can do is focus on doing my job. Right now, it's with Flyers. ”
CEO Chuck Fletcher is doing his job, and it makes sense to talk to the teams about what he can get in return for the 30-year right wing, which is in the last year of a six-year contract with $ 3.97. Salary of a million dollars.
Simmonds is a classic striker who can make a profitable profit for Flyers. His forward skills and online presence are ideal for rival teams that need help with the game. Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, Nashville Predators, Columbus Blue Jackets and Vegas Golden Knights – each ranked 20th or lower in percentage terms.
In the first seven seasons in Philadelphia, Simmonds scored an average of 12.2 goals per season. He had the second best goals in the NHL (86) after the attacker “Washington Capitals” Alex Ovechkin (131) at the time.
This season, the struggle for power on the part of Flyers was not an easy one, and for this reason the number of Simmonds force games was reduced to four goals and six points in 50 games.
Another option is that Flyers will try to re-sign Simmonds, believing that his future in the team will bring better dividends than the asset package from the trading partner.
"I can not predict how this will happen" Fletcher said on monday"But in the next few weeks we will have to solve it anyway."
New York Islanders
Islanders CEO Lou Lamoriello did not reveal any secrets when discussing his approach to the upcoming NHL Trading Deadline when he spoke to reporters on Thursday.
New York is leading the capital division, and Lamoriello said he hopes to keep all unrestricted free agents awaiting him, including forwards. Jordan eberle, Anders Lee, Brock Nelson and Valtteri philppula,
“We know where we are today, it supports where we are,” said Lamoriello. “But this is when the season starts to fail, this is when it becomes more and more difficult … … Now we are still going through some stages when we need to see who we are. We will find out a little better in the next couple of weeks. "
If the islanders want to upgrade, one of the areas can be a powerful game, which is in 23rd place in the NHL (16.7 percent), but in the last eight games it is 5 to 23 (21.7 percent).
“I think our powerful game will be better than maybe the statistics that are there,” said Lamoriello. “I’m not interested in interest, I’m worried about when we get a goal in the game for power, or when we kill a penalty, at what time, and so on. I think that now we are what we are. ”
The Islanders return after a mandatory five-day break after the All-Star match in the NHL in 2019 to play the leading NHL Tampa Bay Lightning at the Nassau Coliseum on Friday and against the kings of Los Angeles on Saturday. They then begin a series of ten on the road, including the games in the Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabers, Columbus Blue Jackets and Calgary Flames.
“I have a lot of confidence in this group, because they showed it, they are confident now, but we also need to respect the schedule we have,” said Lamoriello. “We must also respect that we were healthy enough up to this point. So there are a lot of variables that influence this, but now we are a good hockey team. ”
The Florida Panthers are 11 points from the Stanley Cup playoff place, but believe that they can run in the postseason.
"We want to finally complete this season and run to the playoffs," said general manager Dale Tallon on Thursday.
Tallon said that Panthers could be buyers before the expiration of the deadline for trading in the NHL on February 25 at 3 pm. ET, because he thinks the team is good enough to run like last season.
The Panthers were 12 points from the playoffs coming out of the All-Star break last season and went 25-8-2 in their final 35 games. They missed the postseason by one point.
Florida defeated Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 at home (January 18), Nashville Predators 4-2 on the road (January 19) and San Jose Sharks 6-2 at home (January 21) before the All-Star Weekend.
“I think our guys are starting to believe in themselves and what they should do,” Tallon said. “Here you need to climb a big mountain, but we know that we can do it. We did this last year with the same team, and we added several shapes. Now that we are healthy, we are going to give it a go. "
Tallon said the Panthers are searching the market for deals that can help them now and in the long term. He did not go into details, but did not rule out the possibility of trading some of the current Florida players to achieve his goal.
“We are engaged in productivity-oriented production, and therefore I pay for productivity,” said Tallon. “Expectations are high. We have a good group of players and many abilities, but do they have enough passion and consistency to do the job? These next few weeks will tell what the future will bring to all these players. We are not going to sit still.
“We know that we have a lot of good players and a lot of good players. We have a plan. We are committed to victory. [Owner] Vinny [Viola] gave us all the tools to succeed, and we are going here next month for everything that is needed to win championships in the future. "