It’s almost February, which means Good Ole GMJR should be about ready to emerge from the mall massage chair where he likes to spend his hibernated states, pick up some PF Changs and get down to making this Penguins roster great again.
Ian Cole, who has somehow managed to lose his spot in the lineup in favor of Matt Hunwick, has long rumored to be on the list of possible Penguinus exodus. According to some people in Boston, the Bruins are likely suitors:
“Just prior to the Bruins’ 3-2 win over the Devils Tuesday, news came out of Pittsburgh, via Dan Kingerski of PGH Hockey Now that Bruins Assistant GM John Ferguson Jr. was scouting the Penguins-Hurricanes game in Pittsburgh. While it’s always notable when a team’s Assistant GM is scouting another game, Kingerski’s also said that the Bruins had scouts following the Penguins on their recent road trip out west.
This actually comes as no surprise here, considering a well-placed source told yours truly a few weeks back that Boston and Pittsburgh had discussed Pens defenseman Ian Cole who GM Jim Rutherford has long made clear is available for the right price. According to this source, the talks stalled when the Penguins asked about defenseman Kevan Miller as a return for Cole. Based on that, at that time at least, Rutherford was looking for a hockey swap as opposed to dumping a roster player for draft picks.”
They quote Kan Dingerski in here — the same guy who tried to build a conspiracy theory around noise decibels he recorded with his iPhone — so take of it what you will. Kingerski is a doofus of the highest degree, but we should still probably trust his ability to read the piece of paper hanging in the press box every night that lists scouts in attendance.
What’s bizarre is the perceived return — I don’t see how swapping a declining defenseman with limited a skill set for another declining defenseman with a limited skill set is something on GMJR’s radar, so we’ll see how that shakes out. The Bruins are very much alive in the Atlantic, so they won’t be sellers, meaning an even “hockey trade” would be the expectation, however. Obviously, the Penguins should still be looking for a fit at third line center. The emergence of Danton Heinen might make a Riley Nash or Ryan Spooner expendable for Boston, despite the fact that Heinen (naturally a center) has been playing on Nash’s wing. Spooner can also center, but has also been playing more predominately on the wing this season.
“It does make great sense for the Penguins to be interested in Pageau, they’ve spent all season long looking for quality lower-line center depth to replace the departed Nick Bonino and Matt Cullen. In October they added Riley Sheahan who has been probably a little above expectations but is still just one player. Adding another the caliber of Pageau would be wonderful and certainly be a great fit.
The sticking point could be on Ottawa’s end, though. Pageau is signed for 2 more seasons after this at a reasonable $3.1 million per year rate, so they don’t have to be in a hurry to trade a useful player under team control for a while. However, the Sens have been an erratically managed team and it does seem like they are itching to change up some of their players, so who knows quite what they’re thinking.”
This one makes a lot more sense. Ottawa is a sinking ship right now and Pageau seems like the perfect fit for what the Penguins try to offensively. GMJR has a history of leveraging teams at the bottom of the standings with draft picks and younger players who are NHL-ready — both are items the Pens could afford to parts ways with right now.
Again, it’s all speculation, but that’s what we’re here for, baby.