The Pittsburgh Penguins appear to be shifting their trade plans as the deadline inches ever closer. February 26th marks the final day for NHL teams to make a trade, and it's either a day of frenzied activity, or a relatively boring day with mainly minor trades.
This year, there are several big names on the market, such as Evander Kane, Rick Nash, and Max Pacioretty, to name a few, but there's no certainty that they'll all be traded.
The price for these guys is through the roof, and teams so far, are unwilling to pay.
And that's where Jim Rutherford comes in.
He's gone on record saying that there aren't really options out there for him on the trade market, as far as a third line centre goes, or a scoring winger. The prices are exorbitant and he's not willing to sacrifice what it costs to acquire somebody.
With that in mind, a move that many reporters are pointing towards is the acquisition of Matt Cullen from the Minnesota Wild. We've discussed it as a possibility in previous articles, but it seems to be a stronger and stronger likelihood as each day passes by.
Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently had a Q&A with his readers, and one of the hot topics was Cullen's return to Pittsburgh.
When asked how certain he is that "Dad" will return, he answered "I think it's pretty likely."
He later added that it's not just intuition telling him that Cullen will come back, rather that he has sources indicating that this is in the works. He answered other questions regarding likely trade targets, and they essentially all came back to Cullen.
The general message was that the market for a third line centre is too pricey, and the options aren't fits for Rutherford. The team will likely entrust the position to Riley Sheahan, and reacquire Cullen to slot in as the fourth line centreman.
Sound good to you?