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Report: Penguins targeting veteran centre of nearly 1000 games and 600 points

Is he their man? He's definitely available on the market.

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Over the past couple months, the Pittsburgh Penguins have been associated with many, many players in potential trade deals. Jim Rutherford openly admitted that he was looking to make a relatively major shakeup to this team, but it's been several weeks since that announcement, and nothing has transpired.

Yes - he went out and acquired Jamie Oleksiak and Michael Leighton, but he has yet to make the big move or two that we've been longing for. 

A new name that was mentioned on Canadian radio (630 CHED) was that of Montreal Canadiens' centre Tomas PlekanecElliotte Friedman discussed the possibility, saying that the Canadiens are looking to unload the veteran as his contract expires at the conclusion of this season, and that he would be a fit in Pittsburgh.

There's some controversy over the Habs making that kind of deal, as this would be the second long-serving Canadien to leave the team right before hitting 1,000 NHL games with the club, with the other being Andrei Markov. He's slated to hit that number by the end of the season, but with the odds of him being traded increasing day after day, and the likelihood of him being re-signed in the summer dwindling, Habs' general manager Marc Bergevin will likely draw the ire of local fans once more.

But that's irrelevant to Jim Rutherford.

Plekanec's offensive prowess has faded over the years, but his sharp mind for good two-way hockey has not. He's an effective centre between the dots, can kill penalties, and still create offensive opportunities. His 16 points in 42 games this year are far from impressive, but when you consider the whole package and experience he brings to the table, he could be a nice option for the Penguins in the third line centre spot.

With 597 points in 963 games, he's certainly made a name for himself. Bob McKenzie recently spoke about his availability on the "Bobcast", saying that the Canadiens are doing everything they can to get rid of him, adding that they'd likely eat up half of his $6 million contract to make it work. The "Bobfather" strongly believes there'll be a taker for the Czech's services, it's just a matter of who puts up the best offer.

OTHER PENGUINS NEWS

Matt Murray went back home to Ontario for personal reasons, and may not be back soon.

Chad Ruhwedel isn't quite ready for game action yet.

Several Penguins players were unhappy with the NHL's All-Star Game roster decisions, leaving Phil Kessel out of the event.

Patric Hornqvist took his family to Disney World over the bye week.