Rumor: Penguins and Hurricanes to connect on major blockbuster deal?

Significant sign that the two teams are working on something big.

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The most common and persistent narrative of the 2017-18 season has revolved around the Pittsburgh Penguins trade plans. The reason for this is that Jim Rutherford is "all-in" to make the three-peat happen, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie.

He badly wants to give this team what it needs to make it happen, and more importantly, wants to give this great achievement to the proud city of the Pittsburgh.

So without further ado, let's jump into the latest rumor surrounding the Penguins.

The Carolina Hurricanes are in a precarious position. They are in a position where they can make the playoffs, but they are not playing anywhere close to their potential, and its led to reports that some of their star players are available on the market, including one of interest to the Penguins.

Scoring winger Jeff Skinner has recently been added to the trade market, according to TSN's Frank Seravalli. He fits the profile of the kind of scoring depth Rutherford is looking for, and at the Penguins' most recent game against the Dallas Stars, the Hurricanes sent management to oversee the match.

From Pittsburgh Hockey Now:

"Scouts in attendance tonight are a mixed bag of Western Conference teams which sent pro scouts and the Carolina Hurricanes, which sent management.

"However, Joe Nieuwendyk is also in attendance. Nieuwendyk, the former Dallas Stars GM, is a scout and advisor with the Carolina Hurricanes. His presence is bound to raise eyebrows as word leaked yesterday that Hurricanes left winger Jeff Skinner could be available.

"Skinner, 25, has one more year left on his contract with a $5.725 million AAV. This season, Skinner has 31 points (15g, 16a) in 54 games. He is owed $1.75 million for the rest of this season.

Skinner isn't having a stellar season, but the same could be said about his whole team. playing on Sidney Crosby's wing could make for a very dangerous pairing.

Skinner had an impressive 37 goals last season, and while he doesn't have much term left on his contract, at 25, Rutherford could attempt to re-sign him after a trade is made.

Now - given his salary, it's unclear what kind of deal Rutherford would strike, but if he's all-in as McKenzie says, he will find a way to make it work.