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Rumor: Penguins to swing minor trade deal for Rangers centre

If Rutherford can't make a deal for Cullen, here's his plan B.

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Plan A for Jim Rutherford all season long has been to acquire a third line centre. With that plan seemingly thrown by the wayside, he's reportedly moved on to plan B - acquire Matt Cullen from the Minnesota Wild.

If that plan fails, he may very well move on to well, plan C, which in a way is the new plan B.

In Jason Mackey's "live chat" this week for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, a couple mentions were made of New York Rangers centre David Desharnais.

One reader had this to say.

"One name nobody mentions that i have thought could fill 4C and come pretty cheap is Desharnais on NYR. Good faceoffs, speed and decent hands. "

Mackey responded, saying that "especially with them having a fire sale, I think you make an excellent point. Price is right. Like the player. Depends on the ask."

The same reader then asked, "what are your thoughts on David Desharnais as a fit for 4th line center? Good (faceoff)%, decent speed and hands. Smallish but could be cheaper to acquire than others."

To which Mackey replied: "Yeah, I agree, Paul. I think that might be a reasonable add. Everything checks out, like you mentioned. I do think they would rather have Cullen, but if he's not available or they can't work something else out, (David Desharnais) is not a bad option to address fourth-line depth."

Desharnais, who played the majority of his career with the Montreal Canadiens, is a "fun-sized" undrafted centreman whose made a career for himself through his vision and playmaking abilities.

He reached the 60-point mark once, and hovered around the 50-point mark in a couple other seasons. 

After being traded to the Edmonton Oilers in 2016-17, he eventually signed a one-year pact with the New York Rangers as a free agent in the summer. He has a respectable 23 points in 51 games for the blueshirts, which is actually only 3 points less than highly coveted winger Rick Nash.

The price would be significantly cheaper for his services, and he could be a smart option as a depth acquisition should the Cullen move fall through.

Here are some highlights from Desharnais' career that put his skill on display.