The Pittsburgh Penguins are one of the most likely teams to make a trade between now and the trade deadline at the end of February. The holiday roster freeze takes effect on Tuesday at midnight, so it's also possible that we even get a trade tomorrow.
With that said, one name being floated around a bit is winger Bryan Rust. While he's matched his assists total from last season in 23 fewer games, his goal pace is subpar, with only 4 in 34 games played. His name has been thrown around by the likes of beat writers Jason Mackey and Sam Werner of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in trade discussions.
With the Ottawa Senators potentially heading into fire sale mode as they try and fix the mess they've gotten themselves into, Werner discusses what it would take to acquire a player of Jean-Gabriel Pageau's ilk. The 25-year-old center comes on a reasonable $3.1 million contract and has proven to be an effective bottom six player in most situations.
As Werner explains, he'd be an instant upgrade over Riley Sheahan and could potentially be the answer to the gap left by Nick Bonino (although there would still be more work to do in order to shore up that bottom six).
Werner suggests that the price to acquire could be Rust - but some would argue that Rust at his best is worth more than Pageau, and they would be risking selling low on him, which is not a play in most general managers' play books.
As a fan, would you make that trade?
Rust has 17 points in 34 games, on page for 41 points, while Pageau has 13 points in 31 and is on pace for a lesser 34 points. Production aside, Pageau is an effective, speedy player that could fit the role that Pittsburgh is looking for down the middle.