The NHL draft starts tomorrow night, but I won’t watch. There’s no clear-cut superstar pick at No. 1, let alone at No. 22 when the Penguins select.
I’ll be happy with the Penguins’ first-round choice as long as it’s not a defenseman. Enough, already.
I don’t necessarily expect a big trade by the Penguins at the draft. GM Jim Rutherford strikes me as being deliberate in that regard.
I wouldn’t trade Kris Letang unless the offer was overwhelming.
I would trade James Neal for the right offer. That offer should include two young, established third-line players.
I would rather trade Chris Kunitz than Neal.
If Kunitz and Neal both return, Neal should play on Sidney Crosby’s line and Kunitz should skate with Evgeni Malkin. There’s more than one way to affect change.
I would trade Paul Martin, but the return would have to be very impactful.
I would not trade Marc-Andre Fleury. The Penguins wouldn't get anyone better to play goal.
I would trade the first-round pick. But that would add immediately to your salary-cap number.
I would shop Rob Scuderi to a team that must add payroll to reach the cap floor. The New York Islanders, perhaps? Scuderi is a Long Island native.
If a big offer got made, I would examine whether the Penguins need both Olli Maatta and Derrick Pouliot. They’re two of a kind on defense.
Free agency begins Tuesday. The Penguins roster will then be adjusted in fairly drastic fashion, if only because of free agents leaving.
The Penguins need change. No matter who they trade, people will ask, “Why?” Rutherford needs to ask, “Why not?”