Penguins do not have to make a trade to improve their defense; All they have to do is come Justin Schultz back to composition.
Schulz, who left his left leg on October 13, joined Penguins on ice on Wednesday, although he was in a contactless shirt for their morning skating in PPG Paints Arena before defeating them 4-2 against Tampa Bai Lightning.
When Schultz returns, it will be as if Penguins added a defender before the NHL's trading deadline on February 25 at 3 pm. ET without anything. This is why General Manager Jim Rutherford felt comfortable trading with the defense attorney Jamie Oleksiak in Dallas Stars on Monday for the fourth round in the draft NHL 2019.
One of the reasons why Oleksiak was considered spending is Pittsburgh deeply in defense with the appearance of Marcus Pettersson and Juuso Riikola. Schultz's return will be given to eight NHL defenders.
That depth should allow Rutherford to explore options for improving the Penguin forward, perhaps adding a left wing that could play on the second line with the center. Evgeni Malkin and right wing Phil Kessel.
Rutherford could have gotten that player by selling the center of the third line Derick Brassard, which is in the final season of the contract.
Pittsburgh saw the team could look without Brassard on Wednesday, when it came out of the injury of the upper body. Matt Cullen he moved to the middle of the third line with the left wing Tanner Pearson and right wing Patric Hornquist. 42-year-old Cullen played 14:53, most of which he played since the season 15:21 on October 18.
Pittsburgh could also try Riley Sheahan as the center of the third line, especially if they get another left wing.
Their depth in defense when Schultz returns and their strength in the middle puts the Penguins in a strong position to actively try to improve in other areas before the deadline.
Video: Phil Bourkue on the penguin fight recently
New York Rangers
Right wing Mats Zuccarello Hopes to be in the team when Rangers play in Nev Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Thursday (19:00 ET; MSG +, MSG, ESPN +, NHL.TV).
Zuccarello missed a 1: 0 loss from Philadelphia Fliers on Tuesday because of a foot infection, and there are likely to be plenty of scouts in the building to see him and others.
The 31-year-old, who can become an unlimited free agent on July 1, has nine points (four goals, five assists) in the past five games and is one of the key players to be sold.
His teammates do not want to see him anywhere.
Rangers Goalie Henrik Lundkvist NH NHL's Senior Pinterest Pete Jensen in 2019 Honda NHL All-Star Veekend Hopes that Zuccarello is not traded.
Rangers Center Mika Zibanejad he repeated Lundquist's thoughts after the match on Tuesday.
"It's unavoidable to know and hear about it, but I do not want to leave," Zibanead said. "It's about that and you can not control a lot, but it's obvious that he is a great leader in this dressing room and he was a great player for a long time." Everyone loves him, he returns after a difficult start with injury. I'm playing with him and obviously I want to see him here.
Rangers Center Kevin Haies and defenseman Adam McKuaid, which can be an unrestricted free agent after the season, are also potential trade chips. Haies is open his desire to sign up with the Rangers again but he said that the team did not offer him a new contract.
Vaine Simmonds said his preference was to continue playing for flyers and can not be traded before the deadline for trading in the NHL in 2019, February 25 at 3 pm. E T, he reported the Courier-Post.
"I've been here for eight seasons and I would like to continue for longer, but whatever happens, it happens," the attacker told the press on Thursday. "All I can do is do my job. Right now, it's with the Fliers."
Chief Executive Officer Chuck Fletcher is doing his job, and it makes sense to talk to teams about what he could get in return for the 30-year-old right, which in the last year of the six-year contract with $ 3.97 million salary.
Simmonds is a classic landlord who could make a favorable return to flyers. His ability to advance and the presence of the net-front is ideally suited for contingent teams that need help in the power game. Montreal Canadiens, Nev Iork Islanders, Nashville Predators, Columbus Blue Jackets and Vegas Golden Knights are each at 20. or lower in the percentage of trust-ploy.
Simmonds had an average of 12.2 goals per season in the first seven seasons in Philadelphia. He had the other highest goals in the NHL (86) behind the Washington Capitals Alek Ovechkin (131) at that time.
Fliers pover plai fought this season, the reason why Simmonds's pay-numbers were dropped to four goals and six points in 50 games.
The other option is that Fliers try to re-sign Simmonds, believing that his future with the team will bring better dividends than a package of funds from a trading partner.
"I can not predict how it will be played." Fletcher said on Monday. "But in the next few weeks, we have to solve it in one way or another."
Nev Iork Islanders
General Manager of the island Lou Lamoriello did not reveal any secrets when he discussed his approach to the upcoming NHL trade deadline when he talked with reporters on Thursday.
New York leads the metropolitan division, and Lamoriello hopes to keep all his unlimited free agents, including forward Jordan Eberle, Anders Lee, Brock Nelson i Valtteri Filppula.
"We know where we are today; we are staying where we are," Lamoriello said. "But this is the time when the season is up, that's when it's getting harder … Right now, we're still going through some stages where we have to see who we are. We'll know a little better in the next couple." Sunday. "
If the Islanders need to be upgraded, one area can be a pay ploy, which is equal to 23 in the NHL (16.7%), but it is 5-for-23 (21.7%) in the last eight games.
"I think our game can be better than perhaps the statistics that exist," Lamoriello said. "I'm not worried about percent, I'm worried when we get a trust-ploy target or when we kill the sentence, at what time and so on. I think we are now what we are."
The Islanders are returning from their obligatory five-day break after the HNL All-Star Game in 2019 and playing in the Nampau Coliseum on Friday, and against Los Angeles Kings on Saturday. They then start with seven out of ten on the road, including games at Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabers, Columbus Blue Jackets and Calgari Flames.
"I have a lot of trust in this group, because they showed it, they now have a lot of confidence in themselves, but we also have to respect the schedule we have," Lamoriello said. "We must also respect the fact that we are reasonably up to this point. So there are many variables that come into it, but we are now a good hockey team."
Florida Panthers has 11 points from the Stanley Cup, but they believe I can run off the postseason.
"We want to finish this season strongly and make a playoff game," said general manager Dale Tallon on Thursday.
Tallon announced that Panthers could be a buyer before the deadline for trading in the NHL on February 25 at 3 pm. ET because he thinks the team is good enough to go the way it was last season.
The Panthers were 12 points from the playoffs that came out of the All-Star break last season and went 25-8-2 in the last 35 matches. For one point, they missed the postseason.
Florida won the home in Toronto Maple Leaf 3: 1 (January 18), Nashville Predators 4-2 on the road (January 19) and San Jose Sharks 6-2 at home (January 21st) before the All-Star Weekend.
"I think our guys are starting to believe in themselves and what they have to do," said Tallon. "Here is a great mountain to climb, but we know that we can do it. We did it last year basically with the same team and we added some parts. Now that we are healthy, we will give it a go."
Tallon said Panthers were looking for a job market that could help them now and in the long run. He did not enter specificity, but did not rule out the possibility that one of the current Florida players will achieve his goal.
"We are in result-oriented business and therefore I pay for performance," said Tallon. "The expectations are high, we have a good group of players and a lot of capabilities, but whether they have enough passion and consistency to do the job. The next few weeks will tell you what the future brings to all of these players." I do not want to sit still.
"We know that we have many good players and many good players coming in. We have a plan. We are dedicated to victory." [Owner] Vinny [Viola] has given us all the tools to be successful and we will go here in the coming month all the things that are necessary for winning the championship down the road. "