Despite the Pittsburgh Penguins winning their last few games, it wouldn’t be the biggest shock if they decide to make some trades. Their middle-six winger group is fairly weak, and it will make sense if they decide to improve it prior to the playoffs. In any trade talks, there is always a ton of speculation as to who is going to be leaving the organization. For the Pittsburgh Penguins, there are a few players that could be involved in a trade.
This one should be pretty obvious. When the Penguins reacquired Kasperi Kapanen Aug. 25, 2020, expectations were high. After all, he had a pretty high price tag that included Pittsburgh’s first round draft pick that year, which turned into the 15th overall pick. Right off the bat, the pressure was on for Kasperi Kapanen.
At first, he performed well. In his first five games, he accumulated four points, all of which were assists. That’s not too bad, but then went on a four-game point drought before scoring a hat trick against the Minnesota Wild. So far, he’s only been able to amass nine goals and 26 points in 58 games this season. While that’s not horrible, the organization was certainly expecting more from him.
Kapanen was a healthy scratch in Pittsburgh’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights Friday. When a player is a healthy scratch, it either means a trade is in the works or management is sending a message. In their last game against the Carolina Hurricanes, he served on the fourth line. It’s clear that the organization isn’t happy about his performance, and it could only be a matter of time before he’s dealt to another team.
John Marino or Marcus Pettersson
This one is tough because as of this point, either one of these defensemen could be dealt. John Marino has been having a solid year so far as he’s appeared in 60 games with 19 points to show for it. Because Marino is only 24 years old, he still has a ton of potential. If the Penguins were to move him, they could acquire some decent assets. Marino could also be a part of the Brock Boeser trade talks, that is if those rumors turn out to be true.
Trading Marcus Pettersson would make sense for the organization. Like Kapanen, Pettersson was recently a healthy scratch as management let Mark Friedman take his spot. As of right now, it’s hard to gauge how much value the Penguins could get for Pettersson. Trading him could simply be a cap dump for the team. With a $4.025 million annual average salary, moving him would open up more opportunities for Pittsburgh.
No fan wants to see players from their team be dealt, but sometimes it has to happen. This is still business after all, and sometimes teams have to make hard decisions. This is no different for the Pittsburgh Penguins as a trade could be in order. Moving Kapanen would prove to be a bad investment, but it’d be better to get some assets in exchange. Trading either Marino or Pettersson would be difficult for the team, but it may be necessary to improve the offense.
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