Penguins GM Jim Rutherford would like to add a bottom-six goal-scorer to Pittsburgh’s forward group.
“If it’s a guy who’s capable of scoring a goal or a big goal, I would like to get that guy because if [Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin] get shut down, we need to be able to win games with our third and fourth lines,” Rutherford told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review this morning.
“That’s what teams try to do to us. They try to shut those guys down. If they shut those guys down, and you don’t have enough balance on your third and fourth line where you can score periodically, then you can’t win.”
(See: the 2013 Eastern Conference Final versus Boston.)
The challenge for Rutherford is to find “that guy,” and to find him for a reasonable price.
Some have suggested the Penguins go out and get Jaromir Jagr. But according to TSN’s Darren Dreger, that’s “highly, highly unlikely.”
Chris Stewart is another candidate, we suppose. (Is he a good candidate? That’s debatable.)
Maybe Antoine Vermette? He’s not likely to come cheap though.
Suffice to say, the pickings are rather slim.
Remember also the salary-cap uncertainty that may end up defining the 2015 trade deadline, with GMs hesitant to add players with term on their contracts, and Rutherford has his work cut out.