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Another Right Handed Top Four Defenseman Hits the Trade Block

February 24, 2015, 8:32 AM ET [344 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
A recent development on the trade front is that the Columbus Blue Jackets will be shopping defenseman James Wisniewski.

I am not really sure why they are going to be doing so but if he hits the market he will attract some serious interest.

Will it be the Penguins?

Here is some updated information from Pierre LeBrun yesterday :

Rutherford tried on Toronto's Cody Franson but really couldn't get into the type of deal that saw the 27-year-old blueliner ultimately dealt to Nashville. I think the Penguins would have also looked hard at Marc Methot had he hit the trade market, but instead the veteran blueliner re-signed with Ottawa, removing him from the mix.

At this point, the Penguins don't seem to have much interest in the rental blueliners still out there. The sense within the organization is that the current price doesn't justify the return and that there isn't a real upgrade out there. That doesn't totally rule out a depth move, if for example a guy like Scott Hannan or Jan Hejda became available (both are pending unrestricted free agents) and was available for a modest price.

I've discussed Scott Hannan and Jan Hejda before. I don't think either guy helps out the Penguins. Save your assets and play the kids. They aren't upgrades.

Seeing as though the Penguins were in on Cody Franson it would make at least a little bit of sense for them to inquire about James Wisniewski. They are fairly similar players. Both right handed shots with the ability to create offense from the back end. The Penguins have been linked with Jeff Petry of the Edmonton Oilers, also a right handed top four defenseman. Petry is a UFA at the end of the season.

Wisniewski is 31 years old and has two years remaining on his deal after 2014-15 at 5.5M. If the Penguins don't want to commit 5+ years to Paul Martin and/or Christian Ehrhoff perhaps Wisniewski gives them the proper term to work with.

As always cost to acquire is an issue and considering the quality of player and the fact he isn't a rental I would imagine the price would be steep.

Cap space and cost to acquire make the Penguins less likely to target Wisniewski.

However, it is important to keep tabs on the Wisniewski rumors even if the Penguins aren't in on them because if he goes to a team like the Detroit Red Wings that becomes a real issue for all the other teams trying to make it out of the Eastern Conference.

Seeing as though it is Columbus he will probably go to LA for peanuts and they will win the Stanley Cup yet again. Oh well.

Thanks for reading!

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