The Pittsburgh Penguins have been tied to the Detroit Red Wings for some time, with rumors swirling around Riley Sheahan and Andreas Athanasiou as potential trade candidates. Athanasiou remains unsigned, and as Elliotte Friedman reports in his latest “31 Thoughts” for Sportsnet, the Penguins have seemingly moved on.
Pittsburgh has been after a new third-line center for some time, with GM Jim Rutherford last saying they had three targets in mind. One of the rumored names, Jordan Staal, appears to be off the table as Friedman writes that Carolina had “no interest” in moving the two-way forward. Staal obviously has ties to Pittsburgh after beginning his career there, but the Penguins will have to look elsewhere to fill their needs. For now, Greg McKegg has been practicing between Carl Hagelin and Tom Kuhnhackl on the third line, with Carter Rowney centering the fourth.
- The Department of Player Safety has made another intriguing hire, adding veteran NHLer Ray Whitney to the team. Whitney is a completely different kind of player than George Parros, who now runs the department, and will offer a very different insight into discipline around the league. Whitney scored 1,064 points in 1.330 games in the NHL, and received regular votes for the Lady Byng trophy which rewards sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct.
- Patrick Eaves and Ryan Miller will both start the season on injured reserve according to Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register, making it a crowded list for the Anaheim Ducks. With Ryan Kesler, Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen already there, the team could ill afford any other injuries. Eaves and Miller are both on the back half of their careers at ages 33 and 37 respectively, which obviously brings this kind of injury risk along with it. Signing the pair was meant to give the Ducks some depth at key positions, but now with so many injuries the team will start without any at all. At practice today Nick Ritchie skated with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry on the top line, a trio that will be relied heavily upon until some of their other players get back.