Pittsburgh Penguins rumoured to have interest in acquiring Matt Duchene

The Hockey Night in Canada panel discuss a bunch of trade deadline rumours and coaching shake ups around the NHL.

The Matt Duchene trade rumours continue to fly fast and furious.

On Saturday’s Headlines segment, Nick Kypreos mentioned that there is speculation the Pittsburgh Penguins could be in the mix for the 26-year-old’s services.

“Those deals are hard to make. Usually when you’re dealing with star players of that magnitude that deal happens at the NHL Draft or even in the off-season, but there is some thought that Joe Sakic is pushing really hard. Some people are even suggesting that Jimmy Rutherford may even take a run at him,” Kypreos said. “Feeling is that they’re still always looking for scoring for Sidney Crosby, but will he have enough pieces? Can he shed enough of that salary to move in a guy like Duchene at $6 million?”

In 46 games this season, Duchene has 15 goals and 32 points and has openly talked about the trade rumours around him, recently suggesting he’s “open” to a move.

Not just a rental, Duchene is signed through the 2018-19 season at a $6 million cap hit and is the kind of high-ceiling player who doesn’t become available very often, especially since he’s still in his prime.

However, the price for the Penguins, or anybody, to acquire Duchene remains steep.

“Joe Sakic is wanting as many as three pieces: a top draft pick, a prospect, and maybe even a top defenceman,” Kypreos said. “That is what is on his wish list of getting someone back.

Kypreos suggested that defenceman Derrick Pouliot, the eighth overall pick of the 2012 draft who is currently playing in the AHL, could be of interest to the Avalanche. With Semyon Varlamov out for the season and goaltending a concern, he also suggested Marc-Andre Fleury could potentially be a fit.

Elliotte Friedman said he spoke to Penguins GM Rutherford about what he might add to his team around the trade deadline, although Rutherford wasn’t specifically talking about Duchene when he told Friedman: “I will do anything I can to win and if I have to sort it out after the season I will do that.”

The Penguins currently have a little less than $500,000 in cap space. Fleury’s cap hit is $5.75 million.

Kypreos also mentioned a surprise team that could jump into the mix for Duchene.

“Carolina is another team that you don’t necessarily put making a huge impact trade at the deadline. I’m hearing them also in play as well.”