The Pittsburgh Penguins, in the midst of their first-ever post-lockout season, are on the cusp of their best postseason run since 2009-10, and they’re poised to claim the Stanley, which would be the first time the Penguins have won the Cup since 2007-08.
So who could be traded to bring in the best players on the roster?
Here’s a look at a few possible moves: Center Kris Letang: The 29-year-old Letang has been the team’s best player for most of the season, but injuries and inconsistent play have kept him out of the lineup, and it would help the Pens to make the playoffs if he’s back on the ice.
If he’s not, the Penguins would need to be creative in trading Letang.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported on Sunday that the Bruins, the defending Stanley Cup champions, were reportedly willing to move Letang to the Pittsburgh Penguins to make room for free agent Alex Galchenyuk.
Pittsburgh is hoping to land a top-six forward to pair with Galchenyskiu, and Letang is one of the most valuable pieces on their team.
The Bruins have been the Penguins’ most successful team this season, and the Penguins are in a tough spot.
They’re currently in the last wild-card spot in the Metropolitan Division, but the Bruins are the only team they can play in the second round.
The Penguins are also the only Eastern Conference team to make a postseason appearance since 2008.
Center Nick Bonino: The Penguins, who have won eight of their past nine, are in desperate need of a top defenseman after trading away center Nick Boninos contract this summer.
But it’s unclear if he’ll be willing to accept a trade to help Pittsburgh.
The 24-year old was the Penguins leading scorer with 34 points in 39 games before a lower-body injury sidelined him for the final three games of the regular season.
He played in just three playoff games and has not appeared in any postseason games since.
Bonino could be a nice addition to the Penguins, but he’s one of a handful of players who have no future with the team.
Right wing Nick Bonin, center Nicklas Backstrom, left wing Jonathan Marchessault, right wing Mike Cammalleri and defenseman Kris Letatin are the other options.
They are all unsigned unrestricted free agents.
The only way to trade Bonin would be if they’re willing to give him a raise.
But the Penguins don’t want to pay him a significant amount, and he’d have to waive his no-movement clause to be traded.
Left wing Brian Dumoulin: Dumouins injury has left him out for a lot of games this season.
If the Penguins wanted to trade him, it would be difficult to find a team willing to offer him a new contract.
The 32-year in the NHL is on a $5.5 million cap hit and has played just two games in the postseason.
If Dumouin were to get hurt again, he’d likely have to be released from his contract, which is not likely.
Dumoulins $2.4 million cap number is one year, and if he stays healthy, he could be in line to make about $6.25 million next season.
Dumoulin could also be on the open market if the Penguins were to let him walk.
Center Zack Stortini: The 28-year age-30 Stortinis salary cap hit is $5 million, which leaves the Penguins with a $1.8 million cap charge for him.
Stortis has not played a game since November 23, when he suffered a knee injury.
He hasn’t played in a Penguins playoff game since Nov. 21.
If Stortino were to be waived, the Pens would have to pay his $1 million cap figure.
The 29 year-old would help fill a big hole in the Penguins lineup, but Stortin is likely on the outside looking in.
Right winger Pascal Dupuis: Dupuises contract is $4.4 and his salary cap hits $4 million, so he would be a free agent after next season, making it difficult to trade for him at this point.
The 25-year former first-round pick from the Montreal Canadiens is a veteran of four NHL seasons and has scored at least 20 goals in each of the last two seasons.
The 21-year veteran has scored 23 goals in his last five games.
He would cost the Penguins about $2 million per season.
Left winger Brian Dumont: Dumont has played in only five games this year after suffering a groin injury that sidelined him last season.
The 23-year player is averaging 1.7 minutes per game and is shooting 36.2 percent in his career.
If Dumont was to get injured again, it’s possible the Penguins could try to move him.
Dumont is the Penguins top offensive defenseman,