The Pittsburgh Penguins made a massive trade on the first day of the 2012 NHL Draft on Friday night, sending Jordan Staal to the Carolina Hurricanes for Brandon Sutter, a prospect, and the no. 8 overall pick, which they used on puck moving defenseman Derrick Pouliot.
The trade is considered a win on both sides, as the Penguins weren’t looking like they’d be able to sign Staal to an extension and shipped him off to join his brother Eric Staal in Carolina, who was in the market for a big money player like Jordan Staal.
With that money off the books, the NHL rumors machine immediately fired up turned to the Penguins going after Zach Parise, like every other team in the National Hockey League appears to be. But early on Saturday, that doesn’t appear to be the case quite yet.
The Nashville Predators are still hoping to re-sign Ryan Suter, but already having signed Pekka Rinne to a big deal and faced with the task of locking up Shea Weber, they may be forced to deal Suter’s rights and let another club negotiate with him. Enter the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Penguins GM Ray Shero drafted Suter in the 2003 draft and is hoping to convince him to come to the Eastern Conference, assuming the Pens are able to pull off a deal to acquire his rights. Suter is widely considered the best defenseman on the market, since it’s assumed Weber will re-sign in Nashville.
Having dealt Staal and Zybnek Michalek already, with Paul Martin also believed to be on his way out, the Penguins look to be preparing themselves for something big. With so much offensive fire power already, trading for Suter would be the best course of action for Shero and Pittsburgh. Stay tuned.