Injuries can really change the chemistry of a hockey team. No other team in the NHL knows this more than the Pittsburgh Penguins. On Friday, the Penguins announced that forward Pascal Dupuis would have season-ending ACL surgery. This is a huge blow to a Penguins team that is already missing Rob Scuderi, Paul Martin and Beau Bennett to long-term injuries. Star center Evgeni Malkin should be returning as well as Brooks Orpik and Tanner Glass very soon.
The biggest question that must be answered is: Who will play with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz? During the morning skate before the Penguins took on the Carolina Hurricanes, forward Joe Vitale took the place of Dupuis. This clearly is not the type of player that the Pens want to see with Crosby and Kunitz, especially on the team’s top scoring line.
If the Penguins cannot fix this problem internally until Bennett comes back, should the Pens make a trade to help out the team for this season? It is not a foregone conclusion that Bennett will return fully healthy, especially having to deal with a wrist injury.
One name that is out there that is probably on the market is veteran forward Mike Cammalleri of the Calgary Flames. Cammalleri has been a Penguins killer over his career, so why not pick him up to help the Pens for the rest of the season?
The Calgary Flames are in the midst of a rebuilding period for their team. They need young players that they can build their team around for the future. The Penguins, as many fans have seen over the past few weeks, are very deep at the blue line. The Penguins could possibly consider trading from their depth at defense to build onto a position that could help them during a playoff run.
Cammalleri is bit more skilled then Dupuis, and I feel could be a nice mix with Sidney Crosby. Even if he did not really work out to well with Crosby, the Penguins could always put Cammalleri with third line center Brandon Sutter and make that line even more dangerous.
Time will tell if the Penguins are going to make a move to replace Dupuis or not. Cammalleri is a solid, rent-a-player option for a team that is set to win now, not later like the Flames.