Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Usual Trade Deadline Day Tension Missing

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Usual Trade Deadline Day Tension Missing

Article excerpt

The NHL trade deadline is at 3 p.m. today and, if precedent holds, Penguins general manager Ray Shero will continue looking into possible additions to his roster pretty much until time runs out.

Even so, the usual undercurrent of uncertainty in the locker room -- the inevitable byproduct of who might still be on the payroll by the time the deadline passes -- seems to be missing this season.

Oh, there has been conversation about deals that might be made but, for the most part, those discussions have focused on possible moves by other teams, not the Penguins.

"I don't think there's much concern about [trades involving the Penguins], at all," left winger Matt Cooke said a few hours before the game Tuesday night against Buffalo at Consol Energy Center.

Although Shero is believed to be open at least to the idea of bolstering his fourth line, the acquisitions of Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow and Douglas Murray last week went a long way toward transforming today from Deadline Day to plain old Wednesday for most of his players.

"Our organization has made a statement, gone out and gotten the guys they wanted early," Cooke said. "[There's] not necessarily relief, but that brings a calmness."

Most seasons, the locker-room tension in the days leading up to the deadline seems almost palpable.

It hasn't been that way among the Penguins this year.

"A lot of years, there is, and a lot of teams I've been on in the past, there has been," center Brandon Sutter said.

"Especially when you're a team where, you're not sure where you're going to finish.

"But I think that after the past week, with bringing in a few new faces, I think it's pretty safe to say that guys are a little more relaxed about it this year. I don't think we expect a whole lot to go on, obviously."

Niskanen on Crosby ...

No one knows precisely when Sidney Crosby, who coach Dan Bylsma said was discharged from the hospital Monday, will return to the lineup or whether he will be compelled to wear a full cage, not just his usual visor, to protect his surgically repaired jaw.

But if he does put one on, Penguins defenseman Matt Niskanen does not believe it will affect Crosby as much as some might expect. …

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