Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Players Ignoring Trade Talk, Speculation at This Point, Team Is Mostly Buyer Not Seller

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Players Ignoring Trade Talk, Speculation at This Point, Team Is Mostly Buyer Not Seller

Article excerpt

The NHL's trade deadline day has become a veritable high holy day for some who follow the league.

Sports networks in Canada build much of their programming around the deadline that day, serving up hours of breathless speculation about deals that might be made and breaking news reports on those that are.

Every year, there is anecdotal evidence of fans burning a sick day so they can keep up with every transaction in real time, and workplace efficiency surely suffers as employees hit the "refresh" key on hockey websites every 15 seconds or so.

Even though NHL players generally are unabashed fans of the game - and obviously have a vested interest in what happens at the deadline, which is at 3 p.m. Monday - several Penguins insist the deadline hasn't come up in many locker room conversations.

"I don't think there's been really any talk of that," forward Nick Spaling said.

If so, part of the reason might be that, as a playoff-bound team, the Penguins are more likely to add players than to shed them from the major league roster. That reduces the stress for players who, under other circumstances, might not know where they will be cashing their next paycheck.

"When I was in Calgary, they were going through that transition where they were trading [defenseman Jay] Bouwmeester and [Jarome] Iginla," winger Blake Comeau said.

"When you trade guys of that stature - especially Iginla, who had been the face of that organization for so long - it's a bit of a whirlwind."

The Penguins sent fourth-line forward Zach Sill to Toronto as part of the deal Wednesday that brought forward Daniel Winnik, but only so they could squeeze Winnik under the salary-cap ceiling.

Mind you, there hasn't been much indication that another significant trade is imminent. Or even likely.

General manager Jim Rutherford said Friday that, while he won't rule out making another move before the deadline, he hasn't had any "serious" discussions with other teams since completing the Winnik deal. …

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