fr24news– The Pittsburgh Penguins are without a general manager after Wednesday’s announcement that Jim Rutherford was retiring from the team for personal reasons. The news shocked the NHL community since no one saw it coming. As the penguins grind it on the ice, it’s the headlines off the ice that grab our attention.
TSN’s Daren Dreger on Thursday suggested that if whatever Penguins’ new management team decides the squad needs to rebuild, there’s a possibility Sidney Crosby will be traded later. The 33-year-old has four more years on the contract that earns him $ 8.7 million per season, and he has a full no-move clause. Any trade would have to be approved by Crosby and his agent, and the number of teams on his roster would be small.
Will the Penguins really trade Sidney Crosby?
While one of hockey’s top insiders didn’t say a trade was coming, the mere suggestion that it was a possibility was enough to send shockwaves through the fanbase. The Penguins barely keep their heads above water as injuries continue to pile up, they’ve dealt with suspicious goalkeepers, and all of their wins have come at home. They are in a knockout position in the East Division. However, this is next season and the following season is the goal today.
If the Penguins struggle to get out of the gate in 2021-22 and find themselves at the bottom of the playoff table, major changes could and should be made. Longtime Crosby teammate Evgeni Malkin will be in the final year of his contract and could recoup a ton of assets by next season’s trade deadline. If the Penguins commit to moving Malkin, there is no doubt that Crosby’s move will follow soon.
Crosby has been the face of the Penguins franchise for over a decade and he’s the NHL’s Golden Child on and off the ice. Seeing him in another jersey would be weird, but, as we all know, even Wayne Gretzky was traded. Yes, there’s a lot to digest here for Penguins fans, but league fans have to salivate at the opportunity to add No.87 to their roster.
As Dreger reported via Insider Trading, Crosby’s no-move clause means any possible trade would likely come down to a two-team race.
Avalanche du Colorado
Avalanche captain Nathan MacKinnon and Crosby became best friends off the ice, and the idea of playing together would likely be music to their ears. The two spend their summers together on the east coast of Canada and playing together, one would think, would be welcomed with open arms.
Any deal for Crosby would require a set of assets in return, so don’t expect to see one-for-one deals if that happens. If Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic knew he could acquire Crosby from the Pens, he would likely tell Penguins management to remove anyone not named MacKinnon or Cale Makar from their roster.
The Avalanche have many young, high-end talented players including Samuel Girard, Conor Timmins, Bowen Byram and forwards Tyson Jost and Martin Kaut. If that deal goes through, it’s a safe bet that the Penguins will ask for Mikko Rantanen and two of the names mentioned above, as well as several draft picks.
Crosby’s father, Troy, was drafted by the Canadiens in 1984 as a goaltender in Halifax, Nova Scotia. If Crosby decides he’s ready to play for another team, chances are he would pick the Canadiens. The Canadiens were Crosby’s favorite team growing up, so maybe Dreger’s speculation stems from a childhood dream for Cole Habour’s boy. He was also a junior star for the Rimouski Oceanic, and the province of Quebec would go wild if the No.87 returned to “La Belle Province”.
The Canadiens signed much of their core during the 2024-25 season, which would be Crosby’s final year of contract. He could give Montreal some extra star power to make some more Stanley Cup points with Carey Price in the net. How does that sound like to Habs fans?
Again, any “rebuilding” trade for the penguins involving Crosby would be as much about quantity as it is quality, so expect the package to be massive. Young talent up front, in defense and in the enclosure would all be considered. The Canadians have plenty of talented young players to circle, including Nick Suzuki, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Alexander Romanov, Ryan Poehling, Jesse Ylonen, Cole Caufield and Cayden Primeau. The Penguins would have plenty of options to consider and perhaps a set that included Caufield, Primeau and several first-round picks would get Pittsburgh’s attention.
If the Avalanche or the Canadiens are made aware that Crosby is in the market, you can expect a bidding war for the ages. It will all come down to when the Penguins decide to hit the rebuild button and whether Crosby wants to run into another Cup instead of removing a Penguin. For now, breathe easy for the Penguins fans, he’s staying in Pittsburgh.