Commentary

Deadline deals: Atlantic Division

Pens, Rangers search for scoring, but Devils could use a D-man

Originally Published: February 15, 2010
By E.J. Hradek and Puck Prospectus | ESPN Insider
Ilya KovalchukAndy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images Ilya Kovalchuk is in New Jersey, but which other players are on the move?

After the Winter Olympics end, NHL teams will have just three days to tweak their rosters ahead of the March 3 trade deadline. Insider has linked ESPN The Magazine's E.J. Hradek with the metric-heads over at Puck Prospectus to evaluate every team's roster and the surrounding whispers from NHL Rumor Central. This is how your team could improve for a run at the playoffs, the Stanley Cup ... or for next season.

Click on another division to see Insider's breakdowns for the rest of the NHL.
Atlantic | Northeast | Southeast | Central | Northwest | Pacific

Pittsburgh Penguins

It's back to the future for Penguins general manager Ray Shero. Every year at this time, Shero goes shopping for a scoring winger or two to skate alongside his star pivots, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. In spring 2008, Shero added Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis. Those additions helped the Pens reach the Cup finals. In 2009, the savvy GM traded for Chris Kunitz and Bill Guerin, who became part of a championship mix.

I have to think that Shero is eyeing potential unrestricted free agents Ray Whitney and Alexei Ponikarovsky. Whitney could bring a little more versatility as well as championship experience. Ponikarovsky, meanwhile, is a big winger who has a good shot (although he doesn't use it enough).

The Penguins have a number of young players who have shuttled back and forth to and from their minor league affiliate during the past 18 months. Those players -- Mark Letestu, Dustin Jeffrey and Tim Wallace among others -- figure to be part of any trade conversation. -- E.J. Hradek


To see which potent forward the Pens should target and why the Flyers could use a recent Vezina winner between the pipes, you must be an ESPN Insider.

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.