The Fourth Period is reporting on a rumor that the Pens are targeting Lightning winger Martin St. Louis as a trade target, and are willing to part with D Ryan Whitney in return for a top offensive threat.
Breaking down the numbers, Whitney is a $4 million cap hit and is signed through the 2012-2013 season, and St. Louis is a $5.25 million cap hit, signed through the 2010-2011 season. This deal makes sense for both sides really. The Pens have Goligoski in the system, and Letang on the roster. Either can fill the “void” left by Whitney. Meanwhile, the Lightning, probably regretting letting Boyle go, need defense in front of Mike Smith, who has played extremely well considering the circumstances.
The Pens would have to throw in more for St. Louis, probably a 2nd rounder and a mid level prospect, and maybe TB would have to accept a little more salary coming their way, maybe in the form of Pascal Dupis ($1.4 million hit for the next 2 seasons), or Satan (side note: when going to Yahoo Player Profiles, Satan’s ID is #666. Someone had fun with that), who is a $3.5 million hit, but a UFA at the end of the year.
This deal scares me a little. The Rangers, excluding last night, are in free fall, and the Pens are getting Gonchar back this week. A line of St. Louis-Crosby-Malkin scares pretty much anyone, and could do enough to vault the Pens ahead of the Rangers in the standings come April. While knocking the Rangers out of the playoff picture isn’t really probable, it’s not out of the realm of possibility, keep in mind the Penguins currently sit as the 10 seed, 6 points back of the Rangers. They could be the team to knock the Rangers to the 7 or 8 seed, which means a matchup with either Boston or NJ/Washington.