Top 10 things that you’ll most likely see by the Trade Deadline –

Trade window is from March 1st to the deadline at 3 pm on March 3rd

Taking into consideration the performance of the individuals playing for the Pens this year, their place in the standings, and the play of the main rivals in the Eastern Conference:

1. Defensemen – The Penguins have been rumored to be looking at adding people to their defense corp. The rumors have centered on Scott Niedermayer or Hamhuis. I think that the latter might occur much sooner than the former, but who is to say that the Pens don’t get both players? My bet would be on Andy Sutton of the Islanders. It’s just a matter of when these teams (Ducks, Isles, and Preds) decide that their run for the playoffs might be over. But I think without question, the defense needs to be upgraded for a successful playoff run.

2. Martin Skoula – Gone. One way or another, whether he is waived or traded for a later round draft pick, I would think that it’s safe to say that Martin will depart the Pens by the end of the year.

3. Letang and Goligoski are much more untouchable than any blogging website will lead you to believe. A sweet, sweet deal will have to be in place to get them out of Pittsburgh, which is unlikely. Both will stay.

4. Ruslan Fedotenko – I thought he was going to be traded a long time ago. I still believe this. It’s pretty clear that he is not playing up to top 6 forward potential. He’ll be moved.

5. Penguins will sign at least one winger. I think the list starts with Raffi Torres, and then goes from there. Penguins may put in a bid for Ray Whitney at a 2nd round pick and a mid level prospect, but that bid ends there. Penguins will not give up their 1st round selection in the 2010 draft. Maybe a 2nd with perhaps a midlevel prospect. Also, the rumor is that Carl Sneep’s negotiating rights could be moved. But that is the extent of how far they will go…

6. Craig Adams – Penguins will make a trade to replace him on the fourth line, or simply have Max Talbot replace him (if he ever becomes healthy). Craig is so busy trying to hit people, he forgets about his responsibilities. This mainly consists of not allowing the other team to score. With that +/-, I would say that isn’t working too well. Will give him his due – he has recently played well on the penalty kill.

7. Malkin and Staal together for good. Part of my thoughts is that the Penguins, instead of going out and getting a scoring winger for Geno, will decide to get a good third line center instead, and move Staal up to the second line. This has consistently proved to be effective over the last several weeks, and I think the Penguins may decide to do this full time. I don’t think the Penguins want to do this, but it may be the best available choice…

8. The Penguins have been seriously considering keeping Mark Letestu on the big club. I don’t think this is as likely as it was a couple weeks ago. I think he has shown that he can hang, but not fully ready to be on a Stanley Cup level team yet. He’ll be demoted and remain with WBS for the remainder of the season.

9. Jon Curry to be traded. With his performances to date, and his obvious lack of size, the Penguins will move in a different direction in the future. With Thiessen, Killeen, and Alex Pechurski in their depth chart, Curry has become very expendable (and very arguable that his upside is the least of the four goaltenders mentioned).

10. Look for some minor leaguers to be traded, who might have value. Deryk Engelland, Chris Connor, and perhaps Ryan Bayda (if he can get healthy in time for any value) would be prime candidates to be trade bait.

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