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Pens/Jack Johnson Trade Rumor


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A lot of smoke. Little fire. But it is interesting....


Per Rob Rossi of the Tribune-Review...

Simon Despres, 21, is available – and the Columbus Blue Jackets’ three senior members of hockey operations attended the Penguins’ 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning at Consol Energy Center on Monday night.

New general manager Jarmo Kekalainen, his assistant Chris MacFarland, and senior advisor Craig Patrick – who preceded Ray Shero as Penguins general manager – watched the game from the media level.

Patrick, who still lives in suburban Pittsburgh, often attends Penguins games and sits in the stands, but he is rarely in the media area.

The Penguins are seeking to bolster their defense, preferably with a player under contract who could serve as either a long-term partner for Kris Letang or possible insurance if Letang is traded before his contract expires in July 2014.

Shero has said he hopes to reach contract extensions with Letang, 25, and center Evgeni Malkin, 26, this summer. Both will play under the final year of their current deals next season.

Letang, though, is viewed by some team officials as perhaps the more difficult player to sign because he projects to nearly double his current $3.5 million salary-cap hit.

Letang leads all NHL defensemen with 21 points. He has recorded six assists in the last two games, both Penguins’ wins.

This past summer, while pursing free-agent defenseman Ryan Suter, the Penguins envisioned paring Letang with an elite partner.

Jack Johnson, 26, could potentially fit that description.

He was the third overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft and is a longtime friend of Penguins captain Sidney Crosby.

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First thing that I noticed in the article, it was written by Rob "I can make up things so I'm important" Rossi.

Still haven't decided if I'd do that. Johnson still has that 'overrated' aura to him...but he's still young. In place of Letang? No. Paired with Letang. Maybe.

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I don't like the idea of Johnson on the Pens....not one little bit. This guy had 42 pts in 2010 on a less than stellar Kings pp. Put him with Letang on the Pens top pp, he's a 60-65 pts range kinda guy. Plus, all his growing pains have mostly finished, so the Pens get a mostly finished product and didn't suffer to get to that point....nah, I don't like this one bit.

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