NHL Rumors: New Jersey Devils and Pittsburgh Penguins

New Jersey Devils Options To Upgrade The Center Position

James Nichols of New Jersey Hockey Now: Nichols held a mailbag where he took questions from the Devils faithful. One question he was asked was about how the team was going to replace Michael McLeod at the center position.

NHL Rumors: New Jersey Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald Always Looking For Upgrades

The Devils will not have Michael McLeod for a long time, if ever again. That means the team is down one less center. McLeod was coming into his own as a defensive forward who won the most faceoffs in the NHL and will not be easy to replace.

The Devils could go with someone in-house, as Tomas Nosek, Curtis Lazar, Erik Haula, and Dawson Mercer are all natural centers. The team could make a trade and bring back Adam Henrique to the club from Anaheim, but that will cost the Devils. But he is a responsible two-way forward, winning 53.4% of his faceoffs.

Nichols writes that the best option might be Nick Bonino, who was put on waivers and then on unconditional waivers. He will not cost the Devils much and has a faceoff-winning percentage of 51%.

There Is Still A Chance Jake Guentzel Signs with Pittsburgh

Matt Vensel of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Vensel fields trade offers on what the Pittsburgh Penguins will do at the NHL Trade Deadline. The biggest question of course is what the team does with Jake Guentzel.

NHL Rumors: Direction of the Penguins Will Determine Jake Guentzel’s Future in Pittsburgh

Vensel looks at a deal where the Penguins would get a first-round pick, as part of a package that is similar to what Calgary got for Elias Lindholm. However, he thinks GM Kyle Dubas won’t venture down the rebuild route with the way Sidney Crosby plays at age 36.

Dubas would look to retool around Crosby, and that means if they were going to sell off Guentzel, they would need to get players in return that can replace that production. There is a belief the two sides will get something done in the long term, considering the ownership group has faith in Dubas, and a rebuild might not be in the cards right now.