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Rossi: Latest on Kesler, Pouliot.


A quick update, perhaps the last one before the NHL trade deadline expires at 3 p.m.:


>> The Penguins are NOT convinced Vancouver is sold on moving C Ryan Kesler. They believe Canucks ownership prefers to keep Kesler and chase a playoff spot, which would mean at least two games of postseason revenue, and re-explore moving Kesler in the summer.


>> GM Ray Shero’s developmental staff has lobbied hard that D Derrick Pouliot not be included in any deal. Pouliot, a first-round pick in 2012, is viewed by several members of the staff as perhaps being ready to make an Olli Maatta-like jump to the NHL next season – if not for the start, then sometime during.


>> The Penguins were in on Oilers RW Ales Hemsky, but were hesitant to pay a heavy price for a rental player. Also, they did not have the second-round pick that Edmonton craved.


>> If acquiring a rental player, the Penguins would prefer to go in the direction of a puck-moving defenseman.


>> On the positive side, asking prices are said to be decreasing as the deadline approaches.


>> Shero was described by somebody as “waiting to pounce… it’s what he does best.”


>> Have not heard anything linking Penguins to LW Thomas Vanek. Know that’s out there, but if so, Penguins are keeping it quiet.


Be EXCELLENT to each other,





Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi is the lead sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has been called many names, but “Rossi” is the one to which he most often responds. He joined the Trib in November 2002 and was promoted to the columnist role in July 2014. Previously, he had covered the NHL’s Penguins (2006-14) and MLB’s Pirates (2006), while also working on beats associated with the NFL’s Steelers (2005-06) and the NCAA’s Pitt (2004-06). He has won national and local awards for his coverage of youth concussions and athletes’ charities. Also, he is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association executive committee and the Pittsburgh chapter chair. Raised in Crafton and Green Tree and a graduate of West Virginia University, he has covered a Super Bowl, All-Star Games in baseball and hockey, the NCAA basketball tournament and over 100 Stanley Cup playoff games, including the Cup Final twice. Oh, and his sports reporting has led him to brief chats with Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen; so that’s pretty cool. He is a regular contributor on TV with WPXI, Root Sports Pittsburgh and TSN. Also, he is the authorized biographer of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.

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