NHL Rumors: Pittsburgh Penguins & Vancouver Canucks Continue to Be Linked

Nobody knows trade rumors this season like the Vancouver Canucks. Once Jim Rutherford took over as the president as hockey operations and revamped their management team the rumors have taken off in wild fashion. 

While J.T Miller and Brock Boeser are the two biggest names mentioned these past few weeks, it's forward Conor Garland who is the latest Canucks forward linked to a deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Garland is signed through the 2025-26 season at $4.95 million annually. In his first season in Vancouver, the feisty forward has recorded 31 points in 52 games and continues to see a ton of power-play time and top-six minutes. 

As for what could be heading the other way from Pittsburgh, a name that's become popular on the rumor mill is defenseman John Marino. He's a player who Rutherford absolutely loves and keep in mind he signed him when he was managing the Penguins to a six-year deal worth $4.4 million per season. Marino's no-trade protection doesn't kick in until the 2024-25 season where he can submit a list of eight teams he would like to avoid.

The Penguins continue to win games and climb their way up the standings in the eastern conference, but they do have some major decisions to make next offseason with the likes of Bryan Rust, Evan Rodrigues, Kris Letang, Kasperi Kapanen and Evgeni Malkin all due contract extensions. To me, moving Marino wouldn't be too wise as he's a great security blanket in case Letang decides to walk. This would allow him to play a much bigger role next season which would include first power-play time. If they flipped him for Garland and then Letang walks next summer, they will be awfully thin on the right-side of the blue line. 

For now, trade talks continue, and these two teams remain linked to one another. While Garland is a reasonable option for the Penguins, moving someone like Marino would be a huge risk and something the team should avoid. Perhaps Kapanen + instead? 

Photo credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports