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Pens’ Dupuis to have ACL surgery Feb. 12

Jan 20, 2014, 11:53 AM EDT

Pascal Dupuis Getty Images

If there was even the tiniest sliver of hope for a Pascal Dupuis return this season, Pittsburgh wiped it out on Monday.

The Pens announced that Dupuis, who suffered a torn ACL in late December, will undergo surgery to repair the ligament on Feb. 12. The date will coincide with the NHL’s Olympic break and put the 34-year-old’s status for next season into question, given recovery from a torn ACL can last up to a year.

Dupuis was enjoying another solid campaign at the time of the injury (suffered during a collision with Pens captain Sidney Crosby.) He had seven goals and 20 points in 39 games in the first of his four-year, $15 million deal.

Pens GM Ray Shero admitted losing Dupuis was a blow to his club, but noted the injury would have been much more difficult to deal with had it happened after the trade deadline. It’ll be interesting to see if Shero goes out and gets a rental winger by the deadline, as he’s done in seasons past (think Marian Hossa, Bill Guerin, Jarome Iginla, etc. etc.)

  1. hockey412 - Jan 20, 2014 at 12:10 PM

    Hoping that it’s not a ‘rental’ player, I wouldn’t be opposed to a bigger move to bring in someone they intended to keep around a while.

    • jpelle82 - Jan 20, 2014 at 2:57 PM

      why though? its not likely they will strike it rich like they did with neal again. same could be said for the jokinen move. would likely have to give up serious d prospects to get a top 6 winger, i like where the pens are at on the blueline, would hate to see the future mortgaged on a guy you’re picking up from a seller that might be damaged goods.

      • hockey412 - Jan 20, 2014 at 3:19 PM

        I agree about not wanting to mortgage the future – that’s not what I’m talking about (and in general we’ve given prospects and draft picks in the past for rental players, which to me is more similar to what you are describing). I’m also not altogether saying that it has to be a top 6 winger, though it’d be nice to have someone at least capable of moving up in time.

        Specifically, the scenario I’m talking about is Martin for a younger wing that has some upside. They’ve proven they can win without him, and I have yet to be impressed by him in the playoffs (decent last year, but not great). The only other options would be Orpik (if they don’t plan to re-sign) or Niskanen while his stock is high. Letang and Niskanen are both right handed shots and I’m not sure they can keep Niskanen with Letang’s new contract going into effect next year.

        It would be nice to have more scoring depth on wing for the playoffs, that can play up if need be. Similar to what Cooke used to provide.

      • rendy0212 - Jan 20, 2014 at 4:24 PM

        @hockey412 Nobody is going to trade a top 6 wing for Orpik or Niskanen no matter how well they play because they are both pending UFAs. Orpik is not going anywhere anyways as he will ride out this year and leave via free agency. Niskanen may or may not leave this summer (will not be dependent on Letangs contract as cap goes up) but regardless he will not be traded for a top 6 wing as GM would make that deal. Simon Despres will be the odd man out as he is a young puck moving defensemen. He is this years Alex Goligoski.

        As for the future, who cares. The pens need to win now with this group.

      • jpelle82 - Jan 20, 2014 at 4:45 PM

        i dont think dumping martin or niskanen would be good at the deadline, especially in exchange for an inexperienced young winger going into the playoffs. the problem for the pens in the playoffs is usually goaltending and defensive prowess. i think trading veteran defender(s) for maybe 3 or 4 goals in the playoffs would be more harmful than good. let the ahl guys and bennett fill the void, they know the system and they did a good job this year thus far. i think megna, gibbons, bennett playing on a wing with crosby/kunitz could easily put up those goals needed. i would hope if the injuries get worse or continue to the point that a trade is necessary in shero’s eyes…its for a defensive forward, a solid 3rd liner that he can get for a despres or bortuzzo, maybe a throw in 3rd or 4th rd pick. if its gotta be a winger for crosby (again) i hope they go for like a ryan smyth rental, cheap veteran like guerin who can do his job.

  2. therooneyskilledwebster - Jan 20, 2014 at 12:14 PM

    That’s unfortunate.

  3. penguins87and71 - Jan 20, 2014 at 12:20 PM

    I would much rather have Shero go out and trade for a guy they can have under contract for a while not just a rental player. I’m guessing they will probably be interested in Evander Kane. I thought I heard Shero say somewhere that he is not interested in rental players this year.

    • bmscalise - Jan 20, 2014 at 12:43 PM

      The Pens will never go after Evander Kane:
      1) They couldn’t afford him. They are top-heavy enough as it is. They are better off beefing up the 3rd and 4th lines.
      2) It would likely cost them Ollie Maatta, as the Pens have no other assets of that caliber. Picks or unproven defensive assets like Pouliot, whatever their potential, aren’t going to cut it. And the Pens would be stupid to give up a future franchise defenseman for more offense when they are 5th in the league in scoring.
      3) Kane, justified or not, has a reputation. The Pens place a premium on off-ice character. Kane might fit in well in the locker room, but the Pens won’t take the chance on a guy who at least seems to have some maturity issues.

      • jpelle82 - Jan 20, 2014 at 2:40 PM

        maatta isnt going anywhere. they could/should trade harrington, doumolin, or pouliot before maatta. i’d be shocked if despres was still a penguin after the deadline. he’s nhl ready and he could fetch a higher return in the here and now. i’m fine with a rental again, if they like what they see they can make an offer to extend a rental guy if they want…or go after a free agent in the offseason when the cap has gone up. the kane talk is just asanine

  4. csilojohnson - Jan 20, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    Havnt heard Kane mentioned.
    Kunitz-Crosby-Kane line seems very promising on paper. What side does he normally play?
    Would a drop off in defensive play from Duper. Upgrade in speed, and skill though. Crosby’s defensive game has improved quite a bit this year. Kunitz is always a high plus player. Could see it working very well. If any GM can pull it off. Its Shero.

  5. penguins87and71 - Jan 20, 2014 at 12:42 PM

    The only thing is if they were to even acquire Kane or a top 6 forward that is under contract for a few years where would Dupuis play? Would he be a 3rd line player?

    • hazlydose - Jan 20, 2014 at 5:21 PM

      Dupuis is not first line material. One of the reasons we struggle in the playoffs is because teams key in on Crosby and Kunitz and Dupuis together can’t create offense. Dupuis could move to the left side with Malkin and Neal or move down to the third line.

      • jaybaileys - Jan 21, 2014 at 10:04 AM

        Thats a lot of money to pay a 3rd liner?

      • hazlydose - Jan 21, 2014 at 1:15 PM

        Yes it is. 7.5M is a lot of money for an “elite” offensive defense man who can’t even QB a PP as well. This team could be managed worse but some of decisions recently haven’t been very good. If Orpik gets an extension we will know that the “family” comes before winning.

  6. penguins87and71 - Jan 20, 2014 at 12:42 PM

    Kane plays LW so that wouldn’t work.

  7. penguins87and71 - Jan 20, 2014 at 12:57 PM

    What about James Neal? He has so maturity issues on the ice.

    • jpelle82 - Jan 20, 2014 at 2:46 PM

      neal’s got arguably one of the best shots in the game and under contract for the next 4 years. the only thing kane has in common with neal is a narcissism. pens dont need another baby in the room.

  8. claysbar - Jan 20, 2014 at 3:13 PM

    They need more depth on the bottom six anyway. If it has to be Despres, so be it but start looking for the next Craig Adams….Yes, I said that.

    • jpelle82 - Jan 20, 2014 at 3:42 PM

      i agree, they need to find another matt cooke (the hockey player, not the goon) too.

      • claysbar - Jan 20, 2014 at 4:04 PM

        Had been hoping Glass would be, but just not what I thought he would be.

  9. penguins87and71 - Jan 20, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    I would love to see them bring back Matt Cooke or Max Talbot, but I don’t see that happening though.

    • rendy0212 - Jan 20, 2014 at 4:27 PM

      What about Miroslav Satan or Mike Zigomanis? They were on the 09 cup team too…

  10. hazlydose - Jan 20, 2014 at 5:23 PM

    Make a deal centered around Despres. Either a deal involving Despres and Chiasson or Despres and Purcell.

  11. csilojohnson - Jan 20, 2014 at 6:51 PM

    I agree jpelle. Megna, and Gibbons looked great on that line. Can only hope the energy level stays the same after they have solidified their role on the team. A lot of people hate on Bennet but i see a lot of upside in his game. If he could just stay healthy.
    Martin has improved every year since he changed his attitude a couple years back. Dont see that route being good for the team.
    I hope to see him settle down the blueline tonight for Pens. Been pretty loose the past few weeks.

  12. chanceoffleury - Jan 20, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    Bennett needs to come back soon so he can get some time on Crosby’s wing before they make a huge trade for another right winger. Bennett is a natural right wing and was only playing on Malkin’s left wing because of Neal and Dupuis’ seniority and chemistry with 71 and 87. He’s yet to get a fair amount of top line minutes on the right side of either top line. I think given the appropriate opportunity he can be an answer to that question mark.

    Personally I think they need to look towards bringing in more depth players at the deadline. When you look at Chicago, Boston, LA, and the Penguins in 2009 the biggest difference between those teams and the Pens of current years is the contributions of depth players. Aside from Vokoun, Pens got pretty much nothing from their depth players at full strength last playoffs. And I’m talking all 3 series, not just the last one. Shaw, Bickell, Oduya and co. were insanely huge factors in the Hawks winning. Toews was probably worse in the Detroit series than Crosby was in the Boston series. On both a physical and emotional level Zetterberg owned him. Seabrook was abysmal too. Nobody hears a single thing about it though because their depth guys covered their butts and stepped up. And I’m not bashing Toews or Seabrook, I’m more so saying props for the lower tier guys to be able to rally around them and bring that series to 7 games so the Hawks got such a great chance to come back and win it. Sutter had that one nice goal in game 2, but the Pens were already down by 3 at that point, and any other game the 3rd and 4th lines were pretty much a non-factor. That right there is what defines the difference in what a good team looks like and what a championship team looks like. The Pens really don’t need to go around and collect more talent, they need to fill in the team from top to bottom and try to eliminate some of the gaps. I would rather the Pens have 3 consistently producing lines with a competent grinder line than 2 really really great lines and 2 really really horrible lines that are just there because somebody has to be on the ice when the first 2 lines aren’t.

    • jaybaileys - Jan 21, 2014 at 10:07 AM

      Didn’t Toews score a big goal and have a pretty big game in that series when they were down 3-1?

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