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Rumblings: Penguins waiting for price to drop on top forwards

John Russell/NHLI/Getty Images

Phil Kessel? Patrick Sharp? Jeff Skinner? Jiri Hudler?

Veteran Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford wouldn’t name names Saturday, but said he's going to be very patient in his search for a top-six winger on the trade market.

"I’m not rushing into anything," he said.

My guess is he also checks in on unrestricted free agent winger Justin Williams, with whom he won a Cup in Carolina.

But as Rutherford continues to dabble on Kessel, Sharp, Skinner or other candidates, my sense is Rutherford wants to slow-play it, hope that the price comes down, and teams trying to dump these players become desperate in a week or two or three.

Of course, when you’re the Toronto Maple Leafs (Kessel) and the Chicago Blackhawks (Sharp), you’re thinking the same thing, that teams striking out in free agency this upcoming week will get desperate and circle back to make a better offer.

It’s the chicken game and someone’s going to lose.

But one thing Rutherford said is that even if he ends up with nobody on his own terms, he’s comfortable starting the season with his team as is and trying to deal for help later in the season.