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Penguins players unfazed by impending trade deadline

Chris Adamski
| Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, 3:06 p.m.
Penguins defenseman Matt Hunwick (22) throws Lightning center Yanni Gourde into the boards during the second period Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017, in Tampa, Fla.
Penguins defenseman Matt Hunwick (22) throws Lightning center Yanni Gourde into the boards during the second period Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017, in Tampa, Fla.

It's safe to assume that by this time next week, the group assembled inside the Penguins' locker room won't be the same that was on hand at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex on Tuesday. The NHL trade deadline is Monday, and while players understand that might mean some comings and goings, they aren't consumed or preoccupied by one of the more active days on the annual NHL calendar.

“I don't really pay attention,” defenseman Kris Letang said.

Center Carter Rowney was less succinct in words, but he conveyed the same thoughts.

“It's part of the game, but I think everybody in this room is just worried about ourselves and our locker room,” Rowney said. “We are just trying to put our best foot forward for our next game. We are playing well right now and have a lot of confidence right now, but it's part of the game and we will get through it.”

Of course, for some individuals, the deadline might bring more anxiety than others — for them, the fear isn't saying goodbye to a teammate or two but saying goodbye to an organization, city and a whole group of teammates.

Matt Hunwick, for example, has been floated by national outlets as a player on the trade block.

“That's worrying about something that I can't control,” the defenseman said. “I can't control what the GMs are going to do. I have to go to work every day and keep it professional.”

Hunwick said he only learns about trade rumors involving himself from the media.

“I don't have social media. I don't have anything like that, so it's not really a problem for me in terms of seeing stuff out there. You guys are usually the ones bringing it up to me.

“There's really not much I can do other than go out, play hard and play well. And when my number is called, go out and compete.”

Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.

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