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NHL Trade Deadline: Penguins Interested In Alexei Kovalev

Ottawa Senators forward Alexei Kovalev's named has been tossed about in all sorts of Penguins trade rumors in the past couple of weeks, including right here at SB Nation Pittsburgh. Where there was only speculation before, however, there now appears to be some legitimate smoke coming from general manager Ray Shero and the front office.

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Buried in today's Stars-Penguins trade story, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Shelly Anderson reports the team could add its former forward by next Monday's trading deadline.

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Despite being publicly noncommittal in recent weeks, the Penguins have a genuine interest in acquiring winger Alex Kovalev, a former Penguin, from Ottawa.

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"We have some room to look for some other pieces," Shero said. "We'll let the dust settle a little bit."

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The addition of James Neal from Dallas on Monday certainly makes the possible re-acquisition of Kovalev all the more intriguing. For the last couple of weeks, most have felt the Penguins will be unable to make a serious Stanley Cup run without Sidney Crosby, missing for much of the New Year with a concussion.

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If Shero is able to add a second top-six forward in a week, however, there's a lot of potential if Kovalev can get himself on a role with a change of scenery. Though the Neal-Kovalev pair would never measure up with Crosby and injured center Evgeni Malkin, they could certainly help Pittsburgh make a deeper run than originally hoped for just a few days ago.

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Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.