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Burke: Penguins need to 'stop the trend' of unloading assets at trade deadline

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Pittsburgh Penguins president of hockey operations Brian Burke knows his club can contend for the Stanley Cup this season but hinted the team likely won't be massive buyers leading up to the trade deadline.

"What assets are we going to give up to add? The answer is not many," Burke told NHL Network Radio on Sunday, according to's Dave McCarthy. "It's time for this team to stop the steady, and this will come out as a negative and I don't want it to because I love Jim (Rutherford), but stop the trend where we are going to give away a lot for a 20% chance at winning. You get close, you add, and Jim did what he was supposed to do. But we have to stop that trend at some point."

The Penguins have notoriously been big spenders for much of the past decade and notably under ex-general manager Rutherford. The team currently owns all three of their first-round picks for the next three drafts.

In 2020, the club unloaded a first-round pick, Calen Addison, and Alex Galchenyuk to acquire Jason Zucker. In 2019, the club sent three draft picks alongside Riley Sheahan and Derick Brassard to bring in Jared McCann and Nick Bjugstad.

After recently winning 10 straight games, the Penguins have shown they still have what it takes to be a legitimate contender in the NHL. However, Burke hinted the club will likely have to work with what they have and reinforcements won't be guaranteed.

"Do we believe we are a contender? Yes, we do, and we (GM Ron Hextall) have since we got here," Burke said. "Can we add with our cap situation if we decide to? We are pretty limited with the salary cap restrictions that we are under, so making a big deal probably would be difficult to do. But we would look, certainly."

The Penguins have a 20-9-5 record and currently sit in fourth place in the Metropolitan Division.

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