It?s still too close to determine if the Penguins will be seller?s or buyers at the TRADE DEADLINE. For example, if they lose to the Islanders tonight they will look like more sellers than buyers but it won?t be the final nail in the coffin either… BUT IT WILL BE CLOSE TO IT.
We know that Boston, Washington, Philadelphia and New Jersey should be cranking it up a notch so as not to make just a token visit in the Playoffs. They will definitely be buyers… as as the custom most likely not to those still competing in the Conference.
When it comes to teams like the Penguins who are sliding down the razor-blade right now who knows, for sure, what Shero and the organEYEzation is thinking.
But that’s never stopped us from offering OPINION.
My guess is that they will not be dealing for any players that will be UFA?s at the end of the season. So, that would rule out UFA players such as Antropov, Cole, Gaborik, Tkachuk, Recchi, Roberts, Neil, Kovalev, Tanguay, Afinogenov, Weight, the Sedins, and Guerin (who happens to have a no trade clause)…
I am also going to rule out those with ?no trade? clauses such as St-Louis because he?s pretty much settled-in along with Lecavalier in Tampa Bay.
Just for the record I wouldn?t deal for any of the above UFA?s because they are but rent-a-players and like Hossa have no reason to re-sign with the Penguins in the coming season.
However, what I might do is look for some GEM PROSPECTS as opposed to draft picks but I would also consider draft picks.
Some examples of what I would do – what I consider WIN-WIN for both teams:
FLORDIA PANTHERS ? They are probably 50/50 at losing Jay Bouwmeester and need to replace him. Ryan Whitney (or Sergei Gonchar) is a perfect fit. I would look at getting in return PROSPECT GOALIE JACOB MARKSTROM a 19 year old playing in the SEL and possibly take a chance with (RFA) Anthony Stewart a RW who had conditioning concerns but also packs 240 pounds on a 6-2 frame. He?s a big RW who finishes his checks. It may not sound like much of a return to some but?Markstrom IMHO should have gone in the first round in last season?s draft and we?d also get some size on the wing which I think we desperately need.
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS ? They are hard pressed to make the playoffs for the first time in their history may lean towards giving up some youth if the IMPACT player(s) to get them over the hump are there. They are long time losers and first time buyers this year. The Blue Jackets have a short BUT PRICEY LIST. They need a center that will allow Manny Molhotra to return to his checking role and Umberger to return to the wing? and they also need and want a right hand shooting defenseman. Here?s my thought’s: Sergei Gonchar (or Ryan Whitney) and Jordan Staal in exchange for Nikita Filatov, C turned LW, a rather undersized (6?- 175) but competitive edge and break-a-way skills who doesn?t appear afraid of traffic in front of the net in two games I?ve seen him play in Syracuse? and Maxim Mayorov a winger who also has speed and a decent wrist shot who is reminds me of an Alexander Semin. Both these kids are 18 and 19 respectively.
These two trades if they could be made would do this: Makeup for the lost Entry Draft of last season by adding a Goalie Prospect in MARKSTROM, a big winger in STEWART, and two highly skilled Russians in FILATOV and MAYOROV.
While losing Whitney, Gonchar, and Staal would look like a major hit to some (and it is) the only question is if the Penguins can count on Goligoski and Letang as our offensive defenseman. And IMHO they did fairly well, considering their age and what was thrown at them.? If so, not only does it add another $12.5 million is Salary Cap GAIN to what we would pickup in salary paid to our own UFA?s Gill, Sykora, Fedotenko, Satan, Boucher to name some which add up to another $15 million.
In case YINZERS aren?t that good at addition that?s almost $27 million for our own shopping spree during the OFF SEASON.
That’s a few Gabrik’s and Andropov’s to go along with Markstrom, Stewart, Filatov and Mayorov.
Anyhow that?s my thoughts on the TRADE DEADLINE? (along with Dustin Penner) who I mentioned in a previous article.
This is DR Hook? carry on.