Shero Don’t Be A Hero – Pittsburgh Penguins – PenguinPoop Blog

Shero Don’t Be A Hero

With all of the trades around the NHL right now, most by two “Old School” GM’s Brian Burke & Darryl Sutter, it would be easy for Ray Shero to get caught up in the madness and trade away the Penguins future for another shot at winning the Cup. A little Pittsburgh Penguins history lesson might cure him of that and hopefully he will keep together what could be an incredible Pittsburgh future. These young players should be deemed Untouchable: Crosby, Malkin, Fleury, Letang, Goligoski, Staal


In 1991 Craig Patrick made arguably the best trade in Pittsburgh Penguins history getting Ron Francis, defensemen Ulf Samuelsson and Grant Jennings for John Cullen, winger Jeff Parker and defenseman Zarley Zalapski. Whether or not this was what enabled the Penguins to win the cup in 1991 is open for speculation, but most around the league deemed it to be the reason. As a matter of fact Hartford Whaler play by play announcer Chuck Kaiton had heard all the talk about how Eddie Johnson was going to put together a Stanley Cup team “He didn’t tell us it was going to be in Pittsburgh.” Chuck Said. 

At the time of winning the Cup in Pittsburgh the Penguins had on their team what would be an unprecedented 6 players that would finish in the top 15 All Time Scorers in NHL history. Five of them in or before their prime. Ron Francis, Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, Paul Coffey, Mark Recchi and Brian Trottier. The only team anywhere close to this was the Edmonton Oilers dynasty with Gretzky, Messier and Coffey. 

Riding high off his 1991 trade with GM Eddie Johnson of the Hartford Whalers, who by the way seems to have a lifetime job with the Penguins go figure, Craig Patrick on February 19, 1992 made by far the worst trade in the history of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Patrick traded away Hall of Famer & #12 All Time Scorer Paul Coffey and soon to be Hall of Famer and #13 All Time NHL scorer Mark Recchi for right wing Rick Tocchet, defenseman Kjell Samuelsson and goalie Ken Wregget. 
Before you get all in a hissy, I am aware that the Penguins won a Stanley Cup in 1992, but I have news for you…  The Penguins would have won the Cup without the trade. They probably would have went on and won 4 or five Stanley cups. Before the trade the Penguins had an incredible 8 Hall of Famers on the team. It is what the Penguins did after trading the players and winning the Cup that year that is most notable. The Penguins only made it past the second round of the playoffs once in the next 8 years. 
Rick Tocchet played three years for the Penguins, left and became a journeyman scoring at the most 60 pts afterwards and eventually ended up back in Philly, Kjell Samuelsson the human pylon played four years for the Pens and eventually went back to Philly also. Ken Wregget became a substantial backup, but the Pens could have put anyone in net and won.
Paul Coffey went on and played in two more Stanley Cups, led the Detroit Red Wings team in scoring one year and won a Norris Trophy. Mark Recchi went on and lead the teams he was on, the Flyers and Canadiens, in scoring 5 times, played in 7 more All Star games including one that he was MVP and won a Stanley Cup.
This is the year after after winning the Cup, the same year the Craig Patrick lead the Penguins to their demise. Shero, don’t be a hero. Even with all the injuries the Penguins have a better record than last year, they are a team that can pick it up when they need to. Don’t trade away the future.
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1 Comment

  1. Jean Pronovost's Gravatar Jean Pronovost
    February 5, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    And there is certainly no need to panic even though NJ has traded for Kovalchuk. I see Kovi becoming more like a New Jersey Devil than the Devils now becoming more like Kovalchuk. Trader Lou says they were able to make the deal because of organizational depth. He better hope he’s right because they sure mortgaged a good bit of the future trading Bergfors, Oduya, Cormier (Who will be an NHL stud despite his being suspended for the rest of the Junior season because of a wicked cheap shot) and this year’s upcoming first round pick. All of that for a rental player who will most likely be playing in the KHL next year. (He has a much better chance of getting the $11 million per year that his agent is asking for over there than he does of any NHL team giving a max contract to one guy) Again, all of this for a guy who has no proven playoff record having only recorded one point in his only four game playoff experience.
    There will still be plenty of guys the Pens should be able to trade for closer to the deadline that won’t cost them any of their top players/prospects.


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