Sure, everyone knows by now that the Penguins made no moves at yesterday’s NHL Trade Deadline, but do you really think Penguins GM Ray Shero sat around all day doing nothing. We at Penguin Poop were lucky enough to be granted exclusive access to follow Ray around all day to see what exactly a GM does on one of the most exciting days during the NHL season.
7:00 AM: Wake up and get ready for the big day ahead. Check Blackberry to see if while he was sleeping any other GM’s had sent him any trade offers while he slept. Chuckles over the one sent from Washington GM George McPhee of their concussed Center Nicklas Backstrom for Sidney Crosby. George says he wants to do it just to see the look on Ovechkin’s face when he gets to tell him that Sid will be their new Captain.
7:30 AM: Showers after doing 100 push ups with his right arm only. Wants to make sure it is in shape in case he has to hold the phone for extended periods of time today.
8:00 AM: Sits down to a breakfast of Fleury Flakes. Fleury has been playing amazing since sales of his breakfast cereal started going through the roof. Ray doesn’t have the heart to tell him that it’s because he bought up 10,000 boxes.
While reading paper, realizes that Oscars were last night. ”Damn, I’ve never even heard of any of these movies. Guess I lost the office Oscar pool. I took Transformers to win Best Picture” he says crumpling up the paper.
8:30 AM: As he’s heading out the door to go to the Consol Center, he assures the wife and kids that none of them will be traded today unless it’s a really, really good offer.
9:00 AM: Arrives at the office and immediately turns on TSN to see if anything has happened yet as well as logging onto his computer. No trades so far so he scans some trade rumor web sites most notably Ecklund’s to see exactly what he should be doing today.
10:00 AM: Phones have been awfully quiet so Ray calls IT just to make sure the phone system is still working.
10:30 AM: First trade of the day comes over the wire, Nashville has acquired Andrei Kostitsyn from Montreal to join his brother who signed there as a free agent last Summer. Ray wonders out loud, “When did the Kostitsyn’s become the Sedin twins?”
12:00 PM: Tells everyone lunch is on him today and he sends out for pizza. When the delivery guy arrives, asks him if he’ll take Paul Martin in exchange for the Pizzas. Guy tells him he’ll have to throw in a first round pick as the tip, and Ray nixes the deal. Puts everything on Ron Burkle’s charge card.
1:00 PM: Only three trades have been made in the entire league, and two of them involved guys Ray didn’t even know were still in the league. On a whim, decides to call Scott Howson in Columbus and see if he’ll take Eric Tangradi and Paul Martin for Rick Nash. When Howson says, “Are you crazy?”, Shero responds with, “Well isn’t that why Craig Patrick kept coming to all of those Penguins’ games last week, to scout our players?” Howson laughs and says, “No, he just really likes the sausage grinder at the Consol”
1:30 PM: Shero remembers that he had scheduled a haircut for today. With so little happening, decided to keep appointment. As he’s walking out the door, tells assistant GM, Jason Botterill to remember not to trade Malkin while he’s gone, and for the love of god, do not trade for anyone named Alexei.
2:45 PM With 15 minutes to go, makes a conference call to four different teams offering them all Paul Martin. Figures the Tribune Review’s beat writer, Dejan Kovacevic must know more about hockey than both he and Coach Bylsma put together, and since he thinks Martin is awful, Shero wonders if he can trade him to four different teams at once. When all four are willing to offer the Pens anyone on their rosters for Martin, he decides Martin must be better than they thought and pulls the offer off the table.
3:00 PM Deadline arrives only to find that the Penguins did the absolute best thing they could have done all day…….NOTHING. This team is primed to go deep into the playoffs this year if not all the way to the Cup Finals, and it would have been a shame to mess with its current chemistry. over the next few weeks, the team will be getting back Tyler Kennedy, Aaron Asham and hopefully, Sidney Crosby. That’s acquiring two solid NHL players and the best player in the world and giving up nothing in return.
There are 20 games left in the regular season, and the Penguins are currently on a 15-4-1 roll since that forgettable six game losing streak in late December/early January when both media and fans were ready to blow up the whole team and start all over again. Evgeni Malkin is playing like the best player in the world and loves proving it every time he’s matched up against someone who is close to him in the scoring race (Isn’t that right Mr. Stamkos and Mr. Giroux?). Fleury is playing better than he did the year the team won the Stanley Cup, and they’re doing all of this without Captain Sid. Just imagine what a boost it’s going to be when number 87 finally does return. I can not see any team in the East right now that could handle this team in a seven game series, and maybe only two teams out West that could give them a run for the money. 20 games left to try and catch the Rangers for the top seed in the East. It will be a daunting task, but right now, I truly believe this team can do it.