Sunday, March 02, 2008

Trade Deadline: Losers

Pittsburgh Penguins

I think the Penguins went ahead and did everything I said would be a bad idea in terms of trade deadline strategy. The Penguins are a team that started the year very slowly but are now in a tight race for first in the Atlantic division. Even with Crosby out of the lineup, the team has seen a new leader step up in Evgeni Malkin.

Now, with 20 odd games left in the season, the Penguins are not only faced with the task of reinserting Sidney Crosby in the lineup and shuffling around 20-25 minutes of forward ice-time a night, they also need to shuffle around 20-25 minutes a night to slot in Hossa.

Now, obviously, this is the sort of 'problem' most GMs would love to have; too much talent. But I think it's legitimate. A good hockey team isn't an all star team, its a team with the right players to accomplish certain tasks. A good team also has good chemistry, and chemistry takes time.

To add to that, Hossa's rent a player price was far too high.

Colby Armstrong is a useful 3rd line (who, according to Pierre Maguire, had 'unbelievable chemistry' with Sidney Crosby, though I think a doorknob would have great chemistry with Crosby) player who can play with a physical edge, just ask Patrick Eaves.

Angelo Esposito is kind of a wild card; Esposito is undeniably talented but he's looking like a Robbie Schremp variety of player - lots of talent not a lot of heart.

But adding in the first rounder as well?

I wouldn't have given up all that for few games from Marian Hossa, a guy who isn't even considered a playoff performer.

Pascal Dupuis was part of the deal - he had a pretty nice season in Minnesota about 5-6 years ago when he scored 20 goals on a goal starved Wild team. He's a tenacious guy, stats wise probably comparable to Erik Christensen, so we'll call that a one off.

The only way this trade is a success is if the Pens make it to the conference finals. That is the litmus test.

3:11 pm, Tuesday February 26, 2008
Pit Acquire:
Marian Hossa, Pascal Dupuis
Atl Acquire:
Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen, Angelo Esposito and a draft pick


MetroGnome said...

The Hossa deal will be a BIG loser if the Pens bow out early. If they go deep, Im sure management will be satisfied with the move. They have a ton of youngsters and weren't going to be able to afford them all in the near future anyways, so I guess dealing them for an improved squad in the short term may seem like it's worth it. However, as you say, if they don't go far...ouch.

I was going to do a trade deadline piece myself...more focused on the deals that just didn't make any sense rather than the winners/losers thing. I mean...what would possess Martin in Florida to trade ANYTHING for Wade Belak or Chad Kilger?? Why would Risebrough make Chris Simon his deadline acquistion? A couple of head-scratchers this year for sure.

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