Unless you live under a rock you know the Penguins front office is considering a “major trade” but what exactly does that mean? When Pens General Manager Jim Rutherford spoke to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Jason Mackey, he refused to give a list of who is untouchable so it’s all up in the air outside of anyone named Crosby and Malkin. So who is off-limits? Who is most likely to have a new home? Let’s discuss…
Not Going Anywhere
If this team is going to move someone it surely isn’t likely to be their most consistent source of offense this season. Luckily, I haven’t seen too many people mention Phil. Though, I do think if anyone does it’s probably safe to leave a lego on the floor next to their bed the next morning. You know payback and all that.
My buddy thinks it’s Letang
— Daniel (@Chur_chillin) December 14, 2017
To this I just say… you must be either blind, brand new to hockey or high. Kris Letang is the kind of talent that doesn’t just grow on trees. Just because they won without him last year (even though they really shouldn’t have at many points) doesn’t make him expendable.
Ah, Brian, I see where you’re going here but no. Not gonna happen. Patric Hornqvist is this team’s soul. And sure he’s on the back nine or at least at the turn of his hockey career, but he’s still valuable. The team wants a shake-up not a shattering. I’d also like to add this:
Again, I get the point here but there’s a distinct difference in signing Max Talbot and keeping Patric Hornqvist to the end of his deal.
Unlikely, at least right now
Two weeks ago this seemed the most likely trade by the team. Cole’s deal is expiring. They have 6 other capable defensemen. And he was a healthy scratch. Now though? It’s a little less clear. With Justin Schultz on the shelf, the team can ill afford to lose Cole as well. So while this could still play out…it’s not looking all that imminent.
Look, I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt but as the season’s gone on its become abundantly clear this isn’t going to work for him. He’s not fast enough. He’s not sharp enough. This team just doesn’t seem to fit his style. He’d be much better suited to a slower team. Problem is? Where do you trade him? Who is going to come knocking for him? Maybe you can send him as a piece of a deal but…it’s not looking exactly easy.
Just Plain Unlikely…
I know he’s struggling to score something awful right now but he’s developed his overall game so much you have to think they’re not giving up on him. Plus the guy is only making $640,000 this year and is an RFA this summer. Plus a down year this year probably makes him a more likely keep because his play away from the puck is fine and he is underperforming his xGF at one of the worst individual rates in the NHL (meaning he should be scoring a hell of a lot more than he actually is). Making a perfect storm for a rise in production after they’ve signed him on the cheap which is what makes this team tick.
When Rutherford said major the first name I thought of was Sheary. I mean what sends a message more than shipping out a top-6 guy who just signed an extension without trade protection that runs through 2020 at a respectable $3 Million AAV. He’s won two cups and played with Crosby. He’s scored big goals in key moments but in the incredible depth at forward the Penguins have? He is hardly irreplaceable.
Hagelin is the kind of guy you love having on your team and the Penguins certainly hate playing against. He kills penalties and can back entire teams up just based on the pressure he can give with his footspeed. Problem is his fits and bursts of scoring are tough on a team already struggling to score. This move may be hard to make though as he’s currently making $4 Million and I do not expect the Pens to eat any of that in a move.
Move Cole here if Schultz comes back quicker than expected.