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Monday, March 1, 2010

Trade Deadlines = More Stress

Now that my Olympic Hockey hangover is almost gone, it's time to get back to the reality of the NHL.  With the trade deadline looming, it always stresses me out because I never know when one of my favorite players might get cherry picked to another team.


CASE IN POINT...

The Pens started things off with the acquisition of now former Florida Panther Jordan Leopold.  They traded their 2010 second round pick to get him.  Is this a good thing, you ask?  I don't know.  If you ask me it is the sign of something bigger on the horizon.  But nonetheless, Leopold is a solid, sturdy defenseman that adds more depth.

Leopold spent most of his career split between the Flames and Avs.  He has played 61 games this year and netted 7 goals, 11 assists, and 22 PIM.  Jordan played for the Golden Gophers and won the Hobey Baker award in 2001-02.

Leopold makes the 8th defenseman on the roster.  Up until this point in the year, everyone has been fairly healthy.  The only lingering Olympic injuries could effect Orpik or Gonchar but that is all left to be seen.  Fedotenko is a UFA after this season (as is Leopold) and dumping him may not necessarily be popular but the potential of a couple picks or another scoring winger could off set that.  The wing positions are where we are hurting the most.

Goligoski is also a name I don't think is safe.  Gogo is a great young player, and together with Letang, has a much better upside than Fedotenko.  The problem is that he has bounced around lines and been used too infrequently, which has caused his play to decline.  At this point though, I don't think he would get a top line scorer without something else to sweeten the deal.  Playoff rental players aren't an answer either.

Letang is by far and away the franchise choice for the future model of the Pens defense.  He has all the skills and abilities but without the size.  I think he may be the only untouchable one here. 

I won't be surprised if another package deal comes out of this.  Without that winger, I don't think the Champs have much of a chance at repeating.

2 comments:

  1. Do you think they will be able to resign Gonchar and Letang in the off-season? Letang is a RFA, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a team throw a big number at him because of the skill set you mentioned. That may influence what the Pens do in the next few days.

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  2. I don't see where they have a choice. They can't afford to go out and get a sign any big name guys. Gonchar and Letang are the heart of their defense. I just hope they can still keep Orpik.

    The funny stuff coming out now is the rumor of Malkin being traded for Rick Nash. That made me choke on my beef jerky.

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