For those who don't know, fellow PensU writer Joe Depto is also a contributor for Crash the Crease.com. This morning he provided a solid update on what we can expect to see over the next 24 hours with respect to the Penguins trade decisions.
As of this writing, at the 10am hour on Tuesday, March 2nd, we have just over 24 hours until the heated trade season ends. Let’s sort out the fact from fiction, and the reality from fantasy with man’s best friend : a good, old-fashioned list. I’ll also include my Monday morning quarterback take on what should happen, and my prediction of what will happen...
1. Defense – The Jordan Leopold trade did not feature a defenseman, meaning that a defenseman is all but certain to be dealt.
As I wrote yesterday when the trade occured, the Leopold trade was a positive on the ice, but for both the upcoming deadline and the ensuing offseason, the trade’s biggest strength was giving Pittsburgh Penguins General Manager Ray Shero roster flexibility. The Penguins currently have eight active defensemen on the NHL roster.
Many Pittsburgh media sources, including those tied to Pittsburgh radio station WXDX, have reported that every Pittsburgh blueliner, with the exception of Brooks Orpik, is being shopped around. Yes, even Pittsburgh all-star Sergei Gonchar.
Before you go about putting your #55 jersey on Ebay, I can assure you the possibility of “Sarge” being dealt is a slim possibility. In the past week, Gonchar’s camp made the official statement that talks of a contract extension would be tabled until the coming offseason. I strongly see this as a move by Shero to increase the value of d-men Kris Letang and Alex Goligoski.
If Shero were to call an NHL GM and give the appearance of a cup-winning all star’s value being lower than two young guys who have yet to step into the spotlight, it shows he highly values these players. Pittsburgh CBS affiliate has confirmed that Shero has been negotiating deals with teams that involve both Goligoski and Letang for weeks.