Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/16/10 at 11:13 AM ET
from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
There are three steps Shero can take this offseason to get the Penguins back to where they once belonged.
Crosby and Malkin will be more dominant with a young, skilled wing to grow with.
However, given the cap constraints, the only way to land that wing is to move one of them for a package that would upgrade the roster and replenish a system that lacks impact forwards beyond top prospect Eric Tangradi.
Staal’s development as a Selke Trophy candidate for his defensive work and offensive upside—at 21, he has produced three 20-goal seasons as a third-liner—gives the Penguins the option of trading Crosby or Malkin. Staal is a prototype No. 2 center and an emerging dressing-room leader.
The Penguins won’t trade Crosby, who aside from being team captain is the franchise’s face. Malkin, already a scoring champion and playoff MVP at 23, is the guy to shop.
Shero should start making calls to his contemporaries, and his first words should be: “Make me an offer for Malkin.” It must include a top-line wing, a top-pairing defenseman, two roster players and either two top prospects or two first-round picks.
added 9:33am, from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Malkin, who has four years left on his contract, is hardly excess baggage, but if Shero were to pick up the phone and start canvassing his lodge-brothers he might get what he sorely needs—two top-six forwards. If he could get two wingers who make about $8 million total that would be less than Malkin’s $8.7-million cap hit, and maybe a team would throw in a stocking stuffer, too. A good draft pick or a top-nine, young-20s forward.
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