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Move Malkin?

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.

read on

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.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: evgeni+malkin


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Evilpens's avatar

The Problem is Geno & Sid are BOTH better with the Puck, That’s Not going to work out , Why do you think they haven’t done it yet??? Because they know that Geno isn’t a winger & & is better with the Puck & so is Sid & Staal Is Not Now Nor Never will be a 2nd Line Center !! He doesn’t Have the Hands, Offensive ability or Shot

Posted by Evilpens on 05/16/10 at 05:38 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I’m sorry, but I don’t quite see the need to make a drastic change in order to build a team capable of beating the 19th best team in hockey.  The Penguins played right into the Montreal system and the Habs still barely escaped with a game seven victory.  Any great team can get surprised by a hot goalie.  This performance by Halak so far is the best by a goalie in the playoffs since J.S. Giguere in 2003.  You can’t count on a goalie being that good regularly; it happens about once every five years and is no reason to partially dismantle your long-term core for short-term results.

Besides, Pittsburgh’s defensive shortcomings were a bigger factor in their series loss and remains the biggest difference between this year’s squad and last year’s cup-winning team. Fortunately, the Penguins don’t have to trade Malkin or Staal to get another solid blueliner, since Gonchar’s departure (or playing like Gonchar again, either way) should help immensely.

The Penguins didn’t lose because they lack talent on the Wings, they lost because they couldn’t make the right adjustments, their defensemen generally didn’t play well, and Marc-Andre Fleury had a disappointing tourney (you could also use the “tired from playing so much hockey” excuse while you’re at it).

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/16/10 at 05:42 PM ET

Moq's avatar

We lost to Montreal for a variety reasons, not just as a result of roster composition. The mere fact that Crosby and Malkin allowed themselves to be neutralized that easily is a bigger problem than a solitary quality winger. You could also focus on gameplan adjustments, trade deadline failures, fatigue, and a host of other reasons. That doesn’t mean that the three center setup is obsolete, nor that the core needs to change. So let’s not mix apples and oranges after a bad fruit season.

Incidentally, San Jose’s Thornton, Marleau, and Heatley line makes a combined 21 million, and Washington’s three best paid forwards will soon reach the same number when Backstrom signs a new contract. Other teams do it differently. The key is exploiting the strengths of our best players. If results dictate that Malkin is better on wing that’s what you do. Preconceived notions or esthetic beliefs don’t matter in face of realities. But let’s see the results of the offseason and how the team plays before panicking. Fortunately, I know that Shero isn’t a panicky sort of guy (perhaps).

Of course, we could just trade Staal for Lucic and help Boston.

Posted by Moq from Denmark on 05/16/10 at 05:43 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Posted by Evilpens on 05/16/10 at 05:44 PM ET

Lindas1st's avatar

The Problem is Geno & Sid are BOTH better with the Puck,

Sid is too good not to be able to play with a talented foward like Geno 5-on-5.  So I think it could work if they start out at the beginning of training camp and stick to it through out the season.
But we’ll have to disagree on that point which leaves me to say this : Then it looks like status quo . So get used to it, there will be no perfect teams in the salary cap era.

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 05/16/10 at 05:46 PM ET

Lindas1st's avatar

...and Marc-Andre Fleury had a disappointing tourney…

This is why they lost the series. They were badly outplayed in goal.
The Hab’s goalie was playing Smytty like and the Pens was up & down all series.

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 05/16/10 at 06:03 PM ET

Moq's avatar

And to be clear, Friedman’s article doesn’t really support Evilpens argument beyond stating that successful players will earn more money eventually.

This is why they lost the series. They were badly outplayed in goal.

That’s too monocausal to be true in my opinion. You can emphasize various aspects, but failure is usually a blend of several destructive ingredients. Goaltending is just one of them.

Posted by Moq from Denmark on 05/16/10 at 06:58 PM ET

Lindas1st's avatar


Hah? Sounds like some sort of STD. wink
But I do get your point.

Goaltending is just one of them.

But the biggest imo, but again I understand your point.

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 05/16/10 at 07:11 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

And to be clear, Friedman’s article doesn’t really support Evilpens argument beyond stating that successful players will earn more money eventually.

UMMM yes !!! Yes it does !! They Don’t Have a LEGIT winger who can score Goals like Hossa could when he was in Atlanta here & then in Detroit & Now Chicago

Posted by Evilpens on 05/16/10 at 07:39 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

From the Friedman article (bolded portion is mine, for emphasis):

Pittsburgh has only $11 million to sign seven players for next season, which means there are two choices: make a seismic change, or be patient and see if - like the 1981 Lakers - we just witnessed a one-year blip.

If I was Ray Shero, that’s the choice I’d make. Obviously, you have to tinker a little. But trading Malkin? Right now, that’s an enormous overreaction. In another year? Maybe.

Trading Jordan Staal is not tinkering a little.

Friedman goes on to explain that one of the biggest adjustments that needs to be made is Malkin’s attitude while praising Staal for what he brings.

Nobody is disagreeing that the Penguins need more scoring from their wingers, just that they need to dump Jordan Staal to get the wingers they need.  Basically, what Friedman is calling for is another Bill Guerin, a very motivated and underpaid forward around whom the locker room can rally.  The Red Wings had Dallas Drake in that role the year they won it and of course, Pittsburgh had Guerin last year.  These guys don’t have to be pricey.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/16/10 at 07:48 PM ET

Moq's avatar

No, it doesn’t. You have to read it all, especially the last paragraph.

Tell me you didn’t just pull the Hossa card. Good grief.

Posted by Moq from Denmark on 05/16/10 at 07:53 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

I’ve Read It, Their Defense Sucked, Didn’t have a Shutdown Pairing !! MAF Choked BIGTIME!! But When the 2 Wingers for Sid are Chris Kunitz & Bill Guerin that is DISGUSTING !!!! Kunitz is Matt Cooke 2.0 Guerin is Finished!!

No they Don’t Need to Put another Band aid over a Gaping Wound, No more over the Hill Farts on Sid’s Line!!

Good God !! Malkin’s Attitude has to be Better ???????????? Imagine Playing With Fedostinko & Talbot a 4 Liner !!! or Poni & Fedostinko, Or Nick Johnson

Also Sid got to have the trigger Spot on the PP while Geno got Shifted all over the ****** place

Sid is Great, But his biggest weakness is his shot & his Over passing on the PP, Geno Has to Be ther 100% of the Time Next season

Posted by Evilpens on 05/16/10 at 08:34 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Notice the Score of the Philthy/Montreal Game ?? Camel Toe is Being SMOTHERED !!! funny how that Happens with a 3rd string Goalie huh?? OOOPS that’s right they Have a shutdown Defensive Pairing

Also Look at Staals Stats for the Playoffs Not Pretty, Definitely not Selke-Like

Posted by Evilpens on 05/16/10 at 09:21 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Raping of the GREATEST Defensive team EVER Continues !!! 6-0 hahaha UMMM The Pens were TOAST!! Emotionally, Mentally & Physically & Combine that with Shoddy Goaltending at Best

Funny in that piece By Friedman He doesn’t mention that GM ripping MAF the Way he did Geno, Wonder why ???????????????????????? Maybe he wants acquire Geno, HMMMM The Ego maniacal Bryan(as In Lyin) Burke(As in Jerk)

Posted by Evilpens on 05/16/10 at 10:32 PM ET

Flashtastick56's avatar

because Genius his hands & Shot aren’t Going to get any Better !!

Because there isn’t a player in the league, let alone playing for the Penguins, that significantly improved his shot and when from a 35 goal scorer to a 50 goal scorer this year.  It’s impossible to improve your shot! IMPOSSIBLE!

Oh wait.

& your Pissed because you’re one of the Staal KOOL-AID drinkers !! I Love the Prove he we never be anything more than he is now argument, Wait I’ll get in my time Machine & go ahead in time & then I’ll come back & tell you what he becomes OK?

If not thinking like you means I’m a “KOOL-AID DRINKER !!!”, then pour me another glass pal.

None of this even makes sense.  What I think you’re doing is chastising me for wanting you to prove how you know Staal will become nothing more than what he is now.  I can’t even be sure because you can barely form a sentence without your brain melting away.  Presumably.  If that IS what you’re saying, then it REALLY doesn’t make sense.  Because you’re argument is that Staal will never improve.  How can that be your argument while you insult me for making one where I say a 21 year old player who is at least 3-4 years away from his prime has a better chance of improving his game than not?

Sid scored 51 goals and 109 points this year.  Geno had 28 goals and 77 points in a down year.  Staal had 21 and 49.  Scoring isn’t a problem.  It wasn’t a problem in the playoffs either - not even with these horrendous wingers the Pens supposedly have.  Kunitz, Guerin and Cooke all had 4 goals each (how many does Hossa have?  Heatley?  Clowe?  Versteeg?).  Dupuis, Talbot and Adams all had 2. 

Ineptness defensively and questionable goaltending (at times) - and, admittedly, an extremely hot goalie and team defense - was what did them in.  Tighten up the D around Flower with letting Gonch go and bringing in a more defensive minded d-man in his place would shore up those problems.

That’s my two cents anyway.  Of course, I’m not some f*cking doom and gloom guy who isn’t happy unless he has something to bitch about, so all I think they have to do is tinker.  They have a plan.  They have an extremely talented and young core.  It’s been proven by the last year’s Cup win and the previous year’s run to the Finals that this plan is one that can work if executed properly.  It’s all about production.  Now we’ll see how they reload - imagining Guerin, Fedotenko, Poni and Gonchar are all gone - and see how they stack up next year.  With Sid, Geno AND Staal…I would imagine that they’ll be contenders.  Again.

Posted by Flashtastick56 from Meriden, CT on 05/16/10 at 10:49 PM ET

Lindas1st's avatar

@ Evil

I will give you this , you are one persistent SOB, wink

FTR, Halak had at least one clunker in both of the previous series.

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 05/16/10 at 11:36 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Good God !! Malkin’s Attitude has to be Better ???????????? Imagine Playing With Fedostinko & Talbot a 4 Liner !!! or Poni & Fedostinko, Or Nick Johnson

I want to just point out that you’re railing against a point in an article that YOU linked to help back your own case.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/17/10 at 12:43 AM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Yep that they missed a winger like Hossa !!

How would you Like to Have to Play with those TURDS on your Line, I Have watched the Pens for 30+ years !!I Have watched them Trade for Hossa & have him Get Immediately stuck on Sid’s Line, Traded for Kunitz & as soon as Sid was Healthy he was On Sid’s line, Traded for Guerin & stuck on Sid’s Line. Where as Geno Has had to put up with Fedostinko, Poni, Talbot, Johnson or whatever stiff they had left after Sid Got the Wingers he wanted

GM’s Don’t Go out & tell Reporters stuff like that with out an angle

Posted by Evilpens on 05/17/10 at 08:09 AM ET

Moq's avatar

Yep that they missed a winger like Hossa !!

That’s a nonsensical statement. Had Shero succeeded in signing Hossa at the rumoured amount, we would have even less money for Malkin wingers and a forward trio making more than $24M. If you want to make the “Staal for winger” argument, you have to mention better and more realistic options than Hossa. Of course, Chicago is in cap trouble and Hossa’s cap hit isn’t insane, they might just accept Kunitz in return (well, probably not).

The real Penguins problem is that the rebuilding of our farm system hasn’t caught up with our success, or to be exact, the primary picks have catapulted Pittsburgh to contention faster than we’re developing secondary talent. Acquiring someone like Hossa in 2007-08 wasn’t the part of ingenious plan but seizing sudden opportunity. That worked out well, paved the way for a Cup, and we’re still building on that. However, the farm system is still in its infancy. You can argue the quality of our current talents, but it’s foolish to abandon longterm consistency for uncertain gain.

Shero will continue building the farm system and keep us competitive by tinkering with the roster using cheap additional pieces as talents develop. That’s the proper strategy in my opinion.

Posted by Moq from Denmark on 05/17/10 at 02:15 PM ET

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