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‘Trader’ Ray

from Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Triibune-Review,

At some point late in the Penguins' thrilling victory over the Boston Bruins on Tuesday, it struck me: Ray Shero is the best trader in the NHL.

What's more, he is the best trader in Penguins history — better than Craig Patrick.

Even before Brandon Sutter's dramatic game-winner, a quick glance at the Penguins' lineup was enough to blow your mind. In a league where teams are desperate for goals, Shero has reeled in James Neal, Chris Kunitz, Pascal Dupuis and Sutter. The four have combined for 54 goals this season.

The miracle isn't that Shero gets the guy he wants but that he always seems to get a little something extra. Neal for Alex Goligoski would have been a wonderful trade. Shero somehow got Matt Niskanen, too.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink


Evilpens's avatar

Yep the Ball washers in the Pgh Hockey media out in force for Ray, Starkey denigrates Craig Patrick while trying to biuld up Shero who won a Cup on CP’s Drafting

Amazingly Starkey doesn’t mention the failure Shero has been at Free Agency & allowing Bylsma to hire his buddies who think exactly like him & have a goaltending Coach Gilles Meloche who hasn’t done anything to improve Marc Andre Fleury’s game

Posted by Evilpens on 03/14/13 at 07:43 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

Posted by Evilpens on 03/14/13 at 08:43 AM ET

Fair, but I guess the point about Shero’s job trading players is still valid, isn’t it? He deserves a lot of credit for many of these trades. Dupuis and Sutter the Pens front office identified players that they obviously thought had more value than they were showing on their previous teams. For Neal and Kunitz, they were able to cash in on the difficulty of finding good defenseman, and traded Goligoski and Whitney when their stocks were at the highest. Certainly, there’s some luck involved seeing that Goligoski hasn’t developed beyond Niskanen, like he was expected to, and even more luck that Whitney has been injury prone since the trade. But you also have to give Shero and Co. credit for having the foresight to recognize those guys were at their high-water mark for value on the trade market.

It seems to me that more than Shero even really having failures in UFA, it’s really the loss of Gonchar that has been surprisingly difficult for them. I know I know I know, but if I can compare it to the Red Wings because it’s what I know, just hear me out… Letang reminds me of Kronwall—both players are really good and have nice all-around games, but neither one quite reaches that level of legitimate #1 D, the guy you can play 27 minutes per night. Losing Gonchar in Pittsburgh and Lidstrom in Detroit is a big deal. If the Pens had a second Letang-level D (or the Wings a second Kronwall-level D), then it might work on balance, but they don’t have that guy.

I’ll be the first to say the Pens are the model for the “new” NHL—you have to get lottery picks, you have to be somewhat lucky with those picks. Even though Shero didn’t make most of those impactful drafts, he deserves credit for turning the team into a Cup team. Look no further than the Oilers or Caps, teams that followed a similar blueprint to stock young talent, but haven’t been able to put all the pieces together to win what really counts.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 03/14/13 at 07:57 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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