Jun. 3, 2021
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I am confused. Why dump a lot of these players? Yeah, changes are necessary, but this is a pretty high amount of overturn.
I agree with YoungPattyKane, if you can get Roslovic's rights for cheap and sign him for less than 4.2, do it. I think we'd be outbid on Nichushin, and maybe the same on Athanasiou.
Rust being on the third line makes no sense to me considering he could have probably gotten at least $6 mil/year on the open market and is better than Athanasiou and Anderson.
McGinn is a solid player being traded away for literally nothing. We might need the cap space but we can get something in return for him, and he's been a good bottom six player for us. It's even more strange to me if we're signing Marchment to a larger contract and then playing him on the 4th line.
I would seriously consider resigning Danton Heinen instead of Athanasiou and Milano. I loved the deal when it was made and he has surpassed my expectations for him.
You essentially cap dump Kapanen's RFA rights for a player bouyed by having chemistry with Zegras when he has value either here or elsewhere as a cheap gamble. That deal is a player you have on the 4th line for an ok prospect and a guy who can bounce back to ~60 point form, which sounds very good for Anaheim.
Speaking of trades that are better for the other team, Josh Anderson. Anderson is a few year older on a long term deal with a higher cap hit than Marino. He was on pace for around 22 goals and 38 points over a full 82 games this year. That's good, but if we're complaining about Zucker for that cap hit, no one in Pittsburgh is going to like Anderson. Pittsburgh also has little depth at RD, Ian Cole isn't a top 4 dman, and Marino is more valuable to the Pens than this. That move makes no sense for us.
I don't think the McGinn, Marino, or Kapanen trades make the Penguins better. I don't think the Athanasiou or Cole signings make the Penguins better. If we have to dump Zucker and Carter to get better, then oh well. There are some good ideas. The Pettersson deal has become standard. I like Roslovic and Nichushkin if we can land them. I wouldn't mind Marchment if he's on the 3rd line. But I don't think this team, especially with these lines, is getting past the first round.
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>The_Rocket</b></div><div>I agree with your take in this trade being a bad one, but one thing I will point out re Pitt trading their 1st:
Jim Rutherford has said several times since coming to Vancouver that the directive from Ownership in Pitt was to be aggressive every year to make the playoffs and compete for a cup. It’s was ownerships directive that made him feel compelled to regularly trade away 1st rounders.
Now, maybe that directive has change in Pitt, but if it hasn’t I would bet we still see Burke and hex make some aggressive moves this offseason, which could even include trading the 1st rounder (though not in OP’s trade)</div></div>
I would usually agree, but things have changed in Pittsburgh. The team has a new majority owner, and Burke + Hextall have explicitly stated that they currently don't have any intentions to trade away top picks/prospects, at least for right now. Hextall was a lot more aggressive on the ice than he is in management. The pair are pretty cautious. I don't expect more than like 1 big move, depending on which big UFAs return. This isn't the same team or management that has kept only 2 1sts from 2013 to 2021. The core is aging and the window is closing, but our prospect pool is frighteningly shallow. If the Pens sell off more futures, the rebuild will be long and painful. Yes, I'd love to be a true contender forever and ever, but that isn't realistic.
I they're trying to walk the tightrope of competing now without emptying our cupboards too much. The Carter and Rakell deals have looked good at that to me. We got Carter for a pair of 3rds. We got Rakell for a 2nd, a former 3rd, and some depth. It depends on what those picks turn into, and if Rakell walks, but so far both have been valuable pieces for Pittsburgh at reasonable costs. So if they think they can keep getting deals like this, I don't think they'll be interested in selling a 1st.
I've seen a lot of Marino to Vancouver trades on this site, and this one might be the worst. Yes, Miller is a significant upgrade to Garland or Boeser for the Penguins, but they are not giving up their first this year. That might have flown under GMJR, but Rutherford is part of Vancouver's management, iirc, and not Pittsburgh's. More importantly, the Pens also do not have the cap space to do this deal, with Malkin, Letang, Rust, and Rakell as UFAs. Miller would be an excellent winger to play with Crosby and Guentzel, but Myers would prevent us from resigning multiple important pieces. Not worth picking up Miller.
While I'm at it, I don't think Malkin is interested in a one year deal, even for that much money. ZAR also declines, I think last offseason he wanted around 2 mil, so you're going to get outbid on him.
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>pensfan21</b></div><div>I just think we are in a really rough spot if we run it back or retool. A retool is tough because we have way too many players taking up cap that aren't doing anything (Carter, Zucker, Kapanen, Pettersson, Dumolin), which is almost 20 mil in cap right there. It will be tough to move all of those contracts, but I think we have to try. Then we have Malkin, who has been bad away from the puck and is honestly a toss up to be resigned imo. It's been reported he asked for 6.6 mil for 3 years and the Penguins lowballed him worse than that. Letang also looking like he might leave. If those two leave then I say just go full steam ahead for the rebuild. I would really like to keep Guentzel if we can, he is getting even better and is becoming an absolute star. Rust I wouldn't be against resigning and then trading for a 1st round pick and more.</div></div>
The thing for me is that the league's GMs have far more info that we do, and have different ideas of what players are worth. I don't have a clue why the Flyers considered Risto worth his trade or extention, even if that's an extreme example. I don't really think it's fair to say that those guys "aren't doing anything". Yeah, we'd like most of them to be doing more, but each player still has upside or else they wouldn't still be in the NHL.
For example, let's say that I'm the GM of a team that is trying to improve, say New Jersey. I could trade for Kappy's RFA rights for a mid round pick or two at most, and sign him for a pretty low cap hit. If he bounces back, I'll look like a genius. If not, I didn't pay that much to try. Same deal for the rest of those guys. And yeah the Pens' wouldn't get the best return, but those contracts wouldn't be as hard to move as you say.
I agree on your points on Malkin, Letang, and Guentzel. I don't want to lose any of them. I grew up in the era of 87, 71, and 58. And Guentzel is my favorite player. But if we lose Geno and Tanger, our window slams shut. I doubt Jake would want to stay on that sinking ship, and much to my dismay, a Guentzel trade would speed up a potential rebuild dramatically. If we don't lose him, will he still be a superstar by the time a new core emerges? With how bare the cupboards are now, it would take a few years unless Hextall and Burke are capable of alchemy.
I still think we have the ability to go for it with a similar roster. Even with some guys not performing to expectations, we're 8th in goals for and 10th in goals against. The core is getting old, but it's aged remarkably well. Say we trade Pettersson and Zucker, get POJ and DOC into the lineup full time. I think ERod's out in free agency, sign another guy in free agency to replace Zucker, say a guy like Domi or Barabonov. Kappy and/or Dumo returns to form, Matheson and/or Marino takes a step forward. Sign MAF to be Jarry's 1b and they play well. This is just optimism and maybes, but stranger things have happened. And quite frankly, we've seen how conservatively this management group has acted so far. This is the most likely thing they're going to do; any changes will be minimal. They'll still see a team with potential for a deep run, possibly even a cup again. And maybe they're right, but we'll just have to wait and see.
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>pensfan21</b></div><div>I agree with Matheson, he's a great 2 or 3 dman, but a lot of questions about him anchoring the blue line. I would personally rip off the band-aid and rebuild, but I would also be fine with a big retool. My issue would be if we just run it back and don't make any real changes. If Sullivan commits to changing the system I would give him another year to prove himself, the issue is that I don't know if he actually will. My question is if we go for a rebuild how would you go about it? We don't have many players to trade for good picks so it would be tough. It is just very frustrating bringing the same team back, they have a great regular season and then collapse around playoffs. It's the same cycle where we keep doing the same thing but expecting different results.</div></div>
I don't think about what I'd do with a rebuild often because I don't want to rebuild. I don't know if I agree with saying that we don't have many players to trade away. We would want greater returns that we'd probably get, but we wouldn't be in a position where we are making the playoffs this consistantly with a similar cast. As often as I see ACGMs giving away Kappy or Zucker for nothing or less, I think real GMs would find value enough to get a return. I could see us getting some mid-round picks for the likes of MP, Heinen, Carter, and Blueger. If we wait a year and manage to resign Rust, if we decide to trade him I think he'll get a substantial return. If we decide to rebuild, I don't know if Guentzel would stick around, as much as I hate saying it, but we'd be able to get a king's ransom for him. It would be easier if we didn't have half the team's contracts expiring this season.
I'd probably go for one last push next season. Who'd be sold would depend on who we bring back and how we perform. Let's just say we bring back a similar roster and are selling at the next deadline. I think a lot of middle-six talent is being sold. Kapanen, Zucker, Heinen, maybe Blueger, at least one of Guentzel/Rust/Rakell if we still have all 3. On defense, MP and Dumo are probably outside looking in as well. Crosby is obviously going nowhere and I think if Malkin and Letang both come back they'd be in the same boat. After that I could see us trading for or signing some guys worth around 3/4 million to bridge deals in the offseason to fill roster spots while the likes of Bjorqvist, Poulin, POJ, and any prospects we get through trades or the next few drafts develop and make the NHL when ready.
As much as I'd rather go for a retool, I don't know if we're able to make it work. The guys at the center of the franchise aren't young anymore and there isn't the trade value or salary cap to realistically make something work. In this case, We'd essentially need to create a new core around Crosby and some of the guys in the mid/late 20s. Guentzel, Rakell if he returns, Marino, whatever big fish we catch in free agency. Gaudreau or Forsberg and Klingberg would be nice if we could sign any of them, but we're probably going to get outbid on them. Wouldn't mind getting the likes of Strome, Burakovsky/Nichushkin, definitely Trocheck. Ultimately I don't think a retool is that viable of an option. We'll probably end up taking steps back if we don't get our hands on a big free agent, which we probably won't have the space to do. How different of a team could the Penguins realistically have by retooling and still have a decent shot at being a contender?
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>pensfan21</b></div><div>You have good points here, I think we see differently on some stuff, but I still get what your saying. My thing is that I believe we need to make some big change if we lose first round this year, whether coaching or roster. I'm curious what you think of Sullivan if were out first round here. I think one big issue is that we are trying to play a completely speed system without having the fastest team and with an older team. The relentless forechecking required for it I'm worried has just worn some of them out and is not sustainable for this roster. I would either change the head coach or make significant changes to the roster in order to accomidate his system. In terms of the fourth line here, I believe that the league has changed. When the Pens won the cups it was all about speed, but the league eventually adapted to that and we saw Tampa win with a combination of speed, physicality, and pure skill. They always had speed and skill, but once they added some tougher players that put them over the edge. Similar to the Rangers this year and how the Avalanche and other top teams are. I also worry about other teams taking liberties on us with how many injuries we have, wouldn't mind at least one guy to deter that. Even if they didn't play every game they could be put in against the tougher more physical opponents. We could've used some of that against the Islanders last year. Ultimately, one of my biggest issues with this team is they don't adapt. If we lose the first 3 games against the Rangers in the playoffs I'm convinced we'd play the 4th exactly the same. If we lose round 1 I would be very tempted to make a coaching change and then from there do a pretty big retool. I agree if we want to stay competitve Letang is the most important to keep, the defense could very well fall apart without him. It's also possible Matheson steps into another gear and they find a good replacement, but there is a very high risk of the first happening. The issue is I think he's determined to get the contract he wants and his ex-agent is now GM of Montreal. That said, it is based on media speculation, and I don't want to assume that, but it is a possibility because I don't think we pay him 5 years of term. Rust I'd like to keep, but I do worry could be outbid. Malkin I'm mixed on because he is one of my favorite players of all time, absolutely love him and it was awesome watching him growing up. But I can't deny he has not been at his best this year, he is still elite when he has the puck, but has not played well away from it. Ultimately it's tough to say until playoffs are over though. Malkin could elevate his game in playoffs and that changes this whole conversation. That is what I hope happens.</div></div>
I'm not sure if Sullivan needs to be replaced. I could see a new style of play benefitting the team, but if he can implement one, I think he should keep his job. The story for the past 3 or 4 seasons has been "this is the year the Pens miss the playoffs. This year is the end, it's time to rebuild." And it hasn't happened yet. I think Sully is a big reason why, he's been an excellent coach in Pittsburgh. That begs the questions of, can he implement a new system, if so, how long will it take, and if not, who's going to replace him? We ultimately won't know until it happens.
As for Matheson stepping up, I think it's partly because of the system we're running. He was a healthy scratch sometimes in Florida, and although he's exceeded expectations, he's poised to be our #1 dman if Letang walks? He's proven his worth, but he isn't the type of player that anchors a blueline, especially if we move away from the system that he's found success in.
There are only a handful of games left in the season. We don't have time to make a lot of changes.
I will admit that I've been under the assumtion Rust would have to take a team-friendly deal to stay. He could be a big fish on the open market for a team on the up and up to chase.
The Pen's situation is frustrating. We have some of our best players who need to be resigned, an aging core, and little in the way of prospects and draft capital. We're in a situation where there really isn't a winning option. We could try to keep the gang together for one last shot at glory, go through a retool to try and accomplish the same thing, or just rip the bandaid off and start anew. I certainly don't envy the position management is in.
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>pensfan21</b></div><div>I see what your saying, but I don't know if I agree about bringing back the same top 6. If we lose first round this year something has to change. Malkin is great when he has the puck, but has not been great away from it. Also our centers would be 38, 36, and 35 if we run it back, so Trochek at least provides some youth. Letang will hurt us a lot leaving, but I think it will happen, given we can't afford to give him the 5 year deal he wants. Just wouldn't be smart at this point. This team in my mind is more balanced than what we have now. Got more speed (Gaudreau, Kane), got more physical players (Lemieux, Martin, Zadorov, Haag), and got more youth down the middle (Trochek, Domi) and in general with O'Conner. That 1st could be extremely valuable given the Jets aren't good and it could be a lottery pick. Imagine that turned into Bedard. I see what your saying with the Kane issues, but he is so good and has been staying out of trouble so far since he's been back. That allows us to get him at a discounted price and hopefully he improves as a person with this second chance. Top 6 like you said would be nasty, third line not bad, and a 4th line that is very tough to play against. Almost unstoppable goalie duo, Fleury would take so much of the load off Jarry and could be a 1a 1b tandem. The D here is definitely weaker, but that is something we could improve on at trade deadline if it's an issue. I'm betting on Matheson stepping up to anchor the D.</div></div>
Likewise, I get where you're coming from. The goal is to keep the wndow of contention open, and we have different ideas of how to do it. Replacing Malkin with Trocheck is less offense and leadership, but more youth and defense. That just depends on what you value more. I personally still think Malkin is better, but there's a debate to be had there. Having Center depth of Crosby, Malkin, Carter isn't great in creating a young team, but all of those guys are still excellent players despite their age. That's a really good group of leaders on the team, guys with experience winning, who can mentor the rest of the team.
The million (or rather 8 million) dollar question to me is how interested in staying is Letang? You'd think after spending the entirety of an incredibly successful career in Pittsburgh, he'd be doubtful about leaving unless he'd be searching for a cup like Ray Bourque was at the end of his career. Letang has his cups. I wouldn't be surprised if he was willing to compromise with his new contract. If he doesn't, we're in a tough spot. He's far and above the best ufa dman who'd hit the market. The next best options are Klingberg and Manson.
I think RD is a big issue for the Pens. We don't have any exciting prospects at the position. If we get Winnipeg's first for Marino, that's weakening our RD right now for the porential for a good RD in the future. The Pens window is open until Crosby's contract expires at the very latest, and that 1st won't be useful during that window unless we do manage to snag Bedard, or some other NHL ready guy. I honestly don't think the chances of that are high. That being said, I am not willing to lose both Letang and Marino in the same offseason unless we start a rebuild/retool. The other deals made here are not deals made by a rebuilding/retooling team.
I'm still indecisive on Kane. I think Crosby and the rest of the team leadership could keep him in line, and he does bring a fast-paced style of play. But I'd much rather resign Rust. I think at this point in their careers, Rust is a much better player and wouldn't cost that much more than the offer given to Kane. We'd probably be able to keep him if we put in Friedman full time instead of signing Hagg, which I and probably most of the Pens fans would rather do with or without Rust.
I don't really get the whole "tough to play against" thing. Tampa won its cups off of its insane talent, and when the Pens won back to back cups, it was from overwhelming speed and firepower. I think scoring in the NHL is going to increase in the next few seasons. Heck, there are far more point per game players this season than there have been in years, maybe decades. It's already starting. The 2015 draft is entering its prime. Rookies like Zegras and Raymond and Boldy are only going to get better. The next two drafts have high expectations. RobTalksHockey had a good video on it earlier this week. I just don't know if that style of play is going to be the most effective. And tough to play against could mean anything obnoxious, whether it's Brendan Lemeiux biting you, the entire existence of Tom Wilson, or having to play against a team as deep as Florida. All of those things sound tough to play against to me. But to be fair, a lot of this is conjecture.
I guess it just comes down to what direction Hextall and Burke want to take this team. I think we have 2 or 3 more years before the window slams shut for a while, and a good enough supporting cast around the big 3 could squeeze another cup out of them. If Malkin walks, we can replace him adequately to keep that window open, maybe even extend it a year or two. Gaudreau alone probably keeps it open another 2 on top of that. However I can't say the same for if Letang walks. I don't think the defense on this team is good enough to maintain that window of contention. Jarry and Fleury could only do so much to bail us out. If Marino stays and develops, maybe that's a different story. The forward core on this team is stellar, but I don't think they're enough to make up for the step back on the blueline.
Oh boy here I go writing the entire LOTR series for a comment on a hypothetical Pens lineup again.
I don't really like any of these moves except for moving on from MP. I think with the exceptions of signing Johnny Hockey and Max Domi, this is a team that is getting older but not better.
1. Even though Kapanen is having a disappointing season, I'm not going anywhere near that NYI trade. Kapanen is a skilled player, even if he doesn't produce like it. He was on pace for around 60 points in 2021 if we'd have had a full season. He's still young and can bounce back. POJ shone in the small role he played in 2021 as well, and is one of the best prospects the Pens have. And we'd be giving those guys up for a 3rd pairing defenseman who turns 30 next season and a 4th line grinder who's already passed 30.
2. I've been declining giving up Marino for Boeser/Garland 1 for 1, and if I'm the Pens, I'd rather have one of them than a mid-round 1st. The Penguins have very little RHD depth. Moving Marino, especially if Letang leaves, makes no sense. I can admit I'm probably biased, but this defense core is a step down from what we have now.
3. The signings of Gaudreau, Trocheck, and Kane really handicap the Pens, especially Johnny Hockey. Don't get me wrong, that top 6 is absolutely disgusting, but the Pens' top 6 is already pretty good right now. Malkin has said he's already a rich man, so he would probably be able to take a pay cut and get a similar cap hit to Trocheck's here. Resigning Rust should be a priority. He's passed all expectations and is a legit 1st line player, on top of playing both special teams. Pittsburgh could probably resign him for a cap hit only 1 mil or so higher than Kane's without the drawbacks of Kane being worse defensively and a mess of a human. If we don't sign Gaudreau, we could probably use that cap space to bring back mostly the same top 6 and Letang. I honestly think that's worth it.
Now the smaller deals, Lemeiux, MAF, and Domi. As much as I love MAF (who doesn't), a 2x3 for a 38 year old goalie isn't the best idea financially. Absolutely bring him back if possible, but on 1 year deals until he retires. Lemeiux is fine, I guess, but rather keep Heinen around or bring up Zohorna full time. Maybe Boyle if he doens't retire, he's exceeded all expectations. I also would rather keep Carter as 3C than Domi. Yeah, he's old for an NHLer, but he's got 41 point in 70 games so far, and kills penalties. Domi has similar production but isn't as good defensively.
No one is actually going to read this novel.