Don't you think the winger for Crosby will make at least as much as Staal?
It's all about what you value more. Would you trade Hossa for Staal if you could fit Hossa under our cap (even though you pay him more) and have a less expensive player play a 3rd line center position which are more readily available than a scoring winger?
Thats the key, do you honestly think the Pens can fit Hossa under the cap? Right now, the Pens are about $150K under the cap. That means the Pens would have to get rid of probably $10 million to fit Hossa and replacements under the cap.
Lets say Staal at $3 mil, you lose about $5 mil by losing Gil and Boucher. So, you end up with Gonchar, Whitney, Eaton, Orpik, Goligoski and Letang with no depth at defense. You gain Hossa's scoring, but have to replace Staal as a third line center. You could do that with Talbot, but again you lose some depth.
It is doable, but at the cost of a lot of depth. All of a sudden, these injuries that we are seeing would be catastrophic without the depth you could have had without Hossa.
I am not against trading Staal at all, but I don't want to lose a lot of depth to do it. IF the Pens can get someone about Staals age (maybe a few years older, but not much more) who can play the wing better than Staal can, then I am all for it. However, adding another $7 mil plus salary replacing Staal removes a lot of the depth that is keeping the Pens afloat this season.
The Pens biggest weakness, as I can see, is the board work in the offensive zone. The cycling that they were so good at last season. I couldn't tell you who they ought to get, but I don't think they should be getting a huge contract in return.