Draftnik wrote:Abe Frohman wrote:I have a feeling this is just the first shoe to drop.
I cannot see Shero dealing Whitney a week before the deadline UNLESS he wants the new player(s) to get some time to gel during the coming roadtrip. Be that the case, my belief is (based upon nothing but gut instinct, so I have no mythical 'sources') that Shero will likely (in the next day or so) deal Staal and some spare parts (Gil, Satan, maybe even Sykora or Fedotenko) to lessen the cap strain and get a TRUE stud winger (think St. Louis, Heatley, or Kovalchuk) and a banger on the blueline.
Just a gut feeling...flame if you must. I think that IF Shero didn't feel that this team could make a reasonable run in the playoffs, he would have sat on Whitney until the offseason.
Agree 100%. This seems like the first of a series of moves to try and make the Pens a Cup contender for this season. Whitney has been bad for sure, but he was considered part of the core. Now that it has been broken up and the fact Shero sold Whitney at an all time low (I think even the Whitney detractors would agree with that), I think Shero (Lemieux) is focused on winning this season. If Shero weren't focused on this season, it would have made sense to let Whitney train/rehab/condition over the summer, get his mental state in order, get off to a strong start next season, then sell him when his value was higher.
I might not go so far as to say that Shero wants to (or even CAN) make the Pens into a Cup-contender this season, but I think that the potential for playoff revenue (or lack thereof IF the Pens remained a fringe team - as they have been all season) AND the potential for FUTURE returns (as in the OHL prospect) made this a palatable trade. The Pens dealt from strength (offensive defenseman) and addressed a few missing 'pieces' to a good team for years to come (grit, top-6 wing - I assume Kunitz IS - and a large, power-forward type prospect).
With that in mind, Shero is NOT dense, and realizes that the Pens have yet ANOTHER 'hunted' commodity in Jordan Staal - a young, UNDER CONTRACT (a reasonable cap hit for another team), large #1 or #2 center (eventually, IF he understands how to use his size, grows some nuts, AND learns how to find the net) that is expendable on a team with Crosby and Malkin centerring the top 2 lines. Trading Staal SHOULD garner a rather hefty return - and, again, I'm thinking a STUD winger (I'm leaning towards Heatley, but would be happy with Kovalchuk, not AS much St. Louis, depending on other deals the Pens may make, maybe a Frolov, though I do not necessarily call him a 'stud' on the level of the previous 3).
Looking at Heatley (and Ottawa's potential firesale), I would TRY (don't ask me how - I have NO idea) to find a package for both him AND Volchenkov (whom I consider, potentially, a BIG piece on a Cup team akin to Ulfie was when he patrolled the defensive zone - UNpredicatble devastating hitter, MUST be feeared if utilized correctly). However, I would think that, having traded Whitney, this 'package' may be impossible to acquire...