I find it funny how people use Goligoski's and Whitney's NHL experience as reasoning for the return that came to Pittsburgh, and yet many of the same people (not necessarily you) were the ones ripping Whitney and Goligoski for being "garbage" and incapable of playing prominent roles in the NHL. Additionally, before either was traded, these are the people who were saying, "there's no way Shero gets anything of value for Britney or Golisukski."
If a team perceives Despres to be a good fit for its system and near NHL ready and has a surplus at a position, it could -- or would -- be willing to deal for Despres and give up quality to get him. And, by quality, we're not talking about a rental or an overaged veteran.
Am I saying such a trade is out there? No. I'm simply saying that a highly-touted prospect from a team known for its depth of defensive prospects very easily could yield a quality long-term top-six forward return. I'm thinking of a late-20s, 50-60 point winger. Some examples: Pacorietty, Wheeler, Burrows, Gagner, Versteeg, Weiss, etc. None are to-flight wingers, but all are quality and capable of helping this team.
Missed the point. the pont is you can't get what we got for those two if we traded while they were in the minors, not even close. And there are very few teams that would give up a 50-60 point winger for Despres or any of our dmen unless its the deadline and the situation is perfect. Everyone is tied for first place right now, and other than one to two teams making a round or two of the playoffs would go a long way financially.
Anyways what is the point of drafting tons of purely puck moving dmen if we are going to dump them off for dime a dozen forwards?
No, no. I got your point loud and clear. And I disagree with it. I'm not saying it will happen -- or even that Shero and the Penguins want it to happen. But I am saying it could happen and that it's far from illogical, as you and others suggest.
There are many teams out there right now that have no chance of competing in the short term, yet have a bright future. Of these teams, there may be one or two that have an abundance of wingers, quite possibly wingers that they realize won't be with them when they achieve success in a few years. They may see an opportunity to acquire a future top-pairing defenseman who may be a year away from the NHL (or more appropriately, from NHL success) by trading away a player they know will be gone in a year or two anyway.
Now, you mention that it is pointless to trading a puck moving defenseman for a dime a dozen forward. That's fair. But is a 50-60 point winger a dime a dozen player? Is Kunitz really that ordinary? He pots 50-60 points, hits, forechecks, plays quality defense, and compliments the league's best center -- while also showing an ability to play well with any linemates his partnered with. Just because a player "only" scores 50-60 points doesn't make him a dime a dozen player.
Obviously you disagree with my opinion -- and that's fair. We're here to discuss and disagree. But what I don't understand is why people who have seen Shero acquire some legitimate players for pieces that were perceived as complete garbage would rule out the possibility of Shero turning Despres (a highly touted prospect who is very near NHL ready) for a long-term, albeit not superstar caliber, scoring line winger.
Goligoski (third pairing, struggling, disliked in Pittsburgh) for Neal AND Niskanen
Whitney (hated by fans, diminishing skills, injury history at a young age in Pittsburgh) for Kunitz AND Tangradi
Armstrong (valuable third liner), Christensen (shootout specialist), Esposito (plumetting stock for two years) and a 1st rounder (very late) for Hossa AND Dupuis -- I will mention the caveat that both Hossa and Dupuis were rentals, and Hossa walked, while Dupuis re-signed
I would say 1/5 Pens fans would have expected any of these trades was possible. In fact, my guess is most likely would have laughed if any of these trades was suggested ahead of time on a message board like LGP -- yet Shero pulled them off by means of legitimate negotiation skills and because professional GMs and scouts for professional teams know much, much more about players and prospects than most fans could even dream of knowing.