I feel like the sames things are said, every time this subject is brought up.
1) No, Sutter isn't as complete of a player as Staal.
2) Yes, he's perfect for what the Pens needs out of a 3rd line center
3) Re-signing Staal was never an option. They offered him a similar contract that he was offered with Carolina, and he declined. He wanted to be more than a 3rd line center - a role he would never fill on a team that has Sidney Crosby & Evgeni Malkin.
4) Staal wanted to play with his brother, which killed most trade leverage with Carolina & other teams.
5) Staal, for everything that he brings to the table, was never going to be a PPG player.
6) I don't think it ever came down to Letang vs Staal. However, if it did, then they made the right call. Letang, when healthy & hitting his stride, is one of the top defensemen in the league. Staal will never be considered a top-10 center in the league. With how contracts are inflated for offensive players (example: David Clarkson), I'd rather have Letang locked up at his current $7.25 cap hit than Staal and his $6+ something cap hit for 10 years. Letang is the better value.
7) Shero should be commended in what he got for Staal. Sutter fills the exact role that the Pens needed, while still contributing 15-20 goals per year and they were able to stock pile more defensive prospects with Derrick Pouliot and Brian Dumoulin.
8) Maata wasn't part of that trade, but you can't help but think there was some butterfly effect that with them getting the extra pick and taking Pouliot with the 8th overall pick. If so, then that makes the trade even more incredible, given the way Maata has played this year.
To me, it's pointless to continuously bring this trade up, especially when the stats have maintained the same. Staal still has not "broken out" as far as his offensive game. Sutter is still Sutter. The other parts of the trade haven't been tested at the NHL level yet, nor have they been used to acquire other pieces. It's status quo and as long as things have remained status quo, then the Pens win this trade.