LET THE DEALING BEGIN

The NHL might have something for Pittsburgh sports fans who have nothing to hold their attention other than The Most Annoying Franchise in History.

Do you like trades and trade rumors?

The NHL Draft is tomorrow night and there are lots of rumors and there have already been some major trades. If you watched the Blackhawks in the playoffs, you had to notice Dustin Byfuglien. He’s a 6’5″, 257 lb. power forward who played a huge role in their run to the Stanley Cup.

He was traded to Atlanta as part of a nine player deal. The Blackhawks get a first and second round pick in the draft as part of the deal. They’re the two picks that the Thrashers got when they traded Ilya Kovalchuk to New Jersey.

The Boston Bruins had one of the worst offenses in the league last season and they picked up Nathan Horton from the Florida Panthers. He hasn’t lived up to his potential since being picked third overall in 2003, but he’s only 25 and could still become a 30–40 goal scorer.

The Canadiens traded a guy whose name will be a dirty world in Pittsburgh for a longtime, Jaroslav Halak, to the St Louis Blues last week.

There are lots of big name players out there who could be traded. There’s actually a rumor circulating among Toronto Maple Leafs fans that the Penguins could be trading Jordan Stahl to Toronto for Tomas Kaberle, one of the best defensemen in the league.

According to STLTODAY.com Tampa Bay’s new GM Steve Yzerman is shopping Ryan Malone around.

TSN is reporting that the Penguins are looking into trading the negotiating rights to Sergei Gonchar. They can’t trade Gonchar, but they could find a team willing to pay his asking price and get something for him before he becomes a free agent tomorrow.

Jason Spezza, the Ottawa Senators number one center, is probably going to be traded.

Things should get more interesting as we get closer to the first pick in the draft tomorrow night at 7.

  • Donn Nemchick

    Question for the crowd. – What ever happened to Christine Simpson? I did not see her on Versus during the playoffs nor at the NHL Awards event. I opine – she was a class act who knew how to interview the players — I did especially enjoy her swooning of Sydney last year, but that is another story for another time!!

    • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

      No idea. Can’t say that I missed her all that much, though.

      • Frank

        We have traded our 3rd round draft pick in 2011 to the Philadephia Flyers for the negotiating rights to Dan Hamhuis…

        http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10176/1068512-100.stm

        Not bad at all if we can get him locked up before July 1.

        • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

          Nice.

        • mickey

          the flyers made a trade with the pens

          he must not be that good

          • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

            They couldn’t sign him. They traded his rights. Maybe the player didn’t want to sign with anybody yet.

          • Frank

            According to Rob Rossi, Hamhuis wanted “a guarantee of top defensive responsibilities”. Considering that Philadelphia is stacked defensively, I imagine they were not willing to guarantee Hamhuis anything and I can’t say that I blame them.

            On top of Philadelphia not wanting to guarantee Hamhuis “top defensive responsibilities”, the Flyers are also in the hunt for a goaltender and according to TSN the Flyers have come to terms with San Jose on the signing rights to Evgeni Nabokov.

            “the flyers made a trade with the pens

            he must not be that good” – Mickey

            Tell that to Rick Tocchet. The same Rick Tocchet who put up 48 goals and had over 100 points in 1992-1993.

          • Frank

            “I sure hope Shero doesn’t sit still this Summer like he did last Summer. He missed out on some good opportunities last year. I just have a bad feeling that the Capitals are starting to out distance themselves in the East. If they get Volchenkov as rumored, they are going to be tough to beat.

            I think Gonchar and Staal are expendable. Not that they aren’t good players, but you have to give up something to get something.” – Niblick

            Niblick, I agree with everything you said, except for your opinion of Jordan Staal.

            First. I do not want to see Shero cave in and give Gonchar a long-term deal at $5.0 per year. The guy is 36-years old, his defensive game is slipping and he has missed 77 regular season games over the course of the last two years. I respect what Gonchar has done for this team over the years, but it is not wise to gamble your future over what has been accomplished in the past.

            Second. I’m all for bringing in Volchenkov. Shero is trying to sign both Hamhuis and Gonchar. I would rather see us make a strong and legitimate pitch for Volchenkov and Hamhuis. Both Gonchar and Volchenkov are rumored to be asking for around the same amount of cash, so what is the difference from a cash point of view?

            Third. While it’s not the most popular opinion in Pittsburgh, I think it’s time for players like Goligoski and Letang to be given larger roles. Both players have shown signs of being good and capable offensive-defensemen and possibly with Gonchar gone the pressure will push them in the right direction. Also, another year under the belt tends to help younger defensemen, who tend to mature slower than forwards.

            Fourth. I would have a very hard time parting ways with Jordan Staal for a number of reasons. His age for starters (21). What he brings to the team from a penalty killing and defensive standpoint can not be underestimated. He has scored over 20 goals in each of the past two seasons while playing next to guys named Cooke, Kennedy and Dupuis. While not horrible, they are not exactly the Hossa’s and Kovalchuk’s of the NHL. He was a Selke finalist for a reason.

            At the end of the day Niblick, Shero knows more about the game than all of us put together. Very much like you, I just hope he rebounds with a better offseason compared to last years.

          • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

            Staal is going to be an immovable monster when he’s 24 or 25.

          • Frank

            Gonchar to Ottawa – 3 years, $5.5 million per year, no-trade clause.

            Talk about getting hosed. Great to see Shero stuck by his guns.

            Michalek to Pittsburgh – 5 years, $20.0 total.

            Excellent deal for the Pens. He’s only 27, plays a physical game and is known for blocking shots. Exactly what we needed back there in my opinion. Love it.

  • jordan

    I hate using the computer.. It makes me lazy with grammar and punctuation, and I always come off as illiterate

  • jordan

    Alan Muir at SI.com did a mock draft(yes i know they’re meaningless).. But he has the Penguins taking Dylan McIlrath.. Muir says that he is a physical defenseman, not a puck-moving one.. Like Chris Pronger.. Not saying that he will be that good, because I have no clue.. But if the kid is what Muir says he is, then I’ll be estatic.. Still hope the Pens resign Mark Eaton

    • jordan

      ecstatic

  • Scootermojo

    1) What’s The Most Annoying Franchise in History?

    2) Dustin Byfuglien is seriously overrated and overpaid…he’s the equivalent of John Druce for the Caps in 1990, Chris Kontos for the Kings in 1989 and Ryan Malone for the Pens (pick ANY year)…which brings me to…

    3) It’s no wonder Yzerman is shopping Malone around…HE SUCKS!!!!! Always has…he only got the press he did around this area because he’s from here…can’t skate and I’ve seen orange pylons play better D than him. I was so happy when he left. I never understood the outrage at Hossa when he took LESS money to go to what was a better team at the time…all the while Malone took the money and ran all to do nothing but play golf every April and May…he was the sellout not Hossa. I the Pens trade for him, which I think is highly unlikely, I seriously might consider never going to another game again.

    • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

      1. Your Buccos.
      2. We’ll see
      3. Malone played a major role in the Penguins getting to the Finals in ’08. They could have used him on the power play last season. I don’t get the outrage over Hossa, either. I also don’t blame Malone for going for the cash.

      • Mike

        Byfuglin had a GREAT post season but only scored 34 points in 82 games this year. Matt Cooke had 30 and will cost 1.8M vs 3.0M. In the salary cap era I’ll take Cooke. Right now Byfuglin is good but a little overvalued.

      • Scootermojo

        1) Damn, I thought you were gonna say the Squeelers….that’s my pick. ha ha

        2) Yeah, we will see…but his track record isn’t too hot save for one conference finals…again, John Druce.

        3) I have to respectfully disagree with you about Malone in ’08…I think he’s the modern version of Rob Brown. He looked completely lost against Detroit. He had a grand total of 1 assist in that series. Against the Rangers, which were a seriously bad and overachieving team, he had a whopping 1 goal. Take away Game 5 against Philly in the Conference Finals which he had 3 points (2 goals, 1 assist) and he had 1 goal and 2 assists. And Game 5’s numbers were produced because he took 7 shots…guess where those passes were coming from?

        I don’t blame Malone (or any other athlete) for going for the money but the press around here REALLY misjudged him as a need for the Pens…EASILY replaceable. They could’ve done just as good if they traded him for 2 jockstraps, a puck bag and a box of condoms.

  • mickey

    what do you predict the pens will do, john?

    • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

      I don’t think it’s possible to predict. So much depends on what the other teams want to do. I’d be surprised if Malkin or Staal were traded.

  • Mike

    I couldn’t believe the trading of Halak. He had like the 4th best save % the last two years PLUS that incredible playoff run. Habs should of paid the man and traded Price.

  • Niblick

    I sure hope Shero doesn’t sit still this Summer like he did last Summer. He missed out on some good opportunities last year. I just have a bad feeling that the Capitals are starting to out distance themselves in the East. If they get Volchenkov as rumored, they are going to be tough to beat.

    I think Gonchar and Staal are expendable. Not that they aren’t good players, but you have to give up something to get something.

  • Joe

    I think things will look a little different for the NHL and the Pens after this weekend but only time will tell. I would hate to see Staal go, with the signing of Cooke we kept our third line (one of the best third lines in the league in my opinion) together and I don’t want to see the center piece of that line go.

    By the way, you spelled Staal’s name wrong John…. :)

    • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

      I can’t get STAHL out of my head. Blame it on Stahl Plumbing.