With details coming in on the trade just announced, my first impression was...meh. After review and a little research, I am absolutely in love with this trade.
Here's why: Chris Kunitz (6'0", 195 pounds, 16 goals, 19 assists, and a +9) brings his physical feisty style to perhaps be that elusive winger for Crosby. He owns a scoring touch but hasn't had too many skilled centers to get him the puck.
Hey Chris, meet Sidney, the best passing center in the game. (Sorry, Joe Thornton, but if Sid had your linemates, Gretzky's records would be in jeopardy.) Maybe now we can see Pascal go to the third line where he belongs.
In the process we send Ryan Whitney to Anaheim to enjoy the sun, perhaps tan up that 6'4", 219 pound frame that he selfishly wouldn't throw around in Pittsburgh. Ater being exposed as a Sergei Gonchar piggybacker, I'm glad to see his $4 million a season come off the books.
But wait, there's more.......in comes Eric Tangradi. Who...? Oh you mean Eric, the 6'3", 207 pound 20-year-old center/winger that came along.
Did I mention that he's the No. 2 scorer in the OHL, trailing only hockey's wonderkid John Tavares by eight points? No? Oh, silly me.
But what about Whitney's point contribution? Letang and Goligoski have shown they can contribute; all that was needed was a thinning of the log jam at defense. By Ryan, thank you!
This clearly is a great move for the Pens. Being two points out of the final playoff spot, you have to wonder did it come to late? It also should not be the last move. They need an edgy, physical, nasty defenseman brought to that blueline to complement the D. Meanwhile, Gill, Eaton, and Satan must go.
This story is far from over...