(Pittsburgh, PA)—Pittsburgh Penguins General Manager Ray Shero completed his three week reshuffling of his hockey club Wednesday afternoon by grabbing former Islanders captain Bill Guerin for a conditional draft pick, claiming winger Craig Adams off of waivers, and assigning winger Miroslav Satan to their Wilkes-Barre farm club.
Shero didn't have the luxury of waiting until the trade deadline to start remaking his under performing hockey club. He sent coach Michael Therrien packing on February 16th and shipped out defenseman Ryan Whitney to Anaheim on February 26th for winger Eric Kunitz and prospect Tangradi. Kunitz has already chipped in five points for the team on this road trip and is showing a knack for something that the Penguins simply forgot how to do all season: crash the net.
Today's moves fill holes both on and off the ice. Free agency had stripped the club over the summer of its veteran leadership, but Guerin's arrival should help the Pens stabilize the situation off the ice while giving interim coach Dan Blysma another usable option on Sidney Crosby's wing.
The best part of the deal might be the cost, virtually nothing. Guerin will cost the Pens no more than a third round draft choice should they find themselves still playing in May and his multi-million dollar contract vanish from the Pens bloated payroll once the season ends.
Guerin may or may not be enough to push the Pens into the playoffs this season, but his acquisition points to more upheaval this summer. The team just doesn't have the room under the league's salary cap to take on another $4 million contract and seems destined to cast Guerin, Satan, and Ruslan Fedotenko out this summer. Guerin is here to patch over the mistakes and shortcomings of last summer's free agent exodus and nothing else.
Did Shero do enough to salvage the season? Perhaps. But more importantly he has at least attempted to save the season without denting the team's still bright future.