Pittsburgh Penguins: Which Trade Will Make the Biggest Impact?
The Pittsburgh Penguins have effectively cornered the NHL trade market. In Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow, and Douglas Murray, Pittsburgh has added the most effective pieces rumored to be on the trade block. Ray Shero obviously sought size, grit and toughness to infuse into his squad, and these three bring it in spades.
When healthy, the Penguins now boast the best roster in the NHL. Top to bottom, this team is built to contend for a Stanley Cup right now.
Of the three, Iginla was considered the gem of the available trade targets. Will he have the biggest impact on the team though? Let's take a look and find out.
3. Brenden Morrow
The former Stars captain was the first acquisition that GM Ray Shero made this year. Although he has been injured this season, he still provides toughness, soft hands and a net-front presence that the team has been missing.
More than anything, I see Morrow serving as a space-eater for Pittsburgh. On the power play, the Penguins rarely have someone threatening from the crease area. This could make a formidable Penguins attack even more fearsome.
Five on five, Morrow's ability to park in the slot will free space for the Penguins' talented centers to operate. I'm not sure how much he will light up the scoreboard, but on this team, he doesn't need to.
I like the Morrow pickup, and I think that he'll fit in well for the playoff run. However, I doubt that Morrow will make a huge statistical impact, and that's why he ends up here on this list.
2. Jarome Iginla
Jarome Iginla looked pretty good for Pittsburgh against the New York Islanders, especially considering that he didn't even have a practice slate with his new teammates.
The ex-Flame is a surefire Hall of Famer, and it's rarely a bad idea to add those to your team when you can. For fans who didn't watch many of Calgary's games, Iginla gave them a lesson on why he's so highly regarded. Iginla flashed excellent puck control and a deceptively quick release.
The surprise snag of Iginla is the story of the trade deadline—or at least the time before it passed. It still wasn't the best move that the Penguins made though, even considering the almost laughable price that they negotiated for him.
1. Douglas Murray
Penguins fans, you wanted a big, stay-at-home defenseman who would provide a physical presence. It looks like Christmas fell in March this year.
Douglas Murray has done a nice job of eating up minutes for Pittsburgh, and he has certainly been solid defensively. He's brought a bit of nastiness that the defense lacked, and he's thrived in his role of clearing the crease.
The former Shark fits right in with the Penguins' new/old defense-first philosophy. When the Penguins added fellow hulking blueliner Hal Gill in 2008, they did so en route to a Stanley Cup Final. While there's tons of hockey left to be played, it's looking like it will work out the same way with Murray this year.