Much has been said and many players have been suggested for the Pens in order to boost up this year's lack of playing and deficit of scoring.
I am not presuming to compete with the knowledge and background of some of the writers who have posted articles on this topic, but I cannot stop thinking about the numbers...the future at expense of the present and the something that I call “Dynasty”.
In fact, this issue could be turned into something from a whole new perspective and, even if adjustments to a team can and should be done mid-season, they must not happen just for the sake of action.
Side comment: I believe that the way to build a team for a "decade" in any sport is to assure and retain 4-5 untouchable players and then "play around" with quality/price ratios and bargain with titles, recognition, and achievements. I would say that this was one of the major keys for the most successful team in NHL for the last 10-15 years.
Let me “shout out” some trade possibilities.
Untouchable players for Pens in the next 10 years:
Cap overated players:
Marc-Andre Fleury ($5M) / Chris Kunitz ($3.7M) / Ruslan Fedotenko ($2M) / Mark Eaton ($2M)
Anyway, back to the trades and what’s wrong with the Pens: Here's a different approach. (This shouldn’t be understood as “tomorrow deals” and the fact is that, even for me, sometimes this just seems to be plain nonsense or some form of delusion. Nonetheless, I shall go ahead with it)
Suggestions (some players in a short run, others in a longer one):
Jaroslav Halak or Simeon Varlamov:
around $3M to $3.5M and any draft pick
Can't this be pulled off? In short terms, the target is to get better goalkeeping cheaper, so let’s just consider the idea and stir the tanks.
(Note: I would prefer Cam Ward or Tomas Vokun, but that's impossible.)
Patrick Sharp or Bobby Ryan:
around $4M to $4.5M and draft pick
The first one based on the fact that the Chicago Blackhawk's cap is about to blow up, so let's just try to explore it.
The other name would be preferable (even if it is a long shot), and he would certainly be a great asset (maybe even an untouchable) and quite worthy to throw in a couple draft picks (in this case it makes sense using them).
Above all, adding a sniper to Pens' line up is way overdue—it is a painful issue and a most needed one. These smell terrific don’t they?
Note 1: Alexander Radulov could also be quite an interesting deal if he's willing the cut the BS and play among the best.
Note 2: Enforcers/Power forwards—give Eric Tangradi a chance. I'm sure his quality ratio is higher than Kunitz and his goal scoring won't be lower.
Maxim Afinogenov or Sergei Kostitsyn:
around $1M to $1.5M
Since he's good enough for Russia's National Team along Malkin, I rest my case. Kostitsyn seems a rather interesting up and down winger and, if he could be "turned" within a reasonable ratio (tops $1.5M), he could be a great asset to the Pens.
Tim Gleason or Marc Staal:
around $2.5M to $3M
Gleason might sound like a crazy idea, but it’s just my way of raising the idea of someone that can throw their body at anything, take the pain, and lead by example. As to the “brother,” well, I would have all three of them and he will be a great defensemen in the near future.
Overall 12.7 Vs 10.5 (max $12.5M)
But maybe that’s just bad math and out of orbit shooting.
Additional note: If you forget Fedotenko replacement (Max Talbot can do it differently and better), bump up Mike Rupp or Tangradi to the lineup and lose Bill Guerin, you'll make room for someone really worthy of $4M.
Oh well, this might be a ticket to the asylum, but I would prefer to be "stripped out" of reason than being at least "half right" about it.