The trade deadline is one of the most entertaining portions of an NHL season. Rumors abound, and the casual fans' fantasy world explodes.
Don't be ridiculous, Pittsburgh.
The Penguins are not going to make a major move as the trade deadline approaches.
We all know general manager Ray Shero is quite capable of pulling the trigger on a major deal, as he provided fans the services of sniper Marian Hossa in 2008.
How well did that work for the team?
Yes, they did make it to the Stanely Cup Finals, and were two games from bringing home the prize, but did it validate the necessity to make a major move every time the team is in playoff contention?
Last year, Shero was intent on adjusting the roster without eliminating role players or quality prospects from the organization. Acquiring Bill Guerin for a draft choice and landing Chris Kunitz and Eric Tangradi for Ryan Whitney not only tweaked the roster, but salvaged important prospects and draft picks.
And, of course, it brought the Stanely Cup back to Pittsburgh.
Shero has a reputation for making the right move at the right time, and the opinions of some fans willing to propose ideas of trading center Evgeni Malkin are a bit premature...
And ridiculous, absurd, and, quite frankly, unintelligent.
Malkin isn't going anywhere any time soon. He's under contract at a reasonable figure for several more years. Despite a drop in production this year, he is far from reaching his prime.
Additionally, as he ages and his game develops, his trade value will only increase.
Is he someone fans can consider a "Penguin for life"? Well, you be the judge. But as the end of his contract nears, the rumors will only increase.
But do not be unintelligent. He is going to be in Pittsburgh for this year's playoff run.
As will most of the current roster heading into the stretch run of the season.
Players who have underachieved or are not signed past this year, aside from Malkin, are those who are on the block. Then again, if they are on the block, and, specifically, have underachieved this year, how easy will it be to move them?
Don't look to see a much different team heading into this year's playoffs. The cap figure is tight, and the locker room is as well. Breaking team chemistry by adjusting the roster may not be the best idea.
In the end, though, only Ray Shero has the ability to prove our thoughts right or wrong.
And his decisions, quite frankly, will promise the fans another deep run into late May and early June.