Questioning the Pittsburgh Penguins Offseason Moves?

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Questioning the Pittsburgh Penguins Offseason Moves?

This is why you shouldn't question the teams offseason moves.

First off, let's look at last years roster at the start of the season.

Malone-Crosby-Recchi
Staal-Malkin-Sykora
Roberts-Christensen-Armstrong
Ruutu-Talbot-Laraque

Gonchar-Eaton
Whitney-Orpik
Sydor-Scuderi

Lets look at the lines come the end of the year.

DupuisMalone-Crosby-HossaRecchi
MaloneStaal-Malkin-Sykora
Roberts-ChristensenStaal-ArmstrongKennedy
Ruutu-Talbot-Laraque

Gonchar-EatonOrpik
Whitney-OrpikGill
LetangSydor-Scuderi

We lost two third liners.  Regardless of where they were picked in the draft, they were third liners none-the-less, a hit-or-miss prospect, a late first round pick, and a second round pick for a chance for the Cup.

So the team that got us to the Cup Finals was better than the team we started out with.  Common sense, right?

That team after free agency now becomes:

Dupuis-Crosby-Hossa
Malone-Malkin-Sykora
Roberts-Staal-Kennedy
Ruutu-Talbot-Laraque

Gonchar-Orpik
Whitney-Gill
Letang-Eaton

And Scuderi and Sydor are on the bench.

The loss of Hossa was a big deal.  Yes.  But Shero did the right thing in re-signing Malkin and Orpik to long term deals.  Especially when Hossa turns out to be nothing more than Roger Clemens on Ice.

Shero turns around and signs Miro Satan to ably (but not fully) replace Hossa, Ruslan Fedotenko to replace Malone perfectly, Eric Goddard as a cheap and more effective replacement for Laraque, Matt Cooke as a more offensive, cheaper pest instead of Ruutu, and a small cast of tweeners (Beech, Billl Thomas, Joey Mormina, Jani Pesonen) to fill out the roster.  We now look at:

???-Crosby-Satan
Fedotenko-Malkin-Sykora
Dupuis-Staal-Kennedy
Cooke-Talbot-Goddard

Gonchar-Orpik
Whitney-Gill
Letang-Eaton

And Scuderi and Sydor are on the bench.

This team is immensely better than the team that started out last season. That team was without Sidney Crosby for almost half of the season, without Marian Hossa for 90% of the season. They were only one point away from the best record in the East with that line up.

The trade deadline leaves one blank spot to fill: Sid's left wing.  You have assets and picks to trade to fill in that gap. The team plays in an Eastern Conference in which no one vastly improved them self. Their odds of getting back to the top are just as good as they were.

In the long term, the Pens are set.  Assuming the Pens re-up Jordan Staal long term for around $3 million or so, the Pens will have $33 million wrapped up for the next 4 years. The Salary Cap could raise around $63-$65 million in two seasons, when the core is set in stone of Sid, Malkin, Staal, Fleury, Orpik, Whitney.  You then have yourself over $30 million to fill in the gaps with.

Shero did the correct thing this off season. Do not stress.  Even if the Pens do not reach the summit again this year, they will be back soon.

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