There are a lot of people in Pittsburgh who still think Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal will remain Penguins their entire careers, it's just not going to happen. Sidney Crosby probably will, but that's due to his "Face of hockey" status and his ability to better himself every season. Malkin is still one of the top three players in the league, and most likely the world. He's a great playmaker and has the best shot on the Penguins' currently. But he's making as much as Crosby, and has been inconsistent and lazy at times. Like all great players, he tries to take matters into his own hands too much, but sometimes it's costly for the Penguins as Malkin has been refusing to dump the puck and chase since the start of the season. Everyone else buys into Dan Bylsma's mentality and system, get the puck deep and go to work. Malkin has given the puck away too many times, he refuses to dump and chase and would rather try and work his way through multiple defensemen.
So if you would trade Malkin, who would you trade him for? Well, there's always the predictable "Malkin for Nash and Vermette" trade that pre-teen NHL 10 fanboys create in their NHL 10 dynasties. There's also the LA pipe-dream in "Malkin for Dustin Brown, Drew Doughty and Alexander Frolov". But let's be realistic here, what do the Penguins REALLY need? If you said a two all-star wingers, you're wrong. If you said two great shutdown defenders and a NHL ready winger along with a 1st round pick, congratulations! Nashville is the ideal target here, they have probably the best defensemen in the league behind Nick Lidstrom in Shea Weber. Could you imagine Shea Weber in the East? You're probably asking yourself, why Shea Weber? I'll tell you why: First of all, he's an excellent skater and that fits well into the system that Dan Bylsma has implemented. Two, he's possesses great size and physicality which is what Ray Shero likes in his defensemen. Three, he's a right-handed shot and get quarterback a PP. Four, he's a very underrated defensemen defensively and he can be used in shutdown situations.
Is that it? Only a defensemen? Well how about two? Ryan Suter is another defensemen that comes into mind, he looked FANTASTIC this season and Olympics. He's another defensemen who possesses, skill, skating ability, defensive prowess and a good scoring knack. If the Penguins wanted, they could also try and bring in UFA and teammate of Weber and Suter, Dan Hamhuis. Now with Suter and Weber back defensively, this gives the Penguins arguably the best defense in the East. It also gives two defensive lines that have matching right and left handed shots (Weber - Orpik) (Letang - Suter).
Is that it? Two defensemen? What about a winger for Sid?!!!!1 Hang on, I'm not finished. Patric Hornqvist would be the ideal winger for the Penguins. He's 23, he's got great speed and energy. He's also a very chippy player and gets the majority of his goals around the net, he LOVES crashing the net. Is this not what the Penguins have been wanting for a while? A guy who's able to screen a goalie and scoring within the blue paint? Now don't get me wrong, Hornqvist isn't just someone who crashes the net and scores "garbage goals", he isn't Scott Hartnell. He possesses skill as well, he's got a good hard shot and an accurate one at that, he anticipates well and also seems to be open.
On top of all this, you get a 1st round pick.
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