Oh Pens fans, rejoice! Rejoice!
We are one week away from one of the most fantastic days of the NHL season: Trade Deadline Day.
I am truly a junkie for the day. I've skipped high school classes, college courses, and I've called off work just to sit home and follow Trade Deadline happenings with the TV on, phone in one hand, tablet in the other all while staring at my computer screen and continuously refreshing my Twitter feed. My set-up is very similar to that you'd see of Darren Dreger and "The Bobfather" on TSN.
It's exciting to me not only for who the Penguins may acquire, but also to see what the competition is doing. With the East being as tight as is it is this season, it is absolutely crucial that the Penguins make the best moves possible.
That's what this blog is going to attempt to do.
To Move or Not to Move...Tis the Question
The biggest question every season for the Penguins are do they move bodies in and out or do they stand pat? With a slew of injured players currently rehabbing (Evgeni Malkin, Nick Bonino, Eric Fehr, Beau Bennett), those returning players could make as much of an impact upon their return as compared to if General Manager Jim Rutherford were to make some deals.
I, along with every Pens fan, love to see trades as long as they make sense. For the last two seasons, I didn't believe they needed to make a deal, but this season I feel that a couple may be necessary. I'll hit that up in a few seconds.
My favorite website to research leading up to this holiday is The Fourth Period. Their list of "Top 25 Players Available" is almost always spot on and my main frame of reference. Below, I'm going to list the players the Penguins currently have their names attached to and my opinions on those options.
I'd love to see the Penguins make a move for a defenseman, and that's about it. Maybe two. I believe when the forwards listed earlier are healthy, that's a huge upgrade to the team. No one on the market, within the realm of realistic possibilities can offer what Malkin, Bonino, or Fehr can for this squad.
I do believe that a couple WBS kids deserve to stay on the main roster such as Conor Sheary, Scott Wilson, and Bryan Rust. While I like the play of Tom Kuhnhackl, Kevin Porter, and Oskar Sundqvist, I could see them easily being the ones substituted out of the lines.
To me, players like Jeff Zatkoff, Ben Lovejoy, Beau Bennett, Ian Cole (I say on the fence), Derrick Pouliot and Matt Murray are the best trade chips. Read into it what you will, but I don't risk sending away Patric Hornqvist or Chris Kunitz at this point. Things are finally clicking for them.
There's so much more to cover, but what I can proudly say is that I will be live tweeting the Trade Deadline and offer coverage as best as I can. I'll have write-ups and hopefully a special edition of the Pensimist Podcast to follow.
Stay tuned, folks! Things are going to get very interesting over the next seven days.
And I can't freaking wait!