Penguins Are Buyers Again at the Deadline

Has Ray Shero Done It Again?

3/3/10 in NHL   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

For the past couple of years, the Pittsburgh Penguins have been buyers at the trade deadline, and big ones at that.  In 2008 they made a blockbuster trade with the Atlanta Thrashers, sending Eric Christiensen, Colby Armstrong, and first round pick Angelo Esposito to Atlanta in exchange for Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis.  Those 2 helped the Pens get to the Stanley Cup finals.

Last year, Ryan Whitney was sent to Disneyland, and in exchange the Pens got Chris Kunitz.  Then they claimed Bill Guerin off the waiver wire.  In the end, the Pens were the Stanley Cup Champs.  It seems as though Penguins GM Ray Shero has a knack for making the right move.  He had the gun cocked and loaded for the third year in a row, and on Monday and Tuesday he pulled the trigger again.

First, he made a deal with the Florida Panthers for defenseman Jordan Leopold.  The Pens gave up nothing but a second-round pick in this year's draft for Leopold.  As a veteran defenseman, he can help the Pens out in an area that has shown to be greatly missing Rob Scuderi and Hal Gill (even though Gill can be a big dummy).  After having an overload on defense, Shero fired one more bullet, this time sending Martin Skoula and prospect Luca Caputi to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Alexei Ponikarovsky.  My only question is who he'll replace on which line, but other than that I like both of these trades.  It looks like Ray Shero has worked his patented trade deadline magic again.  The Pens were all but guaranteed a playoff spot without these deals, but now they have a veteran defenseman and one more scoring threat, who could possibly play on a line with Evgeni Malkin in place of Ruslan Fedotenko.

Oh by the way, before the deadline had passed, Marty Skoula got traded again, to the Devils, in exchange for a 5th-round pick.  So how much does this improve the Pens, or does it make them worse, or are they still where they were prior to making these moves?

The Blitzburgh Pit Stop gives these trades a MM-HAH!

BK over and out
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