Could Marc-Andre Fleury be traded?

CKNW in Vancouver is reporting that the Pittsburgh Penguins may be looking to trade Marc-Andre Fleury. His poor performance at camp and during the preseason (excepting Saturday’s loss) has made Jocelyn Thibault the possible number one goalie.

CKNW reported that Ray Shero was looking to trade Fleury to a Western Conference team.
However CDKA Pittsburgh is reporting that Fleury will start in net against Philadelphia on Thursday.http://kdka.com/sports/local_story_275121505.html

Pittsburgh goalies Thibault and Sabourin would have to clear waivers, but Fleury wouldn’t have to. This may be part of Shero’s thinking as he probably doesn’t want to lose Thibault or Sabourin to waivers.

What sort of return could Fleury garner?


49 Responses to Could Marc-Andre Fleury be traded?

  1. thinice987 says:

    The Penguins have NO interest in trading Fleury.

    Why would they be scared of losing Thibault? No one in their right mind would claim him. A goalie who has barely played professionally in almost 3 years … and when he has … he has been terrible.

    The Penguins may be seeing what a player like Fleury could return, but there is no way the Penguins would trade Fleury to feel comfortable with their other goalies.

    This is just a stupid rumor.

  2. CrosbyMalkin66 says:

    In light of this, i wanna add that their have been multiple rumors about the Penguins being interested in possibly acquiring Nabokov…. but in my opinion Nabokov is an older version of Fleury… i think its all BS and that this will be worked out and Fleury will be the starter for the whole season.

  3. OldGoalie says:

    You mean an older version of Fleury…with 3 30+ win seasons in his 5 NHL years, a much lower career GAA, a much higher career Save %, and playoff experience, right?

    I like Fleury as much as the next guy…probably more than most, in fact…but let’s not kid ourselves. He isn’t Nabokov yet, and he isn’t going to be for at least a few years. If the opportunity to trade Fleury for Nabokov were to present itself, Shero would be irresponsible not to at least seriously consider it.

    The real question would be “should he do it?” That all depends on what you think is important and what you’re willing to give up to get it. But if you think that the goal position is weaker than the D position for the Pens right now (and some people do think that…from Shero and Therrien’s comments in the Post Gazette in the last little while, they may be among them), and if you’re the type of GM who believes that developing goalies from within is an etremely risky proposition (and some do think just that – that it’s better to let other teams develop netminders, then snag them as free agents once you know what they can actually do)…you might make a trade that looks like this.

  4. oilers_rock says:

    I think Fleury would have been a way better goaltender then he is now, if he hadn’t screwed up with team Canada. I think we all remember that. It was like shooting himself in his foot.

  5. Rico420 says:

    Won’t happen Thibault and Sabourin could both easily clear waivers.

  6. dcz28 says:

    I doubt the Pens will trade Fleury just because Thibault and Sabourin played better in a couple of pre-season games. Thibault will play a couple of games and get injured like he always does. I don’t know much about Sabourin but i doubt unless he is a talented young goalie that someone would pick him up on waivers since the goalie market is already full of teams looking to move a goalie and most teams are already set with their goaltending tandems.

    Moving Fleury might come back to haunt them just like it did for the Islanders with Luongo. Fleury is still only 21 years old which is still very young for a goalie to play in the NHL. I think the Pens and their fans should be a little more patient with him as in a couple of years he might be one of the best young goalies in the league…it all depends on what they can get for him since i’m sure the Pens fans don’t want a trade like the Naslund for Stojanov deal just so they don’t lose Thibault or Sabourin on waivers.

    If i were the Shero i wouldn’t even want Nabokov and his big salary since i’ve always thought Nabokov was overrated and him being outplayed by Toskala and Schaefer last year doesn’t help his cause…i’d stick with Fleury unless i could get one hell of a deal for him and i’m not talking just propects and/or picks.

  7. The-President says:

    If he goes, I say the Kings get him, so they keep building their future dynasty.

  8. CrosbyMalkin66 says:

    Jackass… im not talking about numbers here… im talking about goalie style. They both have the ability to make the big time save and both are quick as hell…. so take it easy and keep it in your pants.

  9. thinice987 says:

    Ya … and the Kings could give up their next 4 first round picks for him too.

    Lets build a dynasty and give away nothing to get it.
    WOOHOO …. great comment.

  10. goleafsgo1991 says:

    The only two goalies in the whole Western Conference I would trade Fleury for would be Luongo, Vokoun, or Kiprusoff. I might move him for Turco, Bryzgalov, or Toskala if it was a good steal, or maybe for Theodore, Nabokov, or Leclaire.

    Possible deals (just throwing them out there)

    Vancouver (they’d be idiots to trade away Luongo just after they got him):
    Luongo + Bourdon+7th for Fleury+Staal+1st

    Nashville (they’d be idiots to trade away Vokoun when they’re a cup favourite):
    Vokoun+5th for Fleury+Whitney

    Calgary (they’d be idiotic enough they’d be forced to forfeit their respectability for a LONG time):
    Kiprusoff for Fleury+Malkin+Welch

    Dallas:
    Turco+Boucher for Fleury+3rd

    Anaheim:
    Bryzgalov+Perry+5th for Fleury+Welch
    OR
    Giguere+Ryan+3rd for Fleury+Welch

    San Jose:
    Toskala+Bernier+2nd for Fleury+Ouellet
    OR
    Nabokov+Bernier for Fleury+3rd

    Colorado:
    Theodore+Svatos for Fleury+3rd

    Columbus:
    LeClaire+Picard for Fleury+Bisonnette

    ***These trades may seem to inflate Fleury’s value…but you’re banking on 12-15 years of all-star goaltending…you think

  11. goleafsgo1991 says:

    The only two goalies in the whole Western Conference I would trade Fleury for would be Luongo, Vokoun, or Kiprusoff. I might move him for Turco, Bryzgalov, or Toskala if it was a good steal, or maybe for Theodore, Nabokov, or Leclaire.

    Possible deals (just throwing them out there)

    Vancouver (they’d be idiots to trade away Luongo just after they got him):
    Luongo + Bourdon+7th for Fleury+Staal+1st

    Nashville (they’d be idiots to trade away Vokoun when they’re a cup favourite):
    Vokoun+5th for Fleury+Whitney

    Calgary (they’d be idiotic enough they’d be forced to forfeit their respectability for a LONG time):
    Kiprusoff for Fleury+Malkin+Welch

    Dallas:
    Turco+Boucher for Fleury+3rd

    Anaheim:
    Bryzgalov+Perry+5th for Fleury+Welch
    OR
    Giguere+Ryan+3rd for Fleury+Welch

    San Jose:
    Toskala+Bernier+2nd for Fleury+Ouellet
    OR
    Nabokov+Bernier for Fleury+3rd

    Colorado:
    Theodore+Svatos for Fleury+3rd

    Columbus:
    LeClaire+Picard for Fleury+Bisonnette

    ***These trades may seem to inflate Fleury’s value…but you’re banking on 12-15 years of all-star goaltending…you think

  12. goleafsgo1991 says:

    The only two goalies in the whole Western Conference I would trade Fleury for would be Luongo, Vokoun, or Kiprusoff. I might move him for Turco, Bryzgalov, or Toskala if it was a good steal, or maybe for Theodore, Nabokov, or Leclaire.

    Possible deals (just throwing them out there)

    Vancouver (they’d be idiots to trade away Luongo just after they got him):
    Luongo + Bourdon+7th for Fleury+Staal+1st

    Nashville (they’d be idiots to trade away Vokoun when they’re a cup favourite):
    Vokoun+5th for Fleury+Whitney

    Calgary (they’d be idiotic enough they’d be forced to forfeit their respectability for a LONG time):
    Kiprusoff for Fleury+Malkin+Welch

    Dallas:
    Turco+Boucher for Fleury+3rd

    Anaheim:
    Bryzgalov+Perry+5th for Fleury+Welch
    OR
    Giguere+Ryan+3rd for Fleury+Welch

    San Jose:
    Toskala+Bernier+2nd for Fleury+Ouellet
    OR
    Nabokov+Bernier for Fleury+3rd

    Colorado:
    Theodore+Svatos for Fleury+3rd

    Columbus:
    LeClaire+Picard for Fleury+Bisonnette

    ***These trades may seem to inflate Fleury’s value…but you’re banking on 12-15 years of all-star goaltending…you think

  13. OldGoalie says:

    Touched a nerve, did I?

    Let me start out by saying that, of the two Pens jerseys that I own with the Las Vegas Gold trim (which I really don’t like), one is a #87, but the one I got first is a #29.

    Now…again…let’s be honest here. The next time Fleury makes the big save, it will be the first time…and he’s never even seen the NHL playoffs yet. That’s the critical knock on him…he gives up soft goals that decide games. I honestly wish it were otherwise…he’s a likeable kid, and he most definitely has some of the tools to be dominant…most noticeably, he has the stuff you can’t teach. He’s one of the fastest goalies post to post that I’ve ever seen. His balance is good. He has a laser-quick glove hand.

    But look at his overall game, and let’s talk about “goalie style” instead of numbers. He spends too much time down on the ice, even for a butterfly goalie. He very often drops to the butterfly too quickly. He doesn’t square to the shooter all that well. His angle choice is frequently suspect. His stick work has improved, but is still average (at best). He leaves his crease too easily and too often for a guy who isn’t a great skater (although the new rule about playing the puck below the goal line only in the trapazoid has helped him). His decision making is often…um…unorthodox. His rebound control is horrible way too often. In short…while a lot of this is stuff he can learn, there’s no guarantee that he will. To date, he has been far less than the sum of his potential, period.

    Deep down..or maybe not so deep down…you know that. If you actually have a substantive argument to make that Fleury is even remotely in the same class as Nabokov at this point in his career, I would absolutely love to hear it…but since your best shot was “jackass,” I’m pretty sure you don’t.

  14. OldGoalie says:

    Touched a nerve, did I?

    Let me start out by saying that, of the two Pens jerseys that I own with the Las Vegas Gold trim (which I really don’t like), one is a #87, but the one I got first is a #29.

    Now…again…let’s be honest here. The next time Fleury makes the big save, it will be the first time…and he’s never even seen the NHL playoffs yet. That’s the critical knock on him…he gives up soft goals that decide games. I honestly wish it were otherwise…he’s a likeable kid, and he most definitely has some of the tools to be dominant…most noticeably, he has the stuff you can’t teach. He’s one of the fastest goalies post to post that I’ve ever seen. His balance is good. He has a laser-quick glove hand.

    But look at his overall game, and let’s talk about “goalie style” instead of numbers. He spends too much time down on the ice, even for a butterfly goalie. He very often drops to the butterfly too quickly. He doesn’t square to the shooter all that well. His angle choice is frequently suspect. His stick work has improved, but is still average (at best). He leaves his crease too easily and too often for a guy who isn’t a great skater (although the new rule about playing the puck below the goal line only in the trapazoid has helped him). His decision making is often…um…unorthodox. His rebound control is horrible way too often. In short…while a lot of this is stuff he can learn, there’s no guarantee that he will. To date, he has been far less than the sum of his potential, period.

    Deep down..or maybe not so deep down…you know that. If you actually have a substantive argument to make that Fleury is even remotely in the same class as Nabokov at this point in his career, I would absolutely love to hear it…but since your best shot was “jackass,” I’m pretty sure you don’t.

  15. papichulo71 says:

    I’m pretty sure Thibault has already cleared waivers.

    Fleury’s stock is falling. I don’t think he would come even close to getting traded for Luongo or Voukon.

  16. CrosbyMalkin66 says:

    I made it already… its real simple, they are both built the same way. They both have the ABILITY to make the spectacular diving save or the quick glove save. Nabokov won the Calder in 2001, much like Fluery, had he stayed in the NHL the whole year, could have challenged and possibly won the Calder his rookie season. I can not honestly say that Nabokov is a better goalie mainly becuase was 16 when Nabokov won the Calder trophey and he is 10 years younger… As for you Fleury jersey, i frankly do not care one bit, i never called you a fleury hater… just simply a jackass for taking my words and misconstrueing them so that you can have an argument. Fleury is quicker, has more upside potential, younger, has been playing behind a much much weaker defense, has never truly been given the number one starter position so that he could become comfortable, and last time i checked you were not a credible source to critique Marc *****ing Andre Fleury the first overall draftpicks skills. So you watch the penguins games, now your an expert at how marc andrew fluery should play goalie, he drops too quickly you say. Well, I trust the people the penguins have working over you and well, hes starting this week so apparently hes done something right to earn that job…. so Nabokov is good, but i think ill take my chances with Fleury

  17. CrosbyMalkin66 says:

    Marc Andre Fleury… my bad on that haha

  18. Williams1505 says:

    i would have to agree…thibault…is gonna get hurt…saborin..is probably gonna play as well as caron did…cause i don’t really remember him playing in any NHL games…Fleury is gonna be the main dude….AND i really thing this is BS…that they thinking of trading fleury….Its not his fault that they won’t put a stable defense infront of him! THis is crap…my opinion..not gonna happen

  19. goalieman32 says:

    Sabourin did play one game last year and gave up 4 goals in the first perion, but he was an allstar in the AHL so that may garner some interest

  20. goalieman32 says:

    While i dont really want to add to a heated arguement and intensify the flame, there are some things i would like to clarify for both of you. A spectacular diving save is nice to see, it often is a result in poor positioning in general. Fleury is out of position and that is why he amaizing saves, but for all of those amaizing saves, 2 to 3 of those chances go in. Fleury is starting this year simply because the alternatives suck. He should have spent more time in the minors and developed and honed his angles and positioning, as well as his consistency, but the Pens faithful put the presure on Craig to bring him up before he was truely ready, and I believe this is why he has struggled thus far in the NHL.

    Also, a starting spot is never given. It has to be earned. Just because he is a number one draft pick doesnt mean he is automatically the starter. Biron was a first found pick and was replaced with Miller, a 5th rounder who is better and deserved to be the started. He earned the spot, and for Biron to retake that spot, he has to earn it as well. Nabokov earned his starting position from Shields. Fleury has never earned the right to be a number one goalie in the NHL.

    Also as a comparason, dont use technique. They are completely different styles, as Fleury plays a butterfly style with lots of on-ice lateral movement and Nabokov is a stand up goalie who dives to recover from rebounds, which are prevelant in the standup style. If you need hard evidence of this differencre, look at their stances. Nabokov is a lot tighter and his legs arent out as wide as Fleury’s and are actually quite close together. Nabokov also keeps his legs a lot straighter than Fleury also.

    And in closing, neither should be thrown in the same boat. They play different styles, they were drafted at completely different ends of the draft, and only one of them has earned the number one job. Amaizing saves dont qualify as a similarity, because every goalie makes mistakes and has to make an amaizing save. Patrick Roy made amaizing saves as does a goalie in the ELITE (Brittish hockey league) and there is no comparason between the two as far as skill leve is conserned.

  21. goalieman32 says:

    If Fleury is moved, a top notch goalie porspect would have to come back the pens way. From what I understand, this years draft is rather light on goalies and they dont really have anyone in the system that could become an NHL starter. No one in the West has a plethora of goalie prospects except San, Jose, and they dont need a goalie at all. Right now the market for goaltenders is zero, and with the Fleury stock dropping faster than he does, the Pnes would be fleased in any trade involving him.

  22. OldGoalie says:

    It’s only heated on one side. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, regardless of how unfounded I tend to think that it is. For my own part, I tend to agree with you…my points were (and have always been) that for all his potential, Fleury has yet to prove to anyone that he can even be a decent #1, let alone a franchise goalie, and that there are glaring holes in his game. Because of those factors, I do not regard him as anything like an untouchable on the Pens roster, and if the opportunity to trade him for Nabokov presents itself, Shero would be irresponsible not to think long and hard about it.

  23. OldGoalie says:

    Dude, you want to be loyal to a player…any player…knock yourself out. Heck, you want to hate me because I refuse to worship at the altar of Fleury until he actually proves himself, so be it. But save the angst for someone who cares…it adds nothing to the forum, and makes it look like you have nothing of actual substance to say.

  24. OldGoalie says:

    Return on investment is definitely something to consider…of course, if a team like San Jose was using the deal as a salary dump, it throws the whole thing out of whack.

  25. mojo19 says:

    how is Fleury worth 4 first round picks? He’s not even that good. LA could trade Cloutier and a little bit more for Marc Andre Fleury.

  26. CrosbyMalkin66 says:

    The kid is 21, most goalies dont even hit their prime til mid 20’s. Fleury shows flashes of brilliance at time and just has to work on consistency. Also, on top of this.. I like him becuase he is a stand up guy who could have chosen arbitration and for how much the penguins have dodged paying his bonuses over the last 3 years im surprised he didnt. That is why I like him and believe that he is going to be an elite goalie… NO WAY YOU TRADE FOR NABOKOV WHEN YOU HAVE FLEURY ON THE TEAM… are you retarded!!

  27. OldGoalie says:

    Alright…now THAT is something we can talk about. I do agree with you that he could have taken a much harder line with the Pens. I also agree that you have to evaluate his youth…and his potential upside…and what he does well.

    I personally believe that Fleury will be an elite goalie in about 5 years…but he hasn’t proven that he will yet. And that time frame may not be good enough for the Pens…in 5 years, Crosby, Malkin, Staal, Whitney, etc. will all be negotiating or in the midst of contracts that do not fall under the rookie cap, and that might mean that they are not all still here. Yes, he shows flashes that suggest he may be something special sooner rather than later…but so did Jim Carey.

    The question really is “does Shero value Fleury’s upside, or does he think that the Pens are a true #1 goalie away from making the playoffs right now?” And at the end of the day, that boils down to whether you think the Pens’ D or their goaltending is more to blame for their inability to hold scores down.

    I personally think the two are so interrelated that you really can’t separate them, and I would therefore lean toward keeping the kid even though he has some serious flaws that he needs to correct. Immediately.

    But there is a school of thought that says if you have an inexperienced or iffy defense corps, getting a top flight goalie is the only way you can even hope to compensate for that with a single player move. There’s another school of thought that says goalie development is so uncertain yet so critical to the success of any team that you are better off not fooling with it and, if you want an uber-goalie, just sucking it up and paying a free agent…in short, you let other NHL teams be your farm system for that position.

    If you subscribe to either of those philosophies, or if you wonder about Fleury’s ability to correct his flaws in a time frame that will allow you to take advantage of having Crosby, Staal, Fleury, Whitney, Malkin, and so on all together on the same team, you might very well seriously consider Nabokov for Fleury.

  28. BruMagnus says:

    I tend to agree, despite having written the piece myself. Although why did Pittsburgh bring 3 goalies to the final cut?

    The answer is because both Thibault and Sabourin would have to clear waivers, and both would be picked up. Yes, Thibault has had an amazing camp according to many, or at least has looked better than Fleury, who has been shaking with low confidence.

    Fleury incidentally doesn’t have to clear waivers.
    And Pitty neither wants to lose their AHL star, nor have to pay half of Thibault’s salary if someone got him going the other way (after having already bought out Caron’s contract, who even found a new team).

  29. BruMagnus says:

    Don’t forget Fleury was thrown into the No.1 position based on the absolutely pathetic performence of Thibault, then coupled with his season-ending surgery, there was no choice but to leave Fleury in with the worst defense in the league.

    Had he been the goalie on say Carolina or NYR last year, I bet he’d have done as well as Lundqvist and Ward.

  30. BruMagnus says:

    If Fleury won’t develop for another 5 years into an elite goalie, that means the Pens won’t have to pay him elite money until 5+ years, which is excellent for the position they will find themselves in 3-4 years.

  31. BruMagnus says:

    Dany Sabourin

    2005-06 AHL – Baz Bastien Memorial Trophy (Best Goaltender)
    2005-06 AHL – Harry “Hap” Holmes Memorial Trophy (Fewest goals against)
    2005-06 AHL – First All-Star Team

    So ya you could say that “he is a talented young goalie that someone would pick” up on waivers.

    TSN.CA has him as a No. 2 goalie. I think he’s better than Sebastien Caron, who was bought out by Pittsburgh and managed to find a place in Chicago (though they mighta sent him down).

  32. BruMagnus says:

    Sorry but that’s ridiculous.

    I’m from Vancouver and any Canucks fan knows Cloutier’s worth.

    Hey Dan, say hi to Lidstrom next time you see him!

  33. BruMagnus says:

    Ummm no *****ing way Kipper is worth Fleury and Malkin… AND Welch. Maybe Kiprusoff + iggy for Fleury and Malkin. WOuld be good to have a scorer with Crosby.

  34. BruMagnus says:

    Nabokov+Carle for Fleury+Welch

  35. OldGoalie says:

    Financially, yes…but there might be on-ice consequences of him not reaching his potential that they’re not willing to accept for 5 more years. Or even 2 more.

  36. OldGoalie says:

    Don’t know much about Carle…other than that he had a really solid college career and that he appears from his stats to be an offensive guy. Not sure the Pens can afford to tip their blue line too much more toward offense, though, particularly at the expense of Welch, who may actually turn into a decent defender.

    If I’m Shero, I probably don’t do this…but if the offer is Nabokov for Fleury straight up, I would probably lose a little sleep before deciding.

  37. OldGoalie says:

    There is DEFINITELY that to consider…I had left it out of the Nabokov discussion, but had MAF played behind San Jose’s D last year, I guarantee he would’ve had better numbers across the board. Of course, he would also have seen the playoffs…

  38. mojo19 says:

    Believe me, I’m NOT a Dan Cloutier fan.

  39. CrosbyMalkin66 says:

    I think Fleurys problems early are good to get them out of the way. Look at Lundquist, he did so good his first year that it is going to be nearly impossible for him to repeat that… therefor from now on hes gonna be on the downslope (even though he might not necessarily be). With Fleury, once he gets on a roll he may never stop. Lundquist is going to always get comparisions to that rookie season and whats wrong if he isnt performing to that potential… also scorers are going to catch onto Lundquists weaknesses in his sophmore season. Im just saying all this to try to prove that Fleury is in a great position to turn his career into a flourishing one this year becuase even though all the hype of being a number 1 pick people arent holding him to a standard because of an amazing rookie season… hes just simply going to slide under the radar i believe and one year… BOOM shock everyone

  40. mtlfan11 says:

    What about Jonathan Bernier? Stupid comment

  41. pensfan29 says:

    Marc-Andre Fleury will never leave the Penguins…. ever simple as that, hes a key part of the future here and you dont give up on prospects after only playing the equivalant of one full nhl season, thats just stupid.
    The penguins were to concentrated with putting asses in the seats than making sure fleury gets developed properly, his 03-04 season he played on 4 teams, how could he develope????? Give him time… he’s a future HOFer along with lehtonen

  42. FlamingHomer says:

    I wouldn’t bother to repeat anything that came from CKNW.

  43. dcz28 says:

    Thanks for the info as i didn’t know much about him. With the cap space the Pens have they could easily keep all 3 goalies like the Wings and Leafs are doing since they also have goalies that have to clear waivers to be sent down. I think the Pens should do that for 10-20 games just to make sure that the good pre-season play of those goalies (Thibault and Sabourin) can continue into the season…besides Thibault will likely get injured if history is any indication and open the door for the 3rd goalie to play.

    Personally i would not trade Fleury based on pre-season games since i think he can be sent down without having to clear waivers and called up if one falters or gets injured. I’m not sure what teams are willing to give for Fleury but it would have to be a very good deal for me to trade him.

  44. goalieman32 says:

    Had he played on either team, he would have spent the year in the minors and he would have stayed there until he had proven himself there, then he would have had to prove himself in the bigs, which he hasnt. He actually bested Ward in regular season gaa and sv%, because ward sucked the big one in the regular season. As for Lundqvist, he faced exactly the same shots as Fleury in only 3 more games, so he had the same opportunities as Lundqvist and his d was only slightly worse. I remember one Ranger game Lundqvist was scored on by Rosival for one of the goals and Rosival was on top of him for another. Had Fleury been thrown in with either of those towns, they wouldnt have made the playoffs unless it was on the shoulders of the backups. he would have been hard pressed to make the team out of camp. I have said for a while now that Fleury was overrated and unable to carry the Pens, and unfortunately so far this has proven to be true. The pens failed to follow up with goalie picks and now they have no quality prospects in the system.

  45. OldGoalie says:

    So what do you do if one of the rumors turns out to be true? Do you give Fleury up to SJ for Nabokov? Or to LA for Jack Johnson and LaBarbara (Mark Madden was reporting this was a possibility in Pittsburgh yesterday…personally I think he’s a moron and tend to discredit almost everything that comes out of his mouth, but hey, it’s out there)?

    My own feeling tends to be that you build your forwards and your D through the draft, but you build your goalies (at least at the NHL level) through free agency or trades. Let the rest of the NHL in effect be your farm system for goalies…that way you always get more or less known and proven commodities in net (although you’ll overpay for them). If you draft a kid that turns into the next Nabokov (i.e. a lower choice that pans out), it’s a nice bonus, but you basically draft goalies for your AHL team. Because of that, I’m not too terribly put off by the Pens’ lack of top flight goaltending prospects…at least not long term.

    Short term, though, the Pens are a team that has a disproportinately high need to at least be competitive and make the playoffs, if they want to stay in Pittsburgh. The playoff buzz…the attendance at the arena…the bar and restaurant sales…none of that has happened while any of the current top level city and county elected officials have been in office. Something like that would give the team at least a little more leverage than it currently has (which is virtually none) in its quest for a new facility. If a couple of personnel tweaks can get this team into the playoffs, they might very well have the motivation to do it.

    So once again, the question kind of comes down to “does even a proven #1 NHL goaltender make the Pens into a playoff team?” I don’t think that he does. The defense is still, um, suspect (not that I’m a gigantic Barry Melrose fan, but he more or less summed it up on ESPN last night when he said “the Pens’ defense acts like it thinks ‘checking’ is a city in China”). They lack a true big time finisher. They’re incredibly young. The list of things that they don’t have is pretty long…and in my opinion still far outweighs the list of what they do have (spectacular potential at center).

    My thinking is that, unless a spectacularly great deal falls into Shero’s lap, the Pens will view this season as a means to an end…literally time that they just have to get through while maybe developing some young players and seeing what they really have to work with…before next year’s free agent class. If they’re going to make a move toward rapid, drastic improvement, though, I don’t think it’ll happen before summer of 2007…and that suggests to me that their goaltending for this year is kind of going to be whatever it is, as currently constituted.

  46. goalieman32 says:

    Personally i like Mark Madden, but that just goes back to by far one of the funniest bits he ever had when the Forge were still in town on Neville Island and had a chance to win the championship and still didnt even sell out. but thats beyond the point, and this rumor has been circulating since Crosby and Johnson are good pals, and everyone wants to see Crosby happy. Personally I dont see the trade going through, simply because the Kings have alwready gone with Cloutier as a starter and Garon as a backup and therefore dont need Fleury. also, I dont think that Labarbara hasnt proven that he can play in the NHL. I could see the pens trading Fleury for Biron and I believe that it would benifit the Pens, but with Miller in net it doesnt look like that is a possibility unless it is to shed some payrole. Aebischer may be a possibility, but the Habs have a tremendous depth in goal already. One trade that I believe that the Pens could make would be Sabourin Oulette and Whitney for Schauefer/ Greiss and Georges, plus a 3rd/2nd rounder. Its a stretch, but I like both Greiss and Schaefer and both could be starters in the NHL, especially with the Pens. Then send Fleury to the minors and let him develop there for a year or two and have him come up when Thibault finally retires. Welsh takes Whitneys spot and Georges will develop mire and put on some more muscle in the minors. Probably wont happen, but its a good trade none the less.

  47. goalieman32 says:

    also, as far as goalie development, you have to have a home grown goalie as they have worked well with other teams. Look at Lehtonen inn atlanta and Ward in Carolina, or anyone from the Sharks orginization, the Rangers of the current age, or the Devils, even the Sabres. All have developed the goalies that they drafted and all have good starters. Look now at the teams that did it through trades and free agency, teams like the Hawks, the Leafs, and last years Tampa Bay. they had terrible goaltending. It is still a possibility to find the odd gem for cheap (like Kipper), but usually any quality goalie will cost too much and any risky pickup falls apart.

  48. OldGoalie says:

    Forget Sabourin…Vancouver claimed him off waivers this afternoon.

  49. goalieman32 says:

    that sucks. they could have gotten something out of him. this should almost assure that a trade for a goalie will be comming, since now the pens have no depth

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