If The Pens Become Sellers, Who's Gettin Dealt?

Well I’m not giving up, but the consensus seems to be that after a 2-3 5 game home stand the Pens playoffs hopes have vanished. After all, the remaining schedule includes Philadelphia (4) (which to me begs the question why do you make a schedule where you play the same team in your division 4 times in 15 days and 4 out of your last 11 games), Ottawa (2), Dallas, Colorado, Detroit, NJ all once. That’s 10 out of the last 19 against elite clubs. But I feel that as a fan you have to have Ian Moran’s attitude! “If anybody thinks we can’t make it, they shouldn’t bother playing the rest of the games, you have to have a never-say-die attitude, go and claw and believe that we’re going to be in it.”

Considering what seems likely happens and the Pens are outside looking in for the second consecutive season, will they really start a firesale, and if they do who will go?

MARTIN STRAKA: The first name that comes to mind obviously because of his $4 million salary. He’s 5’10” of pure heart and hustle, with an offensive touch to go along with it. Amazingly, considering his level of recognition, he’s a career .75 pt/gm player! He’s been injury plagued since his career year of 95 pts in 00-01, but is far past a productive age. His time’s been limited this season, but he’s been averaging about a pt/gm with 16+22=38 in 41 games. Every playoff game I’ve been to, he seems to step it up another level. I feel privaleged getting to see Marty play, and that’s saying a lot from someone who got to see Mario, Yags, Francis among the greats of all time. I’ll probably overvalue him about, but I’ll try to be as objective as possible. I think the asking price would probably be a decent young player and probably a mid-range pick.

As for the teams that would be interested that are in the playoff hunt possibly looking for acquisitions:

NJ: would probably not be interested having John Madden who plays a similar game perhaps a bit more physical and Gionta reminds me a lot of Straka too, so I don’t see the Devs biting when Drury is supposedly available.

COL: Since the loss of Sakic, Tanguay has picked up his play and is likely a sure thing to stay in colorado now, but could Straka be had for Skoula and a pick? I think probably, and I think that is a pretty fair deal. Patrick got a pretty good deal from Lacoix last year for Kasper too. I think Colorado could use a player like Straka and don’t think they’d be too reluctant to send Skoula and a pick.

DET: I just don’t see Straka in a Detroit uniform, but he wouldn’t hurt they’re team. I don’t really know what they’d offer in return, but what if the Pens through in Pushor? A former Wing who has a cup w/ dallas and experience in the playoffs that has picked up his game of late. Could that pry Avery and Bykov, Boileau, or Kuznetsov?? I think Patrick would like the type of player Avery is…Colby Armstrong, the pens 1st round choice 2 years ago is a similar style player and the Pens went after him what some thought was a little early. Avery and change for Straka and Push??

DAL: They’ve got such chemistry, chances are they wouldn’t mess with it, but could the Pens get Morrow? I don’t know. I’d love to see that happen, but I don’t see it likely. I don’t think Morrow is untouchable, but I think Dallas management probably wants him around. I don’t see anyone else on the team that the Pens would be interested in, but again could throwing in Pushor so intice them?

OTT: They want grit, so I don’t think Straka would happen, I don’t know what they’d give up, Marty was in ottawa before and unsuccessful, but that was before his real maturity took place. I could see him playing in Ottawa’s system well though? Any thoughts ottawa people?

NYI: Don’t ask me why, but I can see Straka in an Islanders uni. I don’t know if they are interested in this type of player, but I think he coudl bring a lot to the table for them. Wienhandl and a 2nd? I don’t know where exactly Wiendhandl fit into the NYI future plans going into the season, but he’s done quite well. I don’t think Wienhandl and a 2nd would be asking too much at all. NYI could handle the mid range salary of straka too…

STL: Doubtful unless in a package with more…they probably odn’t want another injury risk at center.

VAN: Probably too high a price to be had for Burke. They said they’d “tinker”, but I think they’d need to do a little too much tinkering to have Straka.

Jan Hrdina:

I think he’d be a great addition to any team, I would be VERY sad to see him go! Good on faceoffs, great hockey sense, decent set up man, solid two-way player, controls the speed and flow of the game through the neutral zone, scores some goals. Overall one of the most under rated players in the league in my opinion!

I think he’d be a good fit in NJ, VAN, STL, WAS…his salary ($1.25) makes him attainable for pretty much any team as opposed to Straka.

I’m curious what CP would want. I really don’t see the point in dropping a salary that low, but I’ve heard his name tossed in there, so…

NJ: Mike Rupp is showing he can play at an NHL level lately…Rupp and a 6th? I really don’t know what Hrdina would command. Berglund? Bicek? Not sure..

VAN: I think he could be a solid addition! 40 career playoff games, low salary, and he could probably be had for Chubarov and 3rd pick. To me I think he’d be worth Matt Cooke, but I don’t know..

STL: Not really sure what they’d offer he would be a solid addition at C with much less health problem history.

WAS: Yet another good Penguin in Washington would be awful, but they’d love to have him, rumors were they wanted him in the Jagr deal but were reluctant to give up Zubrus. I don’t really know, they don’t have much expendable youth. Ciernik (although he’s only a year younger) and a high pick maybe?


Jamie Pushor

He’s playing well lately, could be a nice addition to a team for a 4th or 5th Dman. Vancouver could use his style ofplay probably. He’s probably worth just a pick across the board unless he was packaged.

JS Aubin

Just cleared waivers, but I still think he could be a better back up than what a lot of teams have… and a possible future goalie, he’s still only 25, I don’t know he’d be worth much though. A team needing goaltending like St. Louis probably wouldn’t give him a starting job, but you never know….Look at the Peguins and Hedberg two years ago.

Hans Jonsson & Wayne Primeau

Only players left with salaries $800,000 or above. Worth whatever CP could get for them in my mind…

Penguin fan dreaming:

Straka, Pushor, Aubin to Stl for Varlamov and Jackman

I’d hate to see any of this happen, I like all these guys except for Jonsson and Primeau of course, but whatever it takes to keep them in the Steel City, Mario!



February 27, 2003
The Fourth Period –

As TFP has recently reported, the Pittsburgh Penguins may not be done dealing just yet. This time, however, the Pens aren’t necessarily interested in a dumping of salaries only. Martin Straka, Jan Hrdina and, oddly enough, Ville Nieminen are amongst the potential tradees, and a number of teams are interested.

The Washington Capitals, for one, are once again pursuing Hrdina. Penguins GM Craig Patrick has his sights set on Caps winger Dainius Zubrus, who’s managed to score only 2 goals in his last 15 games. A month ago the Caps were playing well but they seem to be playing uninspired hockey at the wrong time of the year. GM George McPhee may be looking to shake things up.

21 Responses to If The Pens Become Sellers, Who's Gettin Dealt?

  1. Leaf_Expert says:

    I think Straka to the Canucks is a great fit.. but not a smart one… even though he brings great offensive skill, he is also injury prone and comes at a high price.. so I think thats an unlikely.

    Straka to the Avalanche sounds allot more like a better fit, and more likely one…

  2. amok says:

    Interesting post.

    I bet a lot of teams would love to get Straka, but some of the asking prices are either very high or very low. Asking Morrow from Dallas is way higher than just Skoula and a pick from Colorado. I know the Pens need defense, but Skoula and Morrow aren’t even comparable, unless the pick is a first rounder this year since even at Colorado’s slot it’s a deep draft.

    Straka’s salary probably isn’t too high for the Canucks. They’ve sold out 24 in a row and should be looking at home ice for at least one round in the playoffs, so I think the money should be there it just depends what they’d want in return. Pittsburgh could have Helmer and Kurtz for defencemen, but I doubt they’d be too interested. Bryan Allen probably wouldn’t be traded.

    As for Hrdina, he’d look good in Vancouver, too. Chubarov would be a good pick up for the Pens. He kind of reminds me of Hrdina, only he doesn’t get as much quality ice time. But Burke probably won’t trade a player on the team if he can help it…. (guessing from quotes I’ve read in teh paper). Cooke shouldn’t be going anywhere. He’s a decent scorer (should get 40 points this year) and is great on the PK. And he’s probably the most annoying guy on the team for opponents to play against.

  3. bodiddley says:

    hey i know you were just dreaming but every time i here jackmans name i get scared .that guy is great to watch ,the blues have been big on him since drafting him he is our future in st.louis, but its nice to see people notice how good he is.

  4. matteo says:

    Everyone know that the Flyers have draft picks to burn as well as supporting cast type players. I could see Warriner or Marty Murray – maybe Sacco and a couple decent draft picks or something of the sort.

    However, now that the Buffalo deal is done I think Clarkie’s big move will be to get Satan and Zhitnik.

    PS – I know you are dreaming, but St Louis isn’t traading Jackman for 10 Strakas.

  5. mikster says:

    And Buffalo ain’t trading Satan for 100 Justin Williams!!!

  6. Roberts4ever says:

    From all the news and rumours that I hear, I don’t think there is really a market for these guys, only because they are not your typical impact players. I think teams this year want to solidify their team with a star, instead of a character/ role player like Straka and Hrdina….but then again you never know.

    …also, seems like a high price to be asking for Straka, Skoula…I doubt it.

  7. Kraftster says:

    Straka’s played in 82 playoff games man!! had 95 pts. 2 years ago, and is still productive now!! He’s a game breaker in the playoffs!! no way is straka a “role player”…you take his points/game this year and if he’da played in most of the games, he’d be in what you’d call star pt. production!! That’s skoula and a pick and I’m stickin by that!!

  8. Aetherial says:

    St. Louis will not trade Jackman, period.

    Buffalo will be looking for more than what the Flyers would offer. Williams ain’t gonna cut it since his value decreases by about 1,000 percent outside of Phildelphia… he MIGHT be a second liner one day.

  9. AvSfAn01 says:

    The Avs really would be dumb to trade Skoula. If you look at their defensive depth chart, you have D.J. Smith and Chrish Mcallister fighting it out for the 6th spot. That SUCKS. Trading Skoula would mean throwing away what little depth the Avs have on D and that equals playoff suicide.

    Also, why would the Avs need another center. Joe and Peter not good enogh? What Colorado really needs is some size upfront. Scott Parker is the only guy they have of significant size and he has zero offensive talent.

    Avs needs=Defense and Size

  10. Kraftster says:

    Straka’s moved from center…

  11. AvSfAn01 says:

    That doesnt matter. The fact that he is a finesse player and isnt a defender means that hes not what the Avs are looking for. Why do you think they want Gratton? Because he is big and tough and can play in front of the net.

    You also have to see that the Avs have no depth on defense and they CAN NOT trade away Skoula.

  12. Kraftster says:

    I realize they aren’t really 6 dmen deep, I’m just suggesting what I think it would take to get Straka. Vrbata is maybe a possiblity, but I don’t think the Pens would go after him when skoula is there. I am suggesting that is the price for him to be had by colorado. Colorado really has 4 good scoring fowards, I realize they’d prefer one with size, but I don’t really think they have a player of Straka’s style, I think he’d throw a curve ball in there for them. I think he’s more likely to go elsewhere if he gets moved though…

  13. AvSfAn01 says:

    I can see why youd suggest Skoula, what with him being named in virtually every trade rumor all season…

    He really doesnt have a safe future in Colo.

    In my mind though, it would ruin any chance they have to go far.

  14. aaron says:

    There’s a big difference between Bykov, and Kuznetsov and Boileau. Not many ppl realize this (actually, I’m not positive its still true w/ some guys coming back from injuries), but Bykov’s been playing w/ Lidstrom on our top defensive pairing. Not saying he’s too pricy to give up (though I doubt they’d give him up for a forward; we’ve got plenty of scoring depth, and nothing on defense). I’m just saying that interchanging him and those two in a trade is…kinda like the Avs interchanging Martin Skoula and Todd Gill, if you catch my meaning.

    Personally, I don’t see the Wings dealing for anyone the Pens have. Nobody that fits our current needs.

  15. Bishop7979 says:

    I think that you’re undervaluing straka, when it comes down to it when he’s healthy he is a first line left wing on almost any team. And calling him past his prime in my opinon isnt right either, he just turned 30, he’s got 10 more years in the league, yeah hes had some injury problems the last two seasons, but before that he has been a pretty healthy player and given an offseason to fully heal (no 300 pound squat machine accidents) he could easily be back to his 75-80 game seasons w/ 75-80 points. Yes his salary is 4 mil but when it comes down to it if he is traded any team that gets him will be happy to have a player like him at that price. If we are talking trade with the devils i would rather get a guy like gomez, he makes 900k, is about 5 years younger and plays both wing and center much like straka, throw in hrdina to get back a young player or prospect to ensure that NJ has a back up at center when Joe Neuendyke moves on at the end of this season. As far as the islanders, yes weinhandl is a strong looking rookie, but again i have to say this isnt enough return for a player like straka, hes the kind of player that could make yashin at least productive again. I would want at the very least isbister or kvasha thrown in with weinhandl and that pick. Ottawa wouldnt want him, they have enough financial problems of their own without addinc 4 mil to their budget (even though arvedsons contract is up at the end of the year and thats at least some relief). Hrdina i think will most likely go to washington, and most likely for zubrus straight up. Hrdina isnt one of the most underratted players in the league, if he would have taken a step forward from last season’s performance then i would agree, but scoring only 3 even strenght goals this season is a disapointment, and a step back. Granted he is a strong faceoff and defensive forward like you said, but if we can get something resembling a scorer for him I’d be happy. Pushor is gone, his contract is up at the end of the season and with him making 1.3 mil or so he wont be back. we got him for a 5th rounder if im not mistaken so i wouldnt assume we could get anything more than that in return now. Hes a week 5 or 6th defencmen on any team and truthfully it would suprise me if he was signed by an nhl team in the offseason, same with jonsson. As far as premeau goes, if we can trade him please do. he makes a mil + a year and has been horrible at being the role player that is expected of him, I’d take a roll of tape and a bag of used pucks at this point if it meant someone like Endicott could be called up to take his place. The player I’d love to get would be Drury, I’d give just about anyone on the roster short of mario surovy and tarnstrom to add him to the team, and if Calgary is really shopping him I’d be willing to part with some young talent-in-training like kraft beech sivik ect, With the subraction of pushor/jonsson/kovie/laukanen/vujtek/wilson’s contracts the addition of drurys expected raise to 3.5 mil next season should be doable. But much like your jackman comments a pipedream im sure.


  16. Kraftster says:

    Thanks to the last comment, I realize I worded my one sentence wrong. I fell straka is far from being past a productive age! I think he’s got lots of years left!

  17. Kraftster says:

    Good points, and if you read the comment I posted below yours, I messed up when I made it sound like I thought straka was past his prime. I don’t think that at all! I think he’s got lots of years left! I meant to say I think straka is far from being at an unproductive age….he’s got plenty left. I love him and really don’t want to see him go, but after the loss against the preds tonight, and mario not returning, eh…I think they are all but decided on being sellers. I would say we should get more for straka too, BUT look at the last few trades we’ve made. It’s just truely disappointing to even have to think about letting marty go. Or Hrdina for that matter. You bring up good points about him also, I just wish he’d shoot the damn puck….he’s starting to become adam oates. The ice time he gets he should have 200 shots, and he’ll be no where close! I didn’t think of Drury, basically cause I was only thinkin of Straka going to a contender, but that’s a good though, I could go for that, and I agree with you, SURELY after dumping this much we could afford it.

    Off that subject, if you reply to this, lemme know what you think of mario just not coming out for the third tonight against nashville.

  18. guinsfan4life says:

    Patrick got a fair deal from Colorado last year for Kaspar??!? He essentially received a 4th line checking winger!?! How is that a fair deal, Krafster!?! THey GAVE up Kaspar for what they received in return.

    Jonsson is horrible. It is amazing he is still on a NHL team. He has totally shown he is without a pulse in recent games and should be sent to the minors or just flat out released. He sucks.

    Pushor is a 6th or 7th defenseman on any other team.

    You aren’t going to get anything overwhelming for any of the players mentioned. The bottom line is, no matter how much we think these guys are worth, with Straka’s heavy salary (I think it is 4.5 mil) not many teams will bite at that without us having to get shortchanged in the return.

    Hrdina is good, two way forward, but not as good as you suggest. His salary is reasonable, but I think he goes to arbitration either next season or the season after, in which case he’d get awarded far beyond what he is worth. Often times, he passes up shooting opportunities to make a pass, a habit that was formed when he played with Jagr. Why do you think the caps want him now!?!? So they can pair him with Jagr and he’ll give him the puck–not only when he should, but when he shouldn’t. Last season, arguably Hrdina’s best in the NHL he seemed to buck that trend by shooting more. However, this season, he hasn’t proved to be doing that.

    Finally, no player CP gets in return for any of these guys is going to knock your socks off. Most likely it will be draft picks so they can continue the rebuilding process.

  19. guinsfan4life says:

    I disagree in the fact that you don’t think Straka is an impact player. He can be in the playoffs, which would be what any team would need.

    Straka is a character player, a leader on the ice, but not a role player.

  20. Bishop7979 says:

    about hrdina’s shooting, your totally right, he has a great shot if he would just use it, hes a good set up man but he has the skill to be more then that, he is turning into adam oats, maybe thats why he seem to be destined to end up a capital

    ON mario: In general i just thought that it sends a bad message to the fans when he doesnt even come out to the bench for the third, it would be different if he was hurt, or if they were playing tonight (fri) but to have today off, even thought it is a travel day, its just a poor showing by a guy that, on some nights, is the only reason to watch the games. I mean I love seeing guys like Caron (who was hung out to dry last night, can we get orpik up from the minors and not play Jonnson please) and surovy develop, i really do, its not often you get to see that with the guins, its something that jersey and colorado fans take for granted. And with the playoffs still mathmatically possible, going 14-5 is unrealistic, so the one thing to really get behind as a penguins fan is mario vs naslund for the scoring title and to see him sit out against Nashville was just a disapointment. Just makes me feel like that retiring “threat” is more and more probable

    on anouther note, whats your thoughts on Ville’s recent scratchings and the slight war of words the press seems to be portraying going on between ville kehoe and patrick and villes agent.

  21. Kraftster says:

    I totally agree w/ the oates call, in fact I wrote that in a comment to someone the other day. I really hate to compare him to oates too. I agree with what you said about Mario, I thought it was a joke, and it definitely made me nervous about next year. Jonsson is a disgrace, I agree give Orpik the shot. I think Lintner looks pretty decent, Heins looks terrible in his own end, and I don’t agree with sending Kraft down at all do you? I can see maybe he’s underacheived some this season, but look at what Mike Lange was saying in the Nashville game the other night. It’s been about 20 games since anyone outside of Mario, Straka, Fata, Surovy & samuelsson have scored…Sivek I can see, he’s really struggled, and Patrick only considered him a third line guy when we got him anyway. Beech better be coming up with Kraft and Sivek being sent down. Caron totally got hung out to dry (extra disappointing to me I picked him up for my Smallworld fantasy team…ouch)

    I haven’t heard any of the ville rumblings, I go to school in State College, so don’t get much pitts media, just what I can get from the PG online. I think ville’s been playing strong lately….what all is going on there?

    Any other thoughts on the team?

    I think Surovy’s the real deal….he looks solid! other than that smolinski goal which I think was his assignment, he’s even made some nice back checking plays…

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