Something Up Patrick's Sleeve?
After dropping four straight and struggling with consistency on what was supposed to be an offensively explosive team, something has to be up GM Craig Patrick’s sleeve. Anybody remember the good ole days in the 90′s when Patrick would pull off a blockbuster trade at unexpected times, most of which the Pens would benefit greatly (please exclude Marcus Naslund to the Canucks for Alex Stojanov and a decade of regret, enough said) Pittsburgh seemed to always bring in players with a lot of potential or who were struggling, either way simply in need of a new home where more opportunity lay ahead of them. I’m talking about guys like Francis, Tocchet, Kovalev, etc.
All questioning of Ed Olyzck’s coaching and the evident goaltending problem (now solved with the permanent arrival of Fleury) aside, now seems to be a better time than ever for Patrick to make a move. Bottom line is the underachieving, revamped team full of skilled veterans trying to find their niche again along with many young rookies making a name for themselves have lost 4 straight. Consistency has been a problem. Something obviously has to change. The Pens are already going to lose money but their season is far from over.
I like sending one or two of the offensive minded defenseman like Gonchar, Tarnstrom, or Jackman, along with Fata and/or Koltsov to a team like Columbus for Zherdev and Adam Foote. This would benefit both teams because Zherdev was just demoted to the AHL but has potential and would definitely complement countryman Evgeni Malkin when he makes his debut, as well as Crosby and Christensen. Foote would provide the defensive security the Penguins are in dire need of. The Jackets in turn, would acquire some speed and grit up top, and some skilled D that can QB a powerplay and put the puck in the net. If this all seems too ridiculous maybe Patrick could look at the Islanders who are looking to ship a few of their slumping defensemen.
I’m hoping for something, anything. What do you think?