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?

7 Responses to Something Up Patrick's Sleeve?

  1. Hockey_Fan_99 says:

    If you think Columbus will trade foote and zherdev for a piece of sh!t defensemen and a guy who cant score if the net was 20 feet wide then you are surely on crack

  2. Spree says:

    Please inform yourself more before affirming something; Zherdev was sent in the minors because the team has a week off and the coach want Zherdev to have the most icetime possible so when Nash returns, Zherdev will be ready to play with him and Federov. The coach even said himself that the young guys were sent to the minors so they get icetime during their week off.

  3. wingerxxx says:

    I hate to say, but the last thing that the Jackets need is to get rid of their best defensive defenseman in Adam Foote. They already have one of the elite offensive defensemen in the league in Bryan Berard. Duvie Westcott also isn’t bad in this area. Zherdev apparently was sent to the AHL to get more playing time, I wouldn’t read too much into that. He is a big key component of Columbus’ future, even if he hasn’t been having a great year so far. Columbus would probably be happy to give Pittsburgh Luke Richardson in a deal, but not Foote. Certainly not Zherdev as well. Gonchar along with Fata and Koltsov for Zherdev and Foote would be a suicidal (and one-sided) deal for the Jackets. I think Pittsburgh would love to make a move, but that’s not it.

  4. Kraftster says:

    Yes, it seems ridiculous. Yes, that’s more or less a video game trade. That’s roughly equivalent to the Penguins trading Fleury and Gonchar (of old) to NY for Jason Ward and Tom Poti. I personally disagreed with sending Fata and Koltsov down. I didn’t think it was appropriate or warranted. But, nonetheless, they were demoted for a reason. Aside from being fast and working hard, they are pretty bad. They probably have contests in practice to see who can MISS the net at a better rate than the other. Then they just go skate back and forth as fast as they can. Tarnstrom and Jackman are both solid Dmen, and if anyone is going to get dealt right now, it will probably be one of those 2, if I had to pick I’d say Tarnstrom. But it will be Tarnstrom if the team has ample cap room, Jackman if the cap room is less.

    Consitency has been a problem is an understatement. Everyone is on Olcyzk, and while I think there have been some flaws in his coaching, if you have been in this league for as long as these veterans on this team have and you are having a hard time getting up for games, then you have a problem with yourself. The coaching greats can inspire, yes, but you’ve got to have the fire somewhere in there, and for a lot of these guys right now it appears that there is nothing to be kindled.

    Nothing needs to be said about Crosby, he has surpassed every expectation. Christensen is not going anywhere any time soon, except on to people’s ROY radar (granted behind A LOT of great young talent). Whitney is in the NHL to stay, and the youngsters Hussey and Ouellet have had some strong moments as well. Leclair is really starting to play, and Recchi is getting back to his early season form. Palffy has been a pleasant surprise to me in his own end of the ice and has looked his best in the past 10-15 games. Hopefully his groun only keeps him out for one game.

    As repititve and cliche as it has been for the Pens to say this year, I think this is probably the best time to be saying that “they are this close to turning the corner”. If the PP, which looks down right atroscious in the past few games can turn it around, I feel like this is the best group of a fairly regular lineup with actually consistent lines that the team has had all year. You can actually see what you are going to be getting from their lines, and what they’ve been giving is bordering on “consistent”. Realistically, this needs to be the last time that they are saying that they are on the cusp of turning things around following a losing streak of 3 or more games, or this season will be all but lost.

    If the Pens make a deal, they are going to have to find a team that is actively searching, because the only guys they really have to be dealing off of their NHL roster are Jackman and Tarnstrom. I’ll say it again, I’d love to see them try to deal for Brylin closer to when Elias is set to come back. That is a situation where the Devils will probably not want any NHL salaries coming back their way, so maybe he could be had for a guy like Anshakov or Salmonsson + a WBS Pen or draft pick. Really the Pens have a great group of young prospects that could be dealt, and for salary reasons, thats probably what the Devils will be looking for.

    I wouldn’t expect a Cullenesque trade from CP or the Pens this year though. Unless things take a drastic change in the next 2 months and they are 5 or better in the conference. They won’t be making a big deal to finish 7th. If they pull of a blockbuster it will be cause they are trying to make a run, which is looking more and more like a tough bet to happen this year.

  5. BUTTMAN says:

    nice post… agree with it for the most part.

    no corner to turn in sight for this team though…

  6. guinsfan4life says:

    Kraftster…what in the world are you watching on your tv? Tarnstrom and Jackman are NOT solid d-men. If they were solid, we wouldn’t be posting in response to them being traded.

    Recchi hasn’t scored a goal since the eigth grade picnic…and Leclair since his orbital bone was broken and now his groin is acting up so he won’t play tonight.

    They’ve apparently been on the cusp how many times before of “turning it around”. The simple fact is that when you lack certain ingredients to turn it around, you all of a sudden don’t just start winning.

    Trades that happened in the past will not happen any more. The salary cap won’t allow it. Plus, Patrick appears to have lost his aggressive nature to go out and make deals. How long did it take to get the number one goalie on the roster? Even if he wanted to make a deal, what does he have to trade? Palffy? He has been playing very well with Crosby and has been the teams hottest player. Can’t trade Recchi, that would be a PR nightmare, LeClair isn’t going to get you much…so what else is there? Gonchar’s contract is prohibititive…so they’d have to take another back…

    This team will not get much better than it was a couple weeks ago when it strung together a couple wins. This is what we have, the best thing to do is look forward to next year with Malkin and Crosby.

  7. jxo136 says:

    I’m not sure I understand your comments… When Kovalev traded for Kovalev, Francis and Tocchet, none of them were struggling at that point in their career…

    When Patrick traded for Kovalev, Kovy was coming off a 23-goal season. The next season, he matched his stats almost exactly with the Pens (same amount of goals and assists, only he played 4 more games, went from a +22 to a +2 and took 18 more shots with the Pens – hardly an improvement). It wasnt until three seasons later that Kovy had a break-out season, scoring 44 goals.

    Francis, at that point in the season, scored 21 goals in 67 games, only 3 less than he had in the previous 81 games. Assists were comperable, as well. These numbers were comperable with virtually every season thereafter.

    And, although I don’t have any concrete numbers, memory tells me that Tocchet was generally considered the 2nd best power forward in the game (behind Keven Stevens) when he joined the Pens, a title that I would hardly give to a struggling player.

    With that being said, what do you really mean?

    Furthermore, what makes you think Columbus would want Tarnstrom, Jackman, Fata or Kolstov? They already got a shot at Fata and Kolstov, to obtain these players for free… why would they accpet them in a trade for Adam Foote, a former co-#1 defenseman on a Stanley Cup Championship team? Foote, although older and slower, provides Columbus with a steady blueliner and one hell of a leader.

    Finally, if Zherdev was just demoted to the AHL, what makes you think that he would benefit the Penguins, who are constantly promoting and demoting AHL-level players from the undefeated WBS Penguins?

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