Everybody loves to imagine deals that the Penguins might make by Wednesday’s NHL trade deadline.
But who/what is GM Jim Rutherford willing to give up? Who/what are you willing to give up?
Trade D Derrick Pouliot? Sure, that’s no sweat. But what return would the Penguins get? Who wants a first-round draft choice from 2012 that has shown almost no sign of fulfilling his pedigree?
Trade a draft pick? That’s easy to do, too. But it’s also a slippery slope.
Should the Penguins trade a top prospect like W Daniel Sprong? Or W Jake Guentzel? How about D Olli Maatta? Talent like that is what other teams want. Not a bust like Pouliot.
Some are down on Maatta. Injuries have taken a toll, however temporarily. But he’s just 22, defensively inclined, and a perfect partner for the likes of Kris Letang, Justin Schultz, etc.
There’s no market for G Marc-Andre Fleury right now. Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman traded G Ben Bishop to Los Angeles, and said that was the only deal out there. That means there’s no deal to be made for Fleury.
For the Pens to make an impact deal, Rutherford would almost certainly have to sacrifice valuable young assets. Minnesota got C Martin Hanzal from Arizona in return for first- and second-round picks. Overpayment is in the air.
The answer seems obvious: Trade all our bad players for all their good players.