Posted 2:02 PM ET | Comments 0
Before I get started on this short writeup, I do realize the comments that have come out recently and that there's MAYBE a 1% chance of this actually happening.
I'm totally in favor of the Pens making a run at Kesler. Without a doubt he's one of the best two-way forwards in the game and has one of the most cap-friendly contracts given what he returns on the ice.
Flashback to 2006 when the Pens picked Jordan Staal 2nd over Toews (oops). I still think about it frequently what could have been. Nonetheless, In the years that followed, the Penguins would become a matchup nightmare for any team, with the best 1-2-3 punch in the salary cap era.
Making a move to get Kesler would return this team to matchup nightmare status. As we all know, the third and fourth lines have been among the leagues worse this year. If Sid, Geno, Nealsy, or Kuni don't score, the Pens lose. It's really that simple. Adding Kesler immediately solves this problem. He kills penalties. He'd give Sid a rest on face-offs. He scores goals. And perhaps most importantly, he pisses off opponents in a way very few across the league can do. Pretty much the ultimate skilled pest in the league today.
The stories out of Vancouver is that Kesler is anything but enamored with Torts. Haven't heard that before. No doubt Bylsma had to be impressed with this mans toughness in Sochi as he was one of the best forwards for the US team. And most players across the league would love to play for Disco Dan, so there's no doubt that Kesler would waive his NTC to come to Pittsburgh.
The asking price? My guess is Sutter, Pouliot, and a 1st. And I'd do that deal every time, even though there's no doubt in my mind that Derick Pouliot is going to be an offensive force from the blue line in this league in the very near future. However, proven talent on a team built to win right now beats prospects every time.
I see almost no chance of this happening, but as we've seen in years past with acquisitions of top flight players like Hoss, Iggy, Morrow, Kuni, and more, Ray is not afraid to pull the trigger on high end trades. In all likelihood this doesn't happen, but if it does, I think we immediately go back to talking about how virtually unbeatable the penguins will be.
These next five days can't go fast enough.