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ON • Canada • 2017 Years Old • Male
Hextall was brought in as the Pittsburgh GM to right the ship due to his experience in building winners. The logic of ownership being that Hextall knows how to build a team up and Pittsburgh desperately needing it.

It's a match made in heaven as years of cup-chasing and draft pick splurges have left Pittsburgh in hockey purgatory. Good enough maybe for a 7th-10th spot, but nothing more than that. Faced with a slumping team and a declining core, Hextall has his work cut out for him.

Yet, as if a hard job wasn't already hard enough, ownership have added an extra tidbit in a "Win Now" mantra. The owners amnesia seems to have glossed over the fact they have been trying this since their heyday several years ago. It hasn't worked up until now and isn't about to begin anytime soon. The team has degraded too far.

Worse yet, it handicaps the type of trade Hextall will need to make if he is going to fix this team properly and avoid the band-aid solutions of the past.

The Penguins are literal swiss cheese up and down the lineup with all the holes they have. There is no easy fix with the trade of a fringe player or a depth signing.

Looking across the three positions they are not looking so good.

GOALIES
Not a pretty sight in net right now with De Smith and Jarry. These guys have not been able to bail out their team. AT ALL. Sure, they haven't been helped by the D, but they have been far from good. Where was Pittsburgh in this summers goalie market?

OFFESNE
How times have changed. The big two look mortal now as age settles in. Malkin and Crosby can no longer carry it all on their own. This team needs more from the line up overall. As a team they sit 23rd in GF, 13.9% on the PP and a -8 in goal differential. Yikes.

DEFENCE
Wow...what to say.... I like the rookie Joseph....and Letang....Well....I guess he has the potential to regain some form... But as for the rest; they need an upgrade. They sit 21st in GA. Though somewhat to their credit they are at least 11th in the league in PK.

So not looking too good positionally. As an organization they are sitting poorly in the draft as well. Pittsburgh possess only their 2nd and 5th round picks in the 2021 draft due to trades made the last year.

So, how does Hextall fix this? Definitely not by trying to bring in people to play with Crosby and Malkin. It's too far gone for that. Rutherford showed there was a limit to what they could do.

The only way to fix it..... Is to trade one of them.

Yes I said it.... It has to be done. You could make the argument of Letang, but I don't think he nets the return needed. Hextall will have to deal one of them. How he will do that and remain competitive is beyond me, but nothing changes facts.

Pittsburgh has to give it up. They have to trade Malkin or Crosby.

You may ask why I simply don't say Malkin given Crosby's venerated status within Pittsburgh. I won't be cliche and cite Gretzky, but I will cite potential return for him over Malkin. Malkin is a star and will put up points, but he has not been great to start. While unlikely, it could dampen his return in a tough trade market.

So thus, the potential remains that Sid could be the one to go to fetch the return needed.

That all being said, whether you think its Sid or Malkin, one of them HAS to go. There is no way this team does anything different otherwise.

What do you think? Can Hextall fix the team without trading one of them? Or will he be doomed to repeat the mistakes of his predecessor?
Filed Under:   Nhl   Hextall   Trades   Malkin   Crosby   Pittsburgh  
February 11, 2021 4:39 PM ET | Delete
No, Crosby and Malkin are in the drivers seat. You win 3 Cups and I believe they were the MVP each of those playoff championships, you are owed a small debt in return. That debt may be honoring their contracts. If they ask for a trade, honor that as well. Malkin is off to a slow start, but these guys are still elite, and deserving of another run. Their problem lies with slow-footed D, and horrible goaltending. If their goalies are stopping 0.915 or better, they are at the top of their division and back in contention.
February 12, 2021 5:40 AM ET | Delete
I agree, they need a massive overhaul. But how do they acquire the help they so desperately need without trading one of the big two?
February 12, 2021 3:14 PM ET | Delete
The debt is to the shareholders -- ownership and fans. They're assets designed to elicit a result, and when they impede that result through their presence, they need to be moved for assets that might. And, don't think for a second every player in the League doesn't understand that that's their role, no matter who they are or what they make. Letang will go first, then Malkin I'm sure. Crosby will have a choice of teams, and they'll surrender whatever to get him I'm sure. Scuttlebutt is Colorado.
February 13, 2021 3:17 AM ET | Delete
In the end I think its inevitable to see moves made if they actually want to see lasting improvement.
February 14, 2021 12:41 PM ET | Delete
February 14, 2021 1:06 PM ET | Delete
Now that Sid appears to have added Colorado alongside Montreal as options, a trade seems increasingly likely before next season begins. I expect Bergevin will offer almost anything if he can acquire Crosby this year as the window is closing fast. Weber is regressing and Price will likely need to be relegated to back-up duty next year (He has been statistically among the worst starters for a few season now). However, unlike Montreal, Colorado is apt at prospet development and will likely be able to assemble a more favourable package. Unless Pit goes on an unlikely run I expect to see Sid wearing a Habs or Avalanche jersey within a year.
February 14, 2021 3:31 PM ET | Delete
montreal needs no 1 centre malkin.pens get no 2 center Danault and drouin or tatar
February 15, 2021 8:15 PM ET | Delete
@ Jackie Daytona As much as i'd love to see Sid in a Habs jersey I doubt he ever graces us with his presence. Lol best we would ever get would be Malkin. Price stats do look bad currently but Price usually has slump periods. Typically after he has padded his stats all season, but he should round out into form. The window is closing though for him and Webs. This is probably the best Habs team we have had in 20 years, we will add, I just don't think it will be Sid.
February 15, 2021 8:20 PM ET | Delete
@ Bosman, Montreal has needed a number one centre for 25 years. Suzuki one day can be a 1A type player, but a Malkin would be great. That being said the price would be steep. Pittsburgh would want a combo of: Kotkianiemi, Tatar, 2nd, 1st, Romanov, Mete, etc.
February 17, 2021 8:13 AM ET | Delete
This article and these comments are just laughable lol
February 18, 2021 8:21 AM ET | Delete
Humour is the spice of life
February 18, 2021 10:21 AM ET | Delete
Dream on. Go drink a Molson.
February 18, 2021 12:34 PM ET | Delete
Those are fighting words.
February 23, 2021 3:59 PM ET | Delete
Sid is going no where and Malkin/Letang will be going only if Sidney agrees. That is the fact of life that Hextall and Burke knowingly signed up for. Malkin and Letang will allow their contracts to expire and leave as free agents. No mess. Bad asset management but it is what it is. Never manage a team according to what the fans want but when you have a Sidney Crosby? well?
February 24, 2021 11:42 AM ET | Delete
That would be devastating if they left for nothing.
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