Hello everyone...I'm a first time writer, long time reader. I love the community aspect of this site and I'd like to share some of my thoughts about your Pittsburgh Penguins.
There are tons of rumors out there involving the Penguins. The most prevalent one as of now seems to be Staal and some sort of package going to Chicago for T. Ruutu and Havlat. Some conflicting reports say that the Hawks would want Esposito and not Staal.
If I were Ray Shero, I would hold on to Staal at all costs. I can see a Selke trophy in Staal's future. The value of his contributions is immense: he's long been a PK stalwart and he's also getting some PP time lately. Sure, his points are down, but anyone who watches the Pens on a regular basis can see the measurable impact he has on the game. He should be deemed untouchable.
Optimally, the guy I'd like to see jettisoned is Ryan Whitney. He has value as an offensive defenseman and possibly as a power play quarterback, but his contributions on defense are so shoddy. At least once per game, he will make some type of play that directly leads to the opposition scoring. It's become inevitable. Yesterday vs. San Jose, Cheechoo totally burned him in a pivotal point of the game. That type of play is typical Whitney. I think Pittsburgh has more than enough offensive defensemen (Gonchar, Letang, Goligoski coming up), so Whitney is expendable. He could probably could net us somebody decent as part of a package, maybe involving Armstrong or Christensen and a pick.
I know Shero isn't looking to do anything big. I know we'll probably end up making a minor deal or two, very similar to last year. But I think the time is now for Pittsburgh. The pieces are in place to make a very serious cup run either this year or next if we can get a scoring winger and a stay-at-home defenseman.
My thoughts: look into getting Barret Jackman from St. Louis, and look into making a deal with Chicago involving Esposito for possibly one of Havlat or Ruutu. I would make our first round pick available, because really, how much more young talent do we need?
Either way, I'm excited for tomorrow. I think everybody is.