When the Penguins traded for Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis at the deadline, a lot of people reacted by saying the Penguins gave up too much for players that have no guarantee of being around past this season's playoffs.
Even the most optimistic of us, myself included, wondered if losing guys like EC and Colby Armstrong, along with a 1st round draft pick, was really worth it.
After a first round sweep of the Senators, it is starting to appear that maybe it was worth it after all...even if the Penguins can't sign Hossa to a contract for next year.
And it's not necessarily because Hossa, the main prize of the trade deadline deals, has been the sniper everyone said Sid needed on his wing.
No...It may be more about the positive affect on the players mental outlook that occurred when management sent the clear message that they thought this team was ready to challenge for the cup...NOW.
It would be hard for anybody...that has seen this team play...or heard them speak about their teammates...to miss the obvious confidence this group now has in themselves and each other.
And I think that is something that had been growing over the course of the season, but definitely seemed to become and even bigger part of the team's success once the Hossa trade was made.
By making the trade, management showed a confidence in the players that probably could not have been expressed in any other way. It was a statement...made through a transaction...that made every player in that locker room realize that a serious run at a cup is something they CAN make THIS year.
And if this team would somehow manage to fulfill such a destiny, then surely the trade was worth it. Because although you want to build for future success, you need to realize when a REAL opportunity exists and take advantage of the chance to be successful TODAY as well.
It's obviously not all about how the player's mental outlook may have changed...
Hossa and Dupuis have also played well down the stretch and into the playoffs. Hossa seems to have found his place and his game (the goals will come) and Dupuis has been playing well since he got here...doing exactly what he was expected to do.
I'd also like to point out that the seemingly less important deal for Hal Gill had a great positive affect on the club too. After a few shaky games following the trade, Gill has been one of the best defenseman on the team and his pairing with Kris Letang has been one of the best moves that the coaching staff has made all year.