Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Penguins bet big on Hossa

Pittsburgh has just moved Angelo Esposito, Erik Christensen, Colby Armstrong and a first-round pick to Atlanta for Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis.

That is a ton to bet on a rental player, albeit a great one. Montreal and Ottawa were rumoured to be the Hossa front-runners all week, and I imagine all three teams offered up considerable value.

You can see why Pittsburgh won these sweepstakes, however.

Atlanta gets
Armstrong: nine goals and 24 points in 54 games
Christensen: nine goals and 20 points in 49 games
Esposito: 26 goals and 55 points in 48 games (in QMJHL)
A first-round pick, likely 21st or higher

Pittsburgh gets
Hossa: 26 goals and 56 points in 60 games

Hossa, 29, is one of the premier snipers in the NHL but has never had much of a playoff pedigree, scoring 13 goals and 35 points in 55 career postseason games.

Really, there are two things that will affect whether this deal is a winner or a loser for Pittsburgh: (a) how they do in the playoffs this year, and (b) how those youngsters turn out.

I actually think with Armstrong and Christensen, we've seen a lot of what they're going to ultimately give, and Esposito and a late first rounder are anything but sure things.

Still, it comes down to where you think Pittsburgh's at as a team, and if Hossa puts them over the top when it comes to contending for the Stanley Cup. Is the Penguins' time now?

Left Wing Center Right Wing
Marian Hossa Sidney Crosby Tyler Kennedy
Ryan Malone Evgeni Malkin Petr Sykora
Jarkko Ruutu Jordan Staal Georges Laraque
Pascal Dupuis Maxime Talbot Adam Hall


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At 3:04 p.m., February 26, 2008, Blogger BlackCapricorn said...

Toooo much- damnit getting rid of Colby! I am not liking this one for the black and gold

At 3:05 p.m., February 26, 2008, Blogger NeuroJoe said...

Wow, Pens betting big on this year's run for the Cup. Armstrong's a tough loss but having The Kid, Malkin (The Kid #2?) and Hossa providing offense should make this team fun to watch. Cmon Pens vs. Caps in the playoffs! Now that's some offense!

At 3:06 p.m., February 26, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 3:08 p.m., February 26, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't help but wonder if Sid's injury may hold him out longer than originally thought. Those high ankle sprains can be pretty annoying.
But, Hossa, Malkin & Sid together could be a lot of fun to watch, too.

At 3:10 p.m., February 26, 2008, Anonymous PPP said...

You're missing the point James. Gill will be the big pickup for the Pens. Their problem last year wasn't that they couldn't score it was that they couldn't stop the senators.

Typical anti-Leafs bias ;)

At 3:14 p.m., February 26, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps a bit much, but doggoneit, this team could be electric. Furthermore, I applaude the Pens for having some stones here. Finally an organ-i-zation thats truely concerned about the quality of its product.

At 3:15 p.m., February 26, 2008, Blogger nu said...

Wasn't there something about a "48-hour window" for a Hossa extension?

Rejean Shero does not do rentals.

The man has the brass of a riverboat gambler.

At 3:20 p.m., February 26, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pretty nice dealing by Waddell, kind of makes up for last year. Those kids will look good in Hamilton or Winnepeg in the not too distant future.

At 3:39 p.m., February 26, 2008, Blogger Ebscer said...

Armstrong is better than Hossa.

This is just a dumb deal and will sink the penguins for years to come.

At 5:10 p.m., February 26, 2008, Blogger poploser said...

Why does everyone assume Hossa is a "rental?"

Im no capologist, but Pittsburgh should have the cap space necessary to sign Hossa to a long-term deal. From my really quick calculations, they will have about 32 million tied up in current players (and Gill) under contract for next year. Dupuis is a UFA, as are Orpik, Ruutu, Laraque, and Malone - and if they take a modest 10% increase, the Pens roster goes up to 38 million. Add in Marc-Andre Fleury at a decent raise (he's restricted), and they could be up to 43 million before Hossa. Add in at least 6 million for him, and they are getting payroll up to about 50 million.

But that could still be a good 5 million below the the 08-09 cap...setting themselves up for a long-term extensions for Malkin and Staal near the end of next year. And while they gave up 2 decent players, and two low first-round picks...nothing in that group is a "sure thing".

This will be very interesting to see how they play this year...but if Im Hossa, why would I be rushing to leave this group? The chance to play with Crosby, Malkin, Staal, Letang and Whitney for at least another year? This might be an awesome trade for the Penguins.

But the real issue is going to be if their defense can hold up. They may score a lot of goals, but they are going to have to get above-average goaltending from Fleury

At 5:13 p.m., February 26, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Hossa will want a long term, big time contract. Think six or seven years at at least $7-million per season.

Pittsburgh can't fit that in, long term.

At 5:35 p.m., February 26, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is fine. Dupuis and Armstrong are basically a wash, Christensen was never going to get good minutes in Pittsburgh, and Esposito, while he has loads of potential, is unproven.

Meanwhile, Hossa is arguably a top-10, or at least top-20 offensive player in the NHL. And don't be too sure that he won't resign; Staal and Fleury aren't in line for big contracts, and Pittsburgh has a decent amount of room under the cap. Also, Roberts will be gone, Ruutu can be replaced and so on. The room is there, but it's a matter of whether the Pens want to spend or not. That is the big question.

If they do decide to keep Hossa, or try to, it does mean they will probably have to move Ryan Whitney or Sergei Gonchar, and see if Goligoski can fill in for them in a useful manner.

At 9:06 p.m., February 26, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now realizing that Armstrong and Christensen have a year of term, and if Angelo and the other 1st rounder can amount to much, I think Don got a damn fine take in Atlanta. Makes you wonder which team he was playing Pittsburgh off of right up until 3pm?

At 12:27 a.m., February 27, 2008, Blogger Old said...

Another good part of the deal for the Pens is that Hossa does not go to Montreal or Ottawa. That should be figured in as well.

If the Pens defense can hold a team like Ottawa to three or four goals a game, why couldn't they win that series? And if the Pens offense could score three or four goals a game on a team like New Jersey, why couldn't they win that series?

At 1:41 a.m., February 27, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only way the pens do this deal, based on Shero's obvious competence as compared to prior management, is that they know they can sign Hossa in the upcoming off season. There's no way they give what they gave to rent Hossa and Dupuis (the forgotten penalty killer who I think can fill Armstrong's role nicely) for 3 months.

At 11:13 a.m., February 27, 2008, Blogger mark said...

What do you do a year from now when Malkin (deservedly) wants Hossa like money? The Penquins won't be able to keep Hossa, Staal, Malkin, Fleury and Crosby together for very long, so they had better hope that they get a good return for Hossa when they inevitably have to trade him (if they do sign him).


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