The Pittsburgh Penguins were rumored to be active players at the Trade Deadline this year, but when it came and went, they stood pat without making any moves. Our Pittsburgh Penguins blog PensBurgh realizes that while they didn't make any moves, there is still a pretty big addition on the horizon that the Penguins hope can set them up nicely for the playoffs.
The Penguins, long-rumored to possibly pick up any forward, depth defenseman or a backup goalie, decided to do nothing and stand pat. Pittsburgh's big addition, if it ever comes, will be Sidney Crosby back to the lineup. Crosby's neck/head symptoms continue but he is practicing with the team in non-contact situations and able to exert himself physically to some extent.
The Penguins do need an additional forward, but there is already one in the organization who could help tremendously. They could have added an insurance policy if Crosby continues to have a tough time coming back from his concussion, but they elected to stand pat with what they already had.
When the Montreal Canadiens traded defenseman Hal Gill to the Nashville Predators, Penguins fans were not happy at the fact that a defender that helped the Penguins to a Stanley Cup championship in 2009 was not brought back to help a Penguins defense that has been suspect for much of the season.
However, Stephen Catanese of PensBurgh urges fans to not be too broken up over the failure to grab Gill, purely for the reason that the Penguins defense has changed up so much since Gill's departure.
Dan Bylsma wanted skilled skaters and offensively capable players going back to get the puck and bringing it back up ice. Go south, then quickly transition northward.
In all, that's something that Gill is not capable of. He's more of a defender who just wants to clear the puck out of the defensive zone and then let the offensive players score. A more fast-paced defense like this would not have been a fit for Gill.
A good GM knows when to make a trade to help augment his roster, but a great GM knows when not to make a move just to make one that could put their team in a bit of trouble. The Penguins and GM Ray Shero will be listening to calls as the trade deadline approaches, but according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Tribune-Review, they would also be comfortable standing pat if the right offer doesn't present itself.
The current trade market, as viewed by this front office, ranges from awful to abysmal. The only 40-goal type is Columbus' Rick Nash, and the cap-challenged Penguins aren't in on those talks. Defensemen are scarcer still. And goaltending couldn't be called a need with Marc-Andre Fleury as the starter.
It's very possible that there just aren't any players available that would prove to be an upgrade over what the Penguins have on their roster now, and if they were ever to get completely healthy they would be a very strong team.
The NHL Trade Deadline is 3:00 PM on February 27, just two weeks away, and now is the time when out-of-contention teams begin shopping their players to those teams with dream of playoff aspirations and championships.