Hossa Trade Has No Down Side
It seems there are two groups of Pittsburgh Penguins fans this morning: one whose members are drooling over the acquisition of Marian Hossa and one whose members are worrying about the assets traded to get Hossa.
I fall into the first group.
You see, there really is no down side to this trade, and let me explain why.
There are several scenarios that could play out with Hossa, some of which would be spectacular, while others would appear to be devastating. Below I will outline them and explain how, despite appearance, all are good.
Scenario 1: Penguins re-sign Hossa before July 1
The positive is clear in this situation: the Penguins would have a long-term solution for the wing of Sidney Crosby.
The only possible downside is that Hossa’s contract could make things difficult for the Penguins to retain other essential elements, such as Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal.
But does anyone really think Penguins general manager Ray Shero would risk losing his young, homegrown, elite talent for a near-30 player acquired through trade?
Scenario 2: Hossa goes to the highest bidder on July 1
Obviously, this is the big worry of many fans, especially considering Hossa’s early remarks yesterday that he had not yet thought about re-signing with the Penguins (as if he’s supposed to know his future with the team an hour after being traded and before meeting the new coach, general manager and players).
But think about the positive side of this trade if Hossa walks. First off, they shed $1.2 million in Armstrong’s contract and $750,000 in Erik Christensen’s contract — a total of nearly $2 million in savings. That money easily could be put toward a second-tier scoring forward along the lines of Petr Sykora.
Sure, trading last year’s first round pick, this year’s first round pick and two roster players for a Sykora-type player doesn’t seem to make sense, but it does when considering that Hossa more-than-likely will help the Penguins advance in the playoffs and, possibly, give them a chance to win the Stanley Cup.
The lost draft picks can be partially replenished through small trades that commonly are made on draft day. Maybe, if Ty Conklin re-signs, Dany Sabourin is traded for a fifth rounder or Jonathan Filewich is traded for a third rounder. You get the picture.
Sure, the loss of two high draft picks (Angelo Esposito and the 2008 first rounder) likely won’t be able to be made up, but the Penguins have more young depth on their roster in Crosby, Malkin and Staal than most teams have on their entire system. Losing a few high picks won’t be that devastating — so long as this doesn’t become a habit.
Scenario 3: Penguins trade Hossa after the season, prior to July 1
And, lastly, this possibility seems unlikely, but it could happen. There are two ways: a sign-and-trade or a draft day trade for early negotiation rights.
If this scenario plays out, the Penguins likely would get a first rounder and more in return for Hossa, who is widely considered to be one of the most coveted impending free-agents in hockey. General managers will be chomping at the bits to have a chance at early negotiation rights for this superstar.
As with “Scenario 2,” this scenario also gives the Penguins an additional $2 million to work with when bringing in a free agent scorer.
With all three scenarios considered, clearly the most beneficial option would be to retain Hossa. Not only is he an offensive force, he is (relatively) gritty, controls the puck well, and plays a great game defensively.
But, in reality, if he goes, there are many positive possibilities that will, without a doubt, help to lessen the blow.
Regardless of your personal feelings of this trade, it has been made. My suggestion: sit back, relax, and enjoy what surely will be one of the most dynamic offenses in the entire NHL for the next few months.
It will be fun!