Why All Penguin Fans Are Confused Right Now

SheroTo help explain this excitement / bafflement sandwich us Pens fans have been picking at for the past 24 hours, I’ve taken the liberty of combining sentences from the article in yesterday’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Though Penguins not ruling anything out, major deal not likely at today’s NHL trade deadline“, with sentences from this morning’s article, “Penguins make blockbuster trade“. See if you can tell the difference:

The NHL trade deadline was a couple of hours away yesterday, but Penguins general manager Ray Shero wasn’t thinking about how Marian Hossa might look on Sidney Crosby’s right wing. That changed dramatically as the afternoon progressed and, as the 3 p.m. deadline closed in, Shero completed one of the biggest trades in franchise history.

Shero’s approach to team-building mitigates against paying a steep price for a big-ticket rental player such as Hossa, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Shero acquired Hossa, a world-class talent, and Dupuis from Atlanta for forwards Colby Armstrong and Erik Christensen, highly regarded prospect Angelo Esposito and the Penguins’ first-round choice in the June entry draft.

He agreed that it is “pretty much” a seller’s market, because so few teams are actively looking to shed players and/or payroll and so many hope to add a piece or two to their personnel puzzle.

Hossa is the centerpiece of Shero’s deadline-day moves, and likely was the most sought-after big name in the league the past few weeks.

“There’s no guarantee, as history shows, that one big part is putting anyone over the top,” Shero said.

Hossa, 29, is 6 feet 1, 208 pounds and has 26 goals and 30 assists in 60 games this season after putting up 43 goals and 57 assists in 82 games in 2006-07.

Such players generate the biggest headlines at this time of year but don’t always have the greatest impact.

The Hossa-Dupuis trade overshadowed the deal Shero had struck a short time earlier, when he sent second- and fifth-round draft choices to Toronto for Hal Gill, a large and physical, but slow-footed, defenseman.

“Chemistry is a big part of what we’ve accomplished so far,” Shero said. “You have to be careful [about altering] that.”

“I thought our big trade was [going to be] getting Crosby back,” right winger Georges Laraque said. “Now we’re getting Sid and Hossa. Oh my God, That’s just unbelievable.”

And if they don’t, well, Shero could end up with nothing more than a bloated phone bill.

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