For the second year in a row, it appears that the Pittsburgh Penguins have come out as one of the top move-makers on deadline day.
The big move, which many are talking about, it the acquisition of Bill Guerin. Guerin, formerly with the New York Islanders, was exchanged for a draft pick that is to be determined by the Penguins level of success as the year finishes.
To get a guy like Guerin for solely a draft pick surely is a steal. Guerin, at 38 years old, brings over 100 games of playoff experience and a Stanley Cup victory to Pittsburgh’s lineup.
It’s not just his past either. Guerin has scored 16 goals and added 20 assists so far this season for the Islanders. On the NHL’s worst team, those are pretty fantastic numbers.
The hopes are that he can do even better in the burgh.
He comes to the Penguins at an interesting time. With Chris Kunitz’s recent addition and high level of success, it appears that the Pens are finally starting to develop chemistry among their lines.
Kunitz and Jordan Staal have been dynamite together. I think it’s safe to say that the two will stay paired together for a while, making for a possibly scary third line.
Evgeni Malkin and Petr Sykora are another solid duo. The two of them along with Ruslan Fedotenko will likely be the second line. The “European Line” was the most productive line on the team until Fedotenko went down with a broken hand.
So where does Guerin fit in? Alongside Sidney Crosby?
It appears that might be the case. Everyone has speculated who would occupy Crosby’s line, with the majority looking for another Marian Hossa.
The truth is, and we’ve written this before at PPT, that Crosby probably doesn’t need the potential 50-goal scorer on his wing. Sure, that would be nice. But Crosby needs someone who will complement his talent.
He hasn’t had someone that understands the game at the same level that he does, other than Hossa. Guerin could possibly fill that void with his experience.
He is also a guy that will get to the front of the net. Sid hasn’t had a guy like that. We’ve seen how effective that can be with Ryan Malone last season, and even the three games with Kunitz.
Guerin is a guy that will go to the net and create. Sid is a guy that creates as well. With someone else on his level this could be a perfect fit.
I think he is the type of hockey player that will be embraced by the fans in Pittsburgh as well, as long as he plays the same type of hockey he has his whole career. He and Gary Roberts have alot in common, including a face for hockey.
Let’s be honest though. This could easily just be another failed attempt to find a linemate for the best player in the world. Time will tell and I’m excited to watch.
Be sure to stop back here tomorrow when we will introduce you to the newest Penguin: Bill Guerin.
Here’s a video of him after he scored his 400th career goal …
Chris | PPT