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Insider Only Benz: David Perron is an empty sweater

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What does David Perron DO, exactly?

GOOGLE claims he is a left wing for the Pittsburgh Penguins. But I see no evidence of that.

Wait, I retract that. There is evidence. There is video proof of that hideous turnover Thursday night (right on the stick of Jason-freaking-Spezza, by the way) vs the Stars which lead to Dallas’ third goal of a 4-1 victory in Pittsburgh. And he took a boarding penalty too. So, yes, apparently the Penguins employ Mr. Perron to do….something.

I just don’t know what it is.

He is (I’m told) “a skilled guy.” Ok. So he is a scoring winger? Then how come he doesn’t score? Like, ever.

Perron has no points this season. He’s a -3. And he is getting almost 16:00 of ice time per game this season. Unbelievably, he got over 17:00 as a Penguin a year ago. In his last 17 games of that stint (including the playoffs) Perron has tallied three whole points (1 goal, 2 assists). He only needed 14:32 per game in ‘08-’09 to become a 50 point guy. He needed barley 16:00 a game to be a 20 goal guy in ‘09-’10.

Does that sound like what the Penguins were expecting for a player that was exchanged for a first round pick when he was acquired just after New Year’s eve?

Let’s not beat around the bush. David Perron is an epic bust. If we were to consider him an actual “first round pick”, this guy has turned into one of the worst Penguin “first round picks” ever. He is quickly making the likes of Milan Kraft look like a legend by comparison.

And if he isn’t going to score, what else is he bringing? Tenacious defense? No. Grit and hard checking? Please! Leadership? I don’t think so.

Whatever happened to the narrative of “Perron just had the best off season of his life! He is in much better condition and will be able to skate and keep up with Geno and Crosby on a line now. And he is going to be harder in the corners to deal with too!”

Still waiting to see proof of that. Also, nothing like having a “highly skilled player” that can’t even dream of cracking your top power play unit. Not like any Pens’ fan would actually want to see that right about now.

Even worse, his contract makes him a road block. He’s making 3.8 million dollars. So you have to play him. And he’s not a third or fourth line style of player. Plus the team seems convinced that Chris Kunitz on the top line LW position is still the right fit with Sidney Crosby. So that means Perron has to be on the second line, thus impeding the likes of Daniel Sprong, Sergei Plotnikov, or Beau Bennett (when/if he ever becomes healthy) from being on lines with the skilled players they need as partners.

So what I am trying to say here is…THERE IS NOTHING GOOD ABOUT DAVID PERRON! Trade him now. Try to find another team that was as dumb as you were to give up a first round pick for him. You likely won’t find that. So accept a second or third rounder. A depth defenseman. A back-up goalie. A bag of pucks. Anything. Perron’s presence is doing more harm than good.

When Boston and few other rumored Eastern Conference teams were alleged to be in the mix for Perron last season, those within hockey circles always seemed to have the same opinion: “Yes, a lot of teams would like to get him. But is he going to be worth whatever you give up for him?”

Since the price for Pittsburgh was a first rounder, the answer was most assuredly…”NO!” After the deal was done, I was told other GM’s Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

About The Author

Tim Benz

TIOPS Columnist

Tim Benz can be heard on the Pittsburgh Steelers Radio Network post game show and M-F 10-1 on TribLive Radio

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