SHERO TALKS TRADE DEADLINE
The Pittsburgh Penguins came up empty at the trade deadline after looking to add a few parts. Although GM Ray Shero said he wasn’t very active today, he did confirm that he made offers for particular targets.
“We had a number of conversations with teams. ” Shero said. “Did make some offers on some players and those players didn’t even get moved ” Shero said. “It was a long day to really come up with nothing.”
“It just really wasn’t there for us.” Shero said.
Shero indicated that Sidney Crosby’s future this season didn’t impact his plans at the deadline. “As I said yesterday, I am hopeful he will be able to come back and play, but there’s no guarantees of that, ” Shero said on Sidney Crosby.
AUDIO LINK: Ray Shero talks outlook of team
According to Shero the prices were too high on a number of players they looked into or the fit wasn’t there.
“Our roster is our roster moving forward, ” Shero said.
The Penguins went into the day seeking help upfront and among players of interest were believed to be Montreal’s Travis Moen, Colorado’s David Jones, Toronto’s Nikolai Kulemin and Washington’s Mike Knuble to a much lesser extent, four players who weren’t traded. The team also explored the market for a left handed No. 6/No. 7 defenseman but never came close to moving on a deal for a defenseman which wasn’t viewed as a top priority by the Penguins brass.
Late last week, the team was exploring the market for a backup goaltender but like other areas, the price was too high. “For the goaltenders that were out there with the terms of the price to get them, I’m not sure any of them moved today, ” Shero said.
Coming into the deadline, scouts saw the biggest need for Pittsburgh being a depth centerman as insurance for Sidney Crosby or a 3rd/4th line winger with size/toughness on the wings.
The biggest headliner surrounding the Penguins on the rumor mill was the Los Angeles Kings approaching the Penguins about their level of interest in Kings captain Dustin Brown, NHL sources confirmed. Sources indicate the Kings sought a package centering Chris Kunitz and a second roster player, and talks went nowhere as Pittsburgh informed GM Dean Lombardi that Kunitz is off limits. Talks never got serious or advanced before Lombardi pulled Brown off the market.
“We’re happy with our team going forward, ” Shero said.
OUTLOOK OF TEAM
The Penguins are a team that leads the NHL in man-games lost and are 7th in the NHL in points with 77 at the 62 game mark of the season.
Statisitcally,Â the Penguins are arguably one of the most complete teams in the NHL.
“From the net out we got good goaltending, ” Shero said. We have a lot of guys who have won a Stanley Cup. We’ve had the most man games lost in league to injury and were starting to get healthy it seems.”
Pittsburgh ranks 4th in the NHL in goals per game at 3.08 and are 11th in the NHL defensively, giving up 2.58 goals per game.
From a special teams play standpoint, at this point of the season, your not going to find a better team. Pittsburgh is 5th in the NHL on the power play at 20.9% and are 2nd in the NHL on the penalty kill at 88.5%.
“Our special teams has been very good, ” GM Shero said. “
When evaluating this team, among the keys to this team moving forward is the health of Sidney Crosby, Paul Martin/Zbynek Michalek being consistent shutdown defensemen and getting consistent secondary scoring. The secondary scoring is among the areas peaking right now as players like Steve Sullivan who have been up and down this season, are playing their best hockey of the season at even strength.
Shero on backup goaltender situation: “On the goaltending issue, I think that with Brad when we signed him as a free agent, we were hopeful he would become a professional goalie here and last year being goalie of the year in American Hockey League, these guys at times need an opportunity and with the way Brent played in the past, he never really got that. We are very happy with our No. 1 guy in Fleury. We’re confident in that area”……
Shero on three-center model if Crosby returns: “That will be up to Dan, Shero said. “The way Dan has done that in the past is guys tend to move around quite a bit. Geno playing center, see Geno at odd time playing wing, you see Staal moving up to wing, depending on matchup situation and beautiful thing is they can all play over twenty minutes.”