The addition of Bill Guerin has ended up being Ray Shero’s “Hossa” trade of 2009. Ray Shero will always be remembered for striking a last minute deal with the Atlanta Thrashers to acquire Marian Hossa last winter.
The addition of Hossa put the Penguins above the rest in the Eastern Conference as they steamrolled into the Stanley Cup Finals with a 12-2 record through the first three rounds.
At age 38, Bill Guerin does not measure up to Hossa when it comes to skill vs skill.
What Guerin brings to the table is intangiables on and off the ice and without him, the Penguins wouldn’t be in this situation. He has been that important to the team.
When the Penguins acquired Billy Guerin at the March 4th trade deadline it was seen as a wait and see situation.
Guerin, 38, was struggling scoring only 3 goals since January 1st for the last place Islanders prior to being dealt to the Penguins.
There were concerns regarding how much of an impact Guerin would have.
Just over two months later, those concerns have been put to rest.
From day 1, Guerin became an instrumental force on the ice providing a right handed shot and a presence in front of the net for Sidney Crosby.
Off the ice, Guerin established himself as a leader in the locker room after the first week he was with the team.
Marian Hossa had a significant impact on the ice last season and arguably could have won the Conn Smythe trophy if the Penguins would have won the Stanley Cup.
What Guerin has done that Hossa didn’t do, was become emotionally attached to this team and the organization.
Whether it leads to Guerin returning next season remains to be seen but if you want to look at one reason why Hossa didn’t return, it was because he didn’t develop any chemistry with his teammates off the ice.
Detroit gives him that opportunity as he’s surrounded by a veteran team, which is a reason the Red Wings were his top choice when he decided to test free agency.
Guerin (14pts) is playing his best hockey of the season while Hossa (12pts) has had an inconsistent playoff run to this point.
Without Hossa the Penguins don’t make it to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2008 and without Guerin the Penguins don’t make it back this year.
Both players played important parts in the Penguins Stanley Cup runs but just in different roles.
Photo courtesy of Kaatiya