One scouts view on similar value Penguins could have offered to Columbus in deal for Rick Nash

Despite signing Sidney Crosby to a 12 year extension and getting a good return for Jordan Staal based on the circumstances, there seems to be a sense of frustration from Penguins fan base, who have seen the Penguins lose the likes of Jordan Staal, Zbynek Michalek and Steve Sullivan from their NHL roster without adding upgrades over any of the three players to this point.
The New York Rangers not giving up a significant return for Rick Nash only seems to have fueled that frustration. The Rangers acquired Nash in exchange for Brandon Dubsinky, Artem Anisimov, Tim Erixon and a 2013 first round pick.
While the Penguins never went hard after Nash, I posed the question to a few league contacts this morning on what type of similar offer the Penguins could have made and here is one Eastern Conference scouts view on a similar offer the Penguins could have offered coming close to matching the Rangers value under the criteria of two NHL established top-9 forwards in their 20’s, a young NHL ready defenseman prospect and a 2013 first round pick.

Scouts Proposal – Columbus Receives: Center Brandon Sutter, winger Tyler Kennedy, defenseman Simon Despres and a 2013 first round pick.
Pittsburgh receives: Rick Nash.
Brandon Dubinsky vs Brandon Sutter
Dubsinky, 26, has three years left on his deal with a cap hit of $4.2 million. He had 10 goals and 34 points in 2011-2012, in what was a down season for him. Dubinsky is just a year removed from 24 goal, 54 point season, and can play wing or center. Sutter, 23, has two years left on his deal with a cap hit of $2,066,667 million. He had 17 goals and 32 points in 2011-2012, mostly in a defensive role with the Canes.  Sutter is already established as a solid No. 3 center who arguably might not have peaked offensively yet and has already flashed 20+ goal ability, scoring 21 goals in 2009-2010.
“Columbus would be getting a player in {Brandon} Sutter who’s not as versatile but has similar attributes….. is younger, {has} better contract, ” the scout said. “Ideally, both players are built for the third line and Sutter could evolve into one of the better third line centers who can get you 20 goals and 40 points.” If I’m in Columbus shoes, I like Duby better,….. {but} value is similar.” — Scouts Advantage: Brandon Dubinsky
Tyler Kennedy vs Artem Anisimov
Anisimov, 24, is a skilled forward who flashes top-6 ability, scoring 16 goals and 36 points last season. Anisimov has one year remaining on his deal with a $1.875 million cap hit. The knock on Anisimov is that he just doesn’t battle hard enough nor is consistent enough to be a true top-6 forward. Kennedy, 26, has one year left on his deal, carrying a $2 million cap hit and had 11 goals and 33 points in 60 games. He’s a gritty player ,a winner who has scored big goals in the playoffs, and he’s been just as good of an offensive performer than Anisimov over the past two seasons, averaging 0.56 points per game the last two seasons, compared to Anisimov who’s averaging 0.50 points per game the last two seasons. Kennedy’s first career 20 goal season came in 2010-2011, when he scored 21 goals, while seeing regular top-2 line and power play time due to injuries in the Penguins lineup.
‘I don’t love either player, ” the scout said. “There’s more intrigue about Artem and I think Columbus would see it that way (comparing Anisimov, Kennedy)…..{but} I think his {Anisimov} ceiling is right around where it is now. You know what you’re getting in Kennedy and he will come to play every night for you.” — Scouts Advantage: Tyler Kennedy
Tim Erixon vs Simon Despres
Both were first round picks in 2009 with Tim Erixon going 23rd overall to Calgary and Simon Despres going 30th overall to Pittsburgh. Both players are NHL ready prospects as Pittsburgh would have matched up well in being able to move an NHL ready defenseman in Despres with top-4 potential, and possibly higher upside.
“I really like both of these guys, ” the scout said via phone. “I’d lean towards Despres as the better value here, {but} the Blue Jackets got a good one in Erixon, a really good two-way player.” Scouts Advantage – Slight advantage to Simon Despres.

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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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