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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Kicking The Tires On Eklund's Pens Rumors

BallHype: hype it up!

OK so our famous friend Eklund is hearing grumblings that the Penguins are interested in two high-priced players.

Which players?

Anaheim Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger and Minnesota Wild winger Marian Gaborik.

Now I'll give you a few moments to let your brains try and comprehend seeing either of these two players in a Pens uniform.

Go ahead, I'll wait.


Done? Good, because let's analyze this strictly from a salary cap hit standpoint. Just for giggles, let's use Eklund's own salary cap central figures to further prove the absurdity of having either of these players. Even with prorated contracts and blah blah blah it doesn't work out, but let's look at this with the raw numbers shall we?

The Penguins team salary is $56,257,567 leaving $442,433 to remain under the cap. Pretty tight squeeze right? Let's look at Pronger first.

Chris Pronger - $6.25 million with one year remaining.

In order for this deal to happen, the Penguins would need to at least get in the ballpark of salary going the other way. How do they get near $6.25 million?

Based on raw numbers, Miroslav Satan ($3.5 million) and Ruslan Fedotenko ($2.25 million) gets them close. However, there is no way the Ducks would trade for both of these guys considering their contracts run out at the end of the season.

So, shy of trading Evgeni Malkin or Sidney Crosby this deal is moot.

The main objective so far appears to be getting a top 6 forward for Crosby's line, so why would they consider trading away a couple forwards to get a defenseman when they are so obviously thin up front with scorers?

Also consider, the Penguins just traded with the Ducks last week to get Chris Kunitz! Why would they trade with the same team twice in a week?!

Moving on.

Marian Gaborik - $6.33 Million

Would I love to see a healthy Gaborik on the top line with Crosby? Umm, yes. You'd have to have no pulse in your body if that combo doesn't give you chills. However, again according to the numbers that Eklund has on his site this cannot happen.

Who would the Pens give up to get Gaborik?

Jordan Staal? Probably, but he's only making $2.2 million so combine that with the roughly $440K and we're up to $2.6. Still roughly $4 million short. Satan and Fedotenko could be in play there too, but again they'd be giving up 3 forwards for just 1 in return. Maybe 2 if the Wild threw in someone like Derek Boogaard ($875,000).

What about Hal Gill ($2,075,000) or Mark Eaton ($2,000,000)?

Now you're just fixing one problem and creating another by depleting the defense to add in some offense. What if instead of Boogaard the Wild sent back Marc-Andre Bergeron ($1,254,000) or Kurtis Foster ($1,025,000)?

The rumor before the season was dealing Staal and Ryan Whitney for Gaborik and something. That would have gotten the Pens to the magic number, but alas it didn't happen and now it's really not going to happen.

Trying to crunch the numbers on any of these deals is mind boggling and frankly not worth my time because these deals can't happen unless Ray Shero blows up the team and feels like having three guys eating up 75% of the payroll next season.

Can I also just say that the Pens dealt for another Marian at last year's deadline? We all know how that turned out. Learn from your mistakes Shero. Beware of Judas version 2.0.

Eklund also just reported that the Penguins have had discussions with San Jose about Jonathan Cheechoo.

I could very easily see Cheechoo coming to Pittsburgh based on cap space and who we have on the roster that could be traded. I can't imagine the asking price would be very high for the one-time 56-goal scorer. With just 21 points on the season (9 goals, 12 assists) in 49 games, the Sharks may just want to unload him. Who knows?

Perhaps a deal of Cheechoo for Satan? Where do I sign?

Now I know that wouldn't be the deal, but I'm allowed to dream.

Now another rumor I saw earlier tonight from Spector, states that the Penguins are interested in bringing back Jarkko Ruutu.

I can't imagine the Pens would bring him back in after letting him walk after last season. Wouldn't Shero have re-signed him last summer if he really wanted him back?

Don't get me wrong, opposing teams would fear a line with Matt Cooke and Ruutu on it. Imagine two of the leagues' biggest pests roaming the ice on the same line. Fun isn't it?

The Pens play the Bolts Tuesday. Let's keep an eye on the roster to see who's normally in and who isn't in the game.

Crosby may return from a groin injury that has held him out of the last three games as well. If he doesn't play watch for message boards everywhere to say "CROSBY TRADED!" Obviously, he's not going anywhere. Write it down.

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