As we continue to speculate about the potential of a top six winger trade I wanted to give my two cents on the kind of value I would be looking for if I was Jim Rutherford.
The Penguins aren’t in need of a star winger to play in the top six. They have two mega-star centers who have shown they can make others around them better. The problem is that throughout the past number of years the Penguins have expected Crosby and Malkin to turn non top six players into just that. It isn’t doable over the long term and puts too much stress on Sid and Geno.
However, they can certainly work with average to above average top six talent as evidence with Petr Sykora, Patric Hornqvist, Chris Kunitz, Jussi Jokinen, Steve Sullivan, Ruslan Fedotenko, Ryan Malone, an older Bill Guerin, and Pascal Dupuis, you get the point.
You could argue that the Penguins have only provided Crosby and Malkin two star wingers over the course of their tenure: James Neal and Marian Hossa.
This is why I have my reservations when people start to bring up Jordan Eberle, Evander Kane, and other big name winger ideas. To me I don’t think the cost to acquire those players is worth it. The Penguins just need competent top six talent, not high end top six talent. Give Crosby and Malkin guys who are competent in a top six role and they will flourish. Give them bottom six guys who can’t cut it like Blake Comeau, Nick Spaling, Dustin Jeffrey, and Eric Tangradi and it won’t work, especially in a larger sample size.
When talking about Jordan Eberle and Evander Kane types the conversation is going to start around Derrick Pouliot, a 1st round pick, and a guy like Brandon Sutter. Is all of that really worth the difference between what it would cost to land a guy like David Perron? I don’t think so. I think the “value” play is what makes the most amount of sense for the Penguins.
I have scoured through each NHL team and tried to come up with some interesting candidates but I always fall back to David Perron. I think he is the perfect acquisition target and despite Craig MacTavish’s asking price of a top center, Perron won’t cost what some of the other big names will.
David Perron is the safest bet and won’t cost the farm. Don’t get me wrong, you have to give to get, but the sting to the Penguins prospect pool won’t be nearly as bad when compared to an Eberle type.
It’s fun to talk about big names, but they come with big acquisition costs. An expiring Paul Martin contract isn’t going to cut it as the center piece for a trade. The sting of what you give away should match up with the elation of what you are receiving if it is a good hockey trade.
I’ll continue to try and look for more David Perron type players to target, but until I do I am fixated on that possibility. I think he has a reasonable cost to acquire and will provide the Penguins with more than enough of what they need from that position.
Penguins fans should be hoping for Rutherford to at least place a phone call about Perron's availability.
Thanks for reading!
Follow me on twitter