With not much happening in the OHL circles, it got me wanting to write articles again with the NHL set to return on August 1st. I thought it would be a good time for us to dive into a deep discussion that Pittsburgh Penguins fans like myself don’t like bringing up. Is it time to rebuild or should we continue chasing cups?
Sidney Crosby is a great player. Don’t get me wrong, but as we found out on Saturday, the Penguins captain left the team scrimmage early and did not participate in team practice the following day. I know you may be thinking to yourself, “he is exaggerating too much,” but maybe it is time to think about trading Crosby.
The following paragraphs will examine reasons why I would trade the face of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
You Would Still Have Malkin
Evgeni Malkin has carried the Penguins when Sidney Crosby was out with his concussions and injury problems. Don’t get me wrong, this centre has also had his injury problems, but the Penguins would still be able to rely on his scoring if they traded Sidney Crosby away. The team is only getting older. Is now the time to push the reset button?
Lack Of Farm Depth
The Pittsburgh Penguins drafted Samuel Poulin in the first round of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. Prior to drafting Poulin, the team hasn’t had a first-round pick since selecting Kasperi Kapanen with their first round pick in 2014.
Kapanen never played for the Penguins as he was involved in the trade that brought Phil Kessel from Toronto to Pittsburgh. This has left the Penguins in a difficult spot as they do not have very much depth in their farm system and their veterans are only getting older, another reason why trading Crosby would make sense.
Crosby’s Value Is Peaked Right Now And Will Only Go Down
As we all know, it appears Jack Eichel may want out of Western New York. Sidney Crosby would immediately become a star attraction in Buffalo and the Sabres wouldn’t lose much in production, providing Crosby stays healthy while rebuilding their roster for a championship run. I know you’re saying the Sabres would be trading away a really valuable asset for a veteran that may only play a few more seasons. The truth is, both teams need to reset in different ways and getting Crosby would help stabilize the Sabres organization and get them into a playoff spot.
The Less Expensive Options
Jack Eichel would cost the Penguins lots. Sidney Crosby may not even be enough and it’s too much to risk on one player. There are some other options for the Penguins, including tanking and losing to the Montréal Canadiens in the best-of-five series coming up on August 1st.
The Penguins would then have a 12.5% chance of getting Alexis Lafreniere for a minimum of three years which would cost them less money in the long run. They probably wouldn’t have the money to re-sign Lafreniere as a restricted free agent, but it would be a good few years in Pittsburgh where the window of cups wouldn’t have to end.
You can disagree with me, but I hope you enjoyed reading my perspective and I hope you enjoy the games which get underway at the end of next week.