With Brenden Morrow and Douglas Murray in the fold well in advance of the April 3 trade deadline, what do the Penguins do for an encore? Because they're not done. Ray Shero will still look to bolster a weak fourth line and a suspect penalty kill. We've mentioned this guy before, but this morning it really hit me. What if I told you a team was looking to unload a player with the following resume:
* 57% on faceoffs
* Kills penalties
* Decent offense with 5 goals, 12 assists
* Knows all the Dallas guys well (Neal, Morrow, Niskanen)
* Affordable $2.9 million cap hit through next season
* Just an enormous pain in the ass
Oh, and his team is about to have a fire sale. You would immediately deal a mid-level prospect and a mid-round pick for Steve Ott, right? RIGHT?
|Definitely Steve Ott.|
If the price is too high for Ott - though it seems like Shero is in a mindset where he's paying a premium for anyone he thinks will put his team over the top - here's another good target from Finesse: Eric Belanger. Belanger averages over 3 minutes/night on the PK for Edmonton, which is 9th in the league on the penalty kill. He's over 54% on faceoffs this year and over 53% for his career. Not a big body, but he's a useful body. The cap consequences would also be palatable -- he has a $1.75 million hit that expires at the end of next season.
Of course, there is also speculation that the Pens are still in the mix for Jarome Iginla. Maybe, but we suspect they're "in the mix" only to drive up the price for the Bruins. But don't forget, all Iginla needs to do is say, "I'm going to Pittsburgh," and that's what's probably going to happen. He could be thinking about a little Olympic team reunion with Crosby and Morrow, and may now believe that he could really put Pittsburgh over the top. Stranger things have certainly happened, and if it does, TK, Scott Harrington, and #1 pick may get it done. But for now, we've got our eye on a more realistic prize.
|Look at him fly through the air and pummel this guy. Steve Ott don't care.|