Day 1: Toronto
Day 2: Detroit
Tampa has three things that all teams covet: the #3 overall pick in what is by all accounts a very good draft; a former #2 overall pick about to enter his prime and signed to a very reasonable $4M/yr cap hit for the next 4 seasons; and strip clubs.
|Tampa: All you need is a beer koozie, a pontoon boat, and a tattoo of a scorpion.|
There's a match to be made here. We're going to find it.
If the Pens could get Hedman and the #3 overall pick for Letang, it would be a no-brainer, but it's also not going to happen unless Jeff Vinik just says, "F-this, I have Vinny Lecavailer under contract at $7.5M til the end of time, I want to win the Stanley Cup and sell the team before he mummifies on the bench. Get me Kris Letang!" That sounds like a ridiculous strategy from a guy who just sold his hedge fund so that he could focus more on his ownership of the Lightning. But what's also ridiculous is that his hedge fund reportedly DECLINED 4.8% since July 1, 2012 while pretty much everyone else invested in the market got a double digit return. I walked by a Citibank yesterday and they handed me an envelope with $10,000 in cash just because. The point is, you never know with Tampa.
(Tangent alert. Maybe Hedman is the Jordan Staal of defensemen, drafted #2 overall and a nice player, but not quite as good as guys drafted right after him? Maybe Duchene, Kane, Ekman-Larson, and Kadri are to Hedman what Jonathan Toews, Nick Backstrom and Phil Kessel are to Jordan Staal? Side tangent alert. We love Ray Shero, but any assessment of his tenure with the Pens is incomplete if it doesn't at least point out that he drafted Staal over Toews. Tangent over.)
Tampa gets Kris Letang.
The Pens get:
Benoit Pouliot (a restricted free agent, but all of our trades assume Pens can sign these people)
Alex Killorn (Tampa's top prospect at Left Wing, but also listed as a center in some places)
Nikita Kucherov (Tampa's top prospect at right wing)
No idea if this is a sufficient return or too much of a return, but that's sort of the whole reason teams want Kris Letang: he's in his prime, he's durable, he's proven, and he is nominated for the Norris Trophy which all but assures he will be nominated every year for the remainder of his career even if he doesn't deserve it. You know, like this year. Arguably.