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04-29-2011, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by alphaqup View Post
None of those guys have had a 35 goal season, let alone multiple seasons. Hell, I don't think any of them have even reached 30.

This is a list of players that put up 35+ goals this past season:

Corey Perry
Steven Stamkos
Jarome Iginla
Ryan Kesler
Daniel Sedin
Patrick Marleau
Jeff Carter

Do you see any difference between these guys and guys like Stewart and Neal? Those guys are on a whole nother level. Neal played with Richards in Dallas and was traded to Pitts to play with Crosby. He does better as a complimentary player with a playmaking 1st line center. We don't have one, so why would we trade for him when we know we can't the most out of him? His production would drop and we'd still be on the hunt for a #1 C to compliment him much like the situation we're in now with Gaborik.

Edit: That's not to say Neal or Stewart won't reach 35 goals because most likely they will. Playing with Crosby, Neal has a good shot at it. We don't have a Crosby or any C anywhere near his level. And just for kicks, Neal's production on the Pens without a 1st line C has been (drum roll):

Regular season: 20 games, 1g 5a 6p
Playoffs: 7 games, 1g 1a 2p

As you can see, Neal struggles without someone passing him the puck.

We need first liners. A complimentary guy is not going to cut it, we have plenty of them. I'm all for trading for a gamebreaker but at what price? It's better to just keep our assets and spend only money on Richards, IMO.
Especially when the only semi-realistic #1C trade option is Paul Statsny with a $6.6m cap hit. To get Statsny, I have to believe that you're looking at giving up at least one of Staal/Dubinsky/Callahan ++. Even if Richards cap hit ends up higher at say $7.5m, it's a much better value move to sign him and keep the core pieces.

EDIT: And before his age and this vile risk of him declining is brought up, so long as Richards doesn't have a NMC at the tail end of the deal and it's a front-loaded deal, I'm confident that he would be infinitely more movable than Drury or even Gomez. The Gomez signing may not have worked out in and of itself, but given 20/20 hindsight I would still sign him 100% of the time:

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