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12-03-2012, 05:51 PM
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December 3, 2012

The recent trend amongst NHL GMs appears to be re-acquiring assets that were previously let go to unrestricted free agency. Buffalo recently acquired veteran defenseman Toni Lydman, who spend 5 seasons with the Sabres, from the Ducks for prospect winger Corey Tropp. A few days later, Pittsburgh re-acquired veteran defenseman Sergei Gonchar, who spent 5 seasons with the Penguins, from Ottawa in exchange for star winger James Neal, fresh off a 40-goal season, although Neal is only on pace for about 20 goals so far this year.

The Gonchar-Neal trade was met with much emotion by fans of both clubs; Ottawa fans elated over obtaining a 25-year-old star sniper to play alongside Jason Spezza while Pittsburgh fans are the polar opposite, furious and dumbfounded by the trade.

We asked a popular NHL analyst for his thoughts. "Acquiring a player with whom you've had prior experience with is a safe bet. You know what you'll get out of a player that you had in the organization for several years. That said, why you trade a guy like James Neal for a 38-year-old Sergei Gonchar is just beyond comprehension."

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