According to my source, the Pittsburgh Penguins are going to be involved in a blockbuster 3-way deal with the NY Rangers and the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Penguins will be trading D Dick Tarnstrom, RW Alexsey Morozov, and a 2nd Round Pick to Tampa Bay for G Nikolai Khabibulin. Pittsburgh will then ship Khabibulin to the Rangers for highly touted prospect Jamie Lundmark and Tom Poti. Look for this deal to occur in the next 2-3 weeks.
I am not so sure that this is a crazy deal, except for the fact that Poti makes $2.8 million. However, Tarnstrom is due $1.5 next year and Morozov would have to be qualified at $1.65 million. Thus, this is basically a wash. With Kraft and Beech not being where they should be and Holzinger and Eastwood moving on next year, Lundmark would help up the middle.
We can't trust the source, but the deal makes sense on several levels.
Personally, I'm not sure that I'd make a "Tarnstrom for Poti" trade. Tarnstrom is 2 years older than Poti, but I would chose Tarnstrom any day of the week. He is better offensively, and I think he is better defensively than he is given credit for. He just looks worse on Pittsburgh because he is not playing his ideal role, and because he plays with Drake Berehowsky. Also, the Pens have a better version of Tom Poti in Ryan Whitney.
That said, however, I guess that I could see the Pens deciding to go with youth here.
So, technically, after that it becomes Morozov and a 2nd for Lundmark. I am 100% fine with this deal because, as I have continually stated, even though Morozov has been a disappointment, we cannot just give him away; it is imperative that we get someone in return who has similar upside. Lundmark has a lot of upside, so I am fine with this deal. I would hope that the 2nd would be Vancouver's 2nd. The difference between our 2nd and Vancouver's 2nd would be about 25 spots, and that might be a deal-breaker for me right threre, unless I was REALLY high on Lundmark and saw him as a blue-chipper. Only CP and the scouting staff know the answer to that.
As far as Morozov going to TB, I have thought for a while that this would be on the short list of good destinations for Morozov: they aren't very strong on the wings, yet still have good centres for him to play with. And TB can afford some patience on Morozov, where as some of the better teams (ie Ottawa, Colorado, Detroit, Vanouver) need more of a sure-thing if they trade for a scoring winger.
Poti makes around 3M$, and isn't he a RFA (thus asking for a raise?). Lundmark, as all first rounders makes around 1M, right?
That would mean the Pens take 4M$ in salaries while giving up 3.1M$.
900k$ raise? Too much for a team losing 5M$.
I say we just keep Tarnstrom, UNLESS he can be part of a trade which lands us another top-10 pick or so in the draft.
As for Morozov, I absolutely would not simply give him away. As bad as he has been, he has actually been playing pretty well, and has been playing his best hockey of the season the last 10 games or so, even if he has not been scoring goals.
I would trade him to get another good young player with similar upside, ie. Morozov and 2nd rounder, to a team with a top 15 pick.
We have many assets like Morozov and Kraft who perhaps we could "package" up.
A team like Anaheim, for example might like a trade of, say Tarnstrom, Morozov and a pick 2nd/3rd rounder for their 1st rounder. Even though there pick will be in the top 10, they still want to win now. Having Tarnstrom would immediately help their PP and generate more offense in general. Morozov could really break-out in Anaheim where they are lacking on RW. And the truth is, Morozov would probably be better off in the Western conference with their style of play.
What are your thoughts?
Anyone wanna come up with some of their own wacky proposals?
Many teams could use an offensive defenseman like Tarnstrom, but I think he is affordable for what he brings to the table and I hope the Pens keep him. However, the market for Morozov is not likely to be as large. Maybe someone in the Devils organization only has tapes of #95 playing against them from two or three years ago and would be willing to give up something of value for Morozov.