I think we all know that Balej is an excellent prospect, you don't get a player like Kovalev for just anyone...the trade has worked out well for us so far, and we shall see how well it works out for the Rangers down the road. Up until the infamous incident, Perezhogin had a point in every playoff game also if I remember correctly.
We already got 3 prospect in Hamilton that were ahead of him in the depth chart(hossa, perez, plek).
There's no way Plekanec and Hossa were ahead of Balej on the depth chart. For one thing, Plekanec will likely end up playing on the third line at the center spot. In as much as Balej will be a scoring winger, rather than a checking center like Plekanec, the depth chart has nothing to do with it. As for Hossa, he hasn't yet shown the kind of mental toughness that Balej has, so it's debatebable that he'd be ahead of him on the depth chart. Balej was one of the most valuable AHL players this year and is ready to make the jump. Hossa, on the other hand, despite having played a bunch of NHL games, is showing signs of becoming a longer term project.
The trade was still a good one, imo, but we gave up a talented young guy to get Kovalev. The thinking had to be that Perezhogin or Kastitsyn would eventually end up being as good or better than Balej (as an offensive threat) and he was therefore expendable. Hossa and Plekanec, imo, had nothing to do with it.