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 Post subject: Cole trade makes me feel like the Hunwick signing made sense
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:05 am 
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So apparently Ian Cole has been benched because the Penguins don't want him to risk injury while they search for a trade partner. http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/peng ... 1711270133

All season, I've been harping on the gross misuse of funds and the terrible offseason of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

To recap, the team butchered its bottom six, mainly by not retaining one of their bottom six centers or signing/trading for an adequate replacement. This was compounded by the mentally inept trade for Ryan Reaves, which further drifted the team away from its core identity and has highly contributed to its weak start.

The one thing I questioned was why the Penguins needed to put down $2.3 million on a bottom pairing defensemen in Matt Hunwick. If the team simply went with a combination of Pouliot/Ruehwedel, they would have saved a little over $1 million in cap space. With the money they had entering the season, they could have offered a competitive contract to Nick Bonino and likely had a more competitive Scott Wilson/Josh Archibald combination in for Reaves.

With recent trade rumors involving Ian Cole, one has to wonder if the Hunwick signing was a precursor. The signing, in essence, is Cole's replacement for around the same cost at around the same playing time. Hunwick's locked in for the next few seasons. Cole is a pending UFA. So, it would make sense that Cole, who would have incredible value as a playoff "warrior" who could log heavy minutes, would be a huge trade chip.

I think JR is an evaluation kind of guy. He gives it a few months, and if it's not working, he'll change things. He's quick to act, which makes sense that we're talking about trade rumors in November.

Color me surprised by this if the Penguins trade a valuable, pending UFA for something of value. Color me super surprised that the Penguins had the foresight to sign a replacement in the offseason before the trade. One of the things about Hunwick is that the Penguins would unlikely need another team to add a 6/7 tweener into a Cole trade, which would eat into the return. Trading UFAs for assets is something I harped on about the old regime years ago. This post is from 2015. Keep in mind, this was deep into the brief Mike Johnston Era.

Quote:
What can most cripple an NHL team is improper asset management, specifically:
(A) Giving up premium draft picks for rental players that WON'T make a difference for your team (Bill Guerin playing on the first line was a big difference maker. Douglas Murray? the hell...)
(B) Giving too much money to middling, older talent through FA or by re-signing them
(C) Not trading pending UFA for assets

I think the Penguins are guilty of all three. Murray, Morrow come to mind for (A) and Scuderi, Kunitz, Dupuis come into mind for (B).

As for (C), I feel this is the one the Penguins fail at most. Yet, they've probably have had the most success with it (by force) with Staal. It's of my opinion that any successful organization will have at least one or two positions with a surplus or a prospect waiting in the wings. Even as the Penguins have traded away 20-plus draft picks through the years, the team has still managed to have defensive prospects beating on the door.

Let's go back to the 2013-14 season. Instead of shipping Despres off to the bench for two straight seasons, what if Bylsma would have placed him into a bottom pairing role? All of the sudden UFAs like Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik have HUGE value at the trade deadline, and they're equally as expendable with the emergence of Despres. What would Niskanen have brought last year? There's probably no doubt that it would have been AT LEAST a first round pick. Would having Despres over Niskanen last playoffs not gotten us out of the second round?

As mentioned before, the Penguins could have taken advantage of that this season as well, but injuries got in the way.


I'm probably giving Rutherford too much credit here. He probably saw that his stupid offseason mismanagement wasn't working, and his staff deemed Cole would be the most valuable/easiest to let go without totally ruining the structure of the team or its prospect pool. With any trade, I imagine a UFA is coming back in return. Keep in mind, all contracts would be prorated, so the Penguins can fit just a little bit more into the cap as the days of the season progress.

Cole is playing well. Cole is probably, at most, a top 4 defensemen. He's more of a 4/5. He's a great 4/5 though, easily one of the best. There's a guy who is struggling in Toronto. With the right linemates here, he'd be an amazing fit. With his history with a certain player, it may even allow the Penguins to roll three scoring lines again.

Just a thought. Or, if what Mackey suggests is true and there are several teams interested, maybe the Penguins can get much more.


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 Post subject: Re: Cole trade makes me feel like the Hunwick signing made s
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:16 am 
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Apparently wherever Cole goes, he will be extended, which should only increase his value.


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 Post subject: Re: Cole trade makes me feel like the Hunwick signing made s
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:48 am 
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I'm kinda on the fence about this moreso because Cole brings a unique skillset/grit that the rest of the defense doesn't have. Yea Hunwick can replace Cole's mins and is a better skater, but is he a crease clearer? Certainly not. And I'm not advocating that we ice a bunch of Ian Cole's either...I like the Pens D are predicated on skating and moving the puck, but having the same time of players makes you easier to play against IMO. That's part of the reason I was ok with the Reaves signing: we don't have guys like that. That's also why I was ok with Kunitz on the team (albeit i would've preferred a lesser role). There are places for guys like Cole, Kunitz and Reaves just in the correct roles

Furthermore, depending on what is coming back I'm not sure trading ANY of our Dmen is the wisest thing since we're walking a fine line depth wise as it is. Maybe JR saw enough of Corrado where he could fill if needed, but that's a significant gamble. What if Letang gets hurt like he usually does? This is a strange move because Cole has been a playoff warrior much like Horny has been. I think Cole is loved in the lockerroom too.

I don't see anything else BUT a Center coming back. People are talking about Kane, but that still leaves a hole at 3C.


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 Post subject: Re: Cole trade makes me feel like the Hunwick signing made s
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:52 pm 
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Do we really think Evander Kane for Ian Cole is realistic?


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 Post subject: Re: Cole trade makes me feel like the Hunwick signing made s
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:49 pm 
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Ice wrote:
Do we really think Evander Kane for Ian Cole is realistic?


Might be some other moving parts, but I think that could be a basis for a trade. Buff's defense is a dumpster fire and Botterill knows Cole.

But deep down I feel JR knows he's got a glaring hole at C and will use his chip to get one


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 Post subject: Re: Cole trade makes me feel like the Hunwick signing made s
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:21 pm 
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Pity Landeskog suspended in Colorado. Package might have gotten some things moving there, too. Pure speculation on my part, though.


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 Post subject: Re: Cole trade makes me feel like the Hunwick signing made s
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:47 pm 
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I think Col is fine with the way things are going and they view Landy as a core piece moving forward, so I doubt he's available

I've heard Sodenberg listed as a possible Pens target...again unsubstantiated rumors


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 Post subject: Re: Cole trade makes me feel like the Hunwick signing made s
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:14 pm 
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According to Dreger, Cole was unhappy with being a healthy scratch and demanded a trade. So much for my theory.


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 Post subject: Re: Cole trade makes me feel like the Hunwick signing made s
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:04 pm 
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Hacksaw Jim Duggan wrote:
According to Dreger, Cole was unhappy with being a healthy scratch and demanded a trade. So much for my theory.


Given how thin we were at D last year in the run, Cole was a huge part of the success. While I get why he would be upset, that’s a pretty poor attitude for a guy on a championship team.

Get him out and bring in a contributor.


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 Post subject: Re: Cole trade makes me feel like the Hunwick signing made s
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:21 pm 
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Orangesteel wrote:
Hacksaw Jim Duggan wrote:
According to Dreger, Cole was unhappy with being a healthy scratch and demanded a trade. So much for my theory.


Given how thin we were at D last year in the run, Cole was a huge part of the success. While I get why he would be upset, that’s a pretty poor attitude for a guy on a championship team.

Get him out and bring in a contributor.


More important than the benching is his relationship with his HC. Sullivan has sat Cole before and whispers resonate enough that there might be a problem between the two.

I think losing Cole or getting an inferior return is only going to diminish the team.


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 Post subject: Re: Cole trade makes me feel like the Hunwick signing made s
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:57 am 
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3. The surest predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour. Last year, Pittsburgh was carrying three goalies and there was interest in Mike Condon. GM Jim Rutherford knew it. The hope from outside was the Penguins would place him on waivers, but Rutherford resisted. He wanted… something. Finally, Ottawa stepped up with a fifth-rounder for a player who helped saved their season. As the Post-Gazette’s Jason Mackey reported, Ian Cole is available. That’s someone who really impressed me in the playoffs, a battler on an undermanned blue line that stepped up in a big way. The Penguins, not wanting to risk injury, are keeping him out of the lineup, knowing Cole would throw himself on a live grenade.

It’s hard to see this ending without a trade, but Rutherford will do this at his pace and not until he gets what he wants. It is unfortunate to see it play out this way. Pittsburgh and Cole were great for each other.

4. The interesting variable is Rutherford giving agent Kevin Magnuson permission to talk to teams. It opens the possibility of a sign-and-trade, making the UFA-to-be more than a rental. That could improve Pittsburgh’s return. Mackey reported Colorado, Toronto and Vegas as potential partners. I could see the first two for sure, especially since the Maple Leafs have Calvin Pickard and Garret Sparks in the AHL if the Penguins feel they need a bridge during Matt Murray’s injury hiatus. (But I’m not sure I see Toronto wanting to add term.)

I wonder if Chicago and Edmonton wade into this. New Jersey seems like a match, but is there any chance Pittsburgh deals in the Metropolitan?

31 Thoughts Frieddman


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 Post subject: Re: Cole trade makes me feel like the Hunwick signing made s
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:03 am 
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I have no issue at all with pursuing trades of a valuable asset like to Cole to help improve the club. The Penguins front office has earned a long leash to make whatever moves they see fit. But holding a guy out of the lineup to protect his value...now that leaves a bad taste in my mouth. If the Pirates did that they would be VILIFIED.

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 Post subject: Re: Cole trade makes me feel like the Hunwick signing made s
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:08 am 
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SteelPro wrote:
I have no issue at all with pursuing trades of a valuable asset like to Cole to help improve the club. The Penguins front office has earned a long leash to make whatever moves they see fit. But holding a guy out of the lineup to protect his value...now that leaves a bad taste in my mouth. If the Pirates did that they would be VILIFIED.


Had the Pirates won three World Series championships with their current core, including the last two consecutively, I think people would be more inclined to trust management. Any attempt at comparing the Penguins front office with that borderline dumpster fire at PNC is ridiculous at this point. I'm laughing out loud as I have to type it.

Additionally, it's not like Sully hasn't benched Cole before.


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 Post subject: Re: Cole trade makes me feel like the Hunwick signing made s
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:08 pm 
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Ice wrote:
SteelPro wrote:
I have no issue at all with pursuing trades of a valuable asset like to Cole to help improve the club. The Penguins front office has earned a long leash to make whatever moves they see fit. But holding a guy out of the lineup to protect his value...now that leaves a bad taste in my mouth. If the Pirates did that they would be VILIFIED.


Had the Pirates won three World Series championships with their current core, including the last two consecutively, I think people would be more inclined to trust management. Any attempt at comparing the Penguins front office with that borderline dumpster fire at PNC is ridiculous at this point. I'm laughing out loud as I have to type it.

Additionally, it's not like Sully hasn't benched Cole before.


You could substitute Pirates for any franchise in most any sport. Holding a healthy veteran player out of the lineup is pretty much universally frowned upon. It is one thing if a trade is imminent. It is accepted practice for pitchers to get scratched at the trade deadline for A START. But not more than 1. When you are talking about scratching a player for a week straight... that doesn't seem like the right way to treat a player. Of course this is all speculative as to why he is being scratched.

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 Post subject: Re: Cole trade makes me feel like the Hunwick signing made s
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:41 pm 
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Hockey isn't baseball. When was the last time a MLB player was asked to take the pounding any NHL player, particularly a hitting, shot-blocking defenseman like Cole does on a nightly basis? Apples and oranges.

Also, again, the back to back titles instill a little bit of confidence.

And also, again, Cole has been a healthy scratch under Sullivan before, and the rumors are that they are not exactly getting along super well at the moment.


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 Post subject: Re: Cole trade makes me feel like the Hunwick signing made s
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:26 pm 
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Ice wrote:
Hockey isn't baseball. When was the last time a MLB player was asked to take the pounding any NHL player, particularly a hitting, shot-blocking defenseman like Cole does on a nightly basis? Apples and oranges.

Also, again, the back to back titles instill a little bit of confidence.

And also, again, Cole has been a healthy scratch under Sullivan before, and the rumors are that they are not exactly getting along super well at the moment.

You can’t possibly think that an NHL defenseman is more fragile and carries a greater injury risk than an MLB pitcher. And I have no issues with the Penguins sitting Cole for legitimate reasons. I just don’t buy that a legitimate reason would be to keep him healthy while they are working on a trade. Not for an entire week. A single game maybe if they were real close to a deal. Not a whole week.

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 Post subject: Re: Cole trade makes me feel like the Hunwick signing made s
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:55 pm 
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Maybe not more fragile, but any one of those many shots Cole blocks...

And like I said, there's possibly more than one reason that Cole is benched.

One way or another, I'm assuming this situation is going to resolve itself soon.


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 Post subject: Re: Cole trade makes me feel like the Hunwick signing made s
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:08 am 
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The Pirates ownership sucks a huge bag of dicks. Who gives a fuck about the differences in reactions. Players from superstars to role players get benched all the time. Cole had a great game tonight. It'll be forgotten in five seconds, especially if he's not traded.


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