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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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Location: Sunny Delaware (but the murdery part)
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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