California Dreamin' Is Just That... Dreamin'...
December 3, 2009, 1:21 AM ET [35 Comments]

Brian Metzer
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger RSS Archive CONTACT



Due to the inordinate number of emails, texts and calls I received asking my thoughts on this situation I figured I would chime in... keep in mind that a lot of these rumors pop up in places other than Pittsburgh and through those sources my colleagues get the info.

Folks do pass this stuff around, but it isn't starting on this end...

On to the blog...

I hesitate to even talk about this, because I am close to 100% sure that there is nothing to it...at least on this side of the country.

It seems that every year around this time a rumor involving the Penguins and Kings pops up and it has the message boards all aflutter! It also usually comes from some West Coast Wishful Thinking...

Last year it was the Ottawa Sun mentioning the absurd Evgeni Malkin for Anze Kopitar...

Crap, looks like we missed the boat on that one, as Kopitar is having a very nice year.

Sure, it hurts, but I think we will live... I mean we didn't make that deal and had a pretty decent season anyway.

Tonight the names of Jordan Staal, Dustin Brown, Alex Goligoski and Jack Johnson are being thrown around...

I don't buy this deal at all... precisely why I didn't blog about it earlier.

Now that doesn't mean that someone on the West Coast isn't hoping and praying that they can pull the wool over Ray Shero's eyes and acquire someone like Jordan Staal. GMs around the league would love to have a player like Staal...none more so than Ray Shero.

The Penguins GM just won a Stanley Cup by heading into battle with his stud stable of centers. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were the razzle dazzle, while Staal was the shut down force...that is until he unveiled a little razzle dazzle of his own during the Stanley Cup Final.

I just don't see how anyone could think that Shero is planning on making a major move at this point. His team is playing some great hockey, he is getting contributions from up and down the line-up and the scary thing is that the squad hasn't been whole in over a month.

I really don't see the Penguins making any moves of significance before the deadline...

Sure, Shero is always looking to make his team better, but his track record shows that he lets his team play...tweaks a bit throughout and then strikes later in the year to fill his identified holes for the playoff run. It has been the M O during his entire tenure.

Small mid-season deals to bring in the likes of Philippe Boucher or Mathieu Garon; then flashier moves such as acquiring Marian Hossa or moving a former first rounder in Ryan Whitney to get Chris Kunitz.

Yes, Dustin Brown would be an upgrade over most of the wingers on the team, however he isn't worth giving up Jordan Staal.

You just aren't getting that big an improvement over what you already have. Yes, the grit is there, but the Penguins have Mike Rupp and Eric Godard for that sort of thing. Brown has 20 points on the season, five more than Staal's 15...however, they have each only chipped in six goals.

Six goals in December isn't a total that cries out scoring winger. I would rather roll the dice and my $4 Million dollars with the pedigree and upside that is already on the roster in the form of Staal than go with that of Brown. Plus you get the defensive prowess, penalty killing ability and occasional huge goal while you wait for said offensive pedigree to come to the surface.

It is also worth noting that Brown is a -5 on the year, while Staal is a +3... it isn't like Brown's team is having a horrible year. In fact they are off to a great start. He also gets to play with some pretty talented players...will the stat line suddenly improve in Pittsburgh? Not so sure...

On to Jack Johnson... he is still rounding into form and there is the Sidney Crosby tie in, however I just don't see the team sacrificing Alex Goligoski to get him. Go Go is having a break out year and showing that he can be a valuable contributor in the NHL.

I would have jumped at the chance to get Johnson two years ago, still might in the right deal...

This isn't the right deal.

The bottom line is that Brown/Johnson for the same assets two years ago would have enticed the hell out of me. Today? Not so much... I don't think that I am drinking that kool aid...

You have to ask yourself...would this make the Penguins better at the end of the day? I don't think it would. When you are on a roll you just don't mess with that chemistry.

So in case I haven't made myself clear... I do not feel that there is anything to this rumor at this time.