February 28, 2008
There's been a lot of pro/con discussions regarding the Penguins acquistion of Marian Hossa at Tuesday's trade deadline. Many feel Pittsburgh general manager Ray Shero gave up too much. Other felt it was a dumb trade for somehow who is possibly going to be a "rental player". A whole group of fans love the deal and cannot wait for Hossa, Evgeni Malkin, and Sidney Crosby to be on the ice together in a few weeks.
If you're a Penguins fan, you have to take a breath, and believe the mantra, "In Ray Shero We Trust". This guy took over from Craig Patrick and helped turn the franchise around on the ice. Are you missing guys like Konstantin Koltsov? Jan Hrdina? Neil Wilkinson? Petr Skudra? Rico Fata? Didn't think so. Shero has made a lot of key trades and signings since his reign began in 2006.
Picking up Gary Roberts and Georges Laraque at last years trade deadline helped give the Penguins some needed toughness and protection for their young stars. He picked Ty Conklin up from the depth of hockey hell and allowed the goaltender to flourish in Pittsburgh and make himself the hottest goalie in the league. Shero also helped find Jeff Taffe, who's been a valuable player this season. Petr Sykora was signed in the off-season and paying dividends this year.
Yes, not every move has paid off. Where there's a Jeff Taffe there's a Nils Ekman, Ronald Petrovicky, Chris Thorburn, or Tim Brent, guys who disappointed in a Pens sweater. There's also guys like Adam Hall and Mark Eaton, both played in Nashville when Shero was the assistant general manager there, but have found themselves on the IR.
What I'm trying to get across is Shero knows what he's doing. He is not the type of guy that would trade away prospects and young talent for a rental player (I'm looking at you Garth Snow) just to sneak into the playoffs. Shero made this deal for a long playoff run. The five games Pittsburgh played against Ottawa in last season's playoffs was not enough, he and the entire organization are hungry for a deep run at the Stanley Cup. Now, with Hossa in the lineup and Crosby coming back in a few weeks, Pittsburgh is taking hold of their opportunity to win this season.
In Ray Shero We Trust.