Columnist discusses possible trade involving Sidney Crosby

Jeff Drouin
May 18, 2022  (11:28)

We've been talking about it since their elimination by the Rangers this weekend, the Pittsburgh Penguins' management will have some very big decisions to make this summer.

In a recent article, La Presse columnist Mathias Brunet mentions a scenario that few have talked about, that is to say the clean slate. In addition to getting rid of Letang and Malkin, Hextall could also trade his captain and start a real reconstruction. A rebuild that could allow him, if he's lucky, to get a new generation player in Connor Bedard.
"There is also the radical method. Divest Letang and Malkin, but also trade Crosby to amass as many assets as possible to begin a full rebuild, and who knows win the lottery next year to get their hands on the gifted Connor Bedard." - Mathias Brunet

As Brunet reminds us, the Penguins' prospect bank is very thin. They have too often traded their top picks in order to get immediate help for the last stretch of the season. Besides Samuel Poulin, Pierre-Olivier Joseph or Alexander Nylander, the AHL team doesn't have too many good young players who could make the jump to the big club.
"Pittsburgh has drafted just once in the first round since 2015. They've drafted seven times in the second round during that time, but three of those players have been traded, one (Zachary Lauzon) has been forced into retirement and two have famously low AHL production." - Mathias Brunet

Many have been saying it for months, the 2023 draft, notwithstanding the exceptional Connor Bedard, will be excellent. Even if the Penguins do not get the 1st overall pick, the rebuild would be off to a great start.
In order for the Pens to go with this scenario, Crosby will first have to agree to leave the organization. He, if Letang and Malkin leave, will not really have a reason to stay. We must also remember that the great protector of the trio, Mario Lemieux, is no longer the main owner of the club. The new managers now have no emotional ties to the captain, which could make it easier to accept a deal.
With the picks they get, Hextall and his group could very well get several good picks in the next draft. They could also, without the trio of veterans, finish at the bottom of the standings and get a shot at the lottery and Bedard.
One thing is for sure, the situation in Pittsburgh will be very interesting to follow in the coming weeks. The other NHL teams' GMs will certainly be on the lookout as many good players could leave the Steel City.
Don't rule out Kent Hughes, as the Penguins have several good players who could fit in well with the CH's new management philosophy. For example, Kasperi Kapanen, who would join his cousin Oliver who is already in the Montreal organization (2nd round in 2021, 64th overall), could be a great option!
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Columnist discusses possible trade involving Sidney Crosby

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