Aaron: Listen, I’ve crunched some numbers, and I’ve concluded that Ray Shero is a wizard.
Matt: This is factual information.
Aaron: Go with me on this. Let's assume that every career AHL player is equal, and let's assume that anyone who still has not played a single NHL game is equal. And let's assume that every low draft pick (4-7) is equal, all so that this information will be digestible at all.
Matt: Yes. This is yes.
Aaron: In his GM career, Ray Shero has given up: (if we cancel out pieces he's both gotten and received, like 4th round picks and Eric Tangradi) Colby Armstrong, Tim Brent, Daniel Carcillo, Erik Christensen, Alex Goligoski, Zbynek Michalek, Dany Sabourin, Jordan Staal, Ryan Whitney, 5 high picks, and 3 people who have still not played in the NHL yet.
And in exchange, he has received:
Pascal Dupuis, Nils Ekman, Mathieu Garon, Hal Gill, Bill Guerin, Dan Hamhuis, Marian Hossa, Jarome Iginla, Chris Kunitz, Joel Kwiatkowski, George Laraque, Brenden Morrow, Doug Murray, James Neal, Matt Niskanen, Gary Roberts, Brandon Sutter, and Mike Zigomanis
Aaron: That is the bottom line on his ledger. And that's how you get something without giving up pieces, ignoring signings and waivers and drafts and such, and just looking at how he has given up actual assets to get assets. He is a crazy wizard.
Matt: Yes. The prospects he gave up for Iginla aren't even in the team's internal top ten.
Aaron: Correct. The Flames might be worse-run than the Jackets.
Matt: Worse than the Stars? He rapes the Stars.
Aaron: Morrow-for-Morrow's a reasonable deal, and yes, James Neal is currently playing much better hockey than the stars anticipated, but that's just one guy in one deal. Pens fans like to think that's total destruction of the Stars, but really, that shit happens, and the Stars are otherwise a reasonable franchise.
Matt: They gave up on Neal very, very early. And Niskanen was a throw-in. And he's AWESOME.
Aaron: Yeah, they gave up on Neal too early. But, like, that'll happen sometimes -- that doesn't mean you don't know how to run a hockey team. Jay Feaster, you don't know how to run a hockey team
Aaron: Man. He got a 29th or 30th overall pick for Jarome Iginla, MAYBE, if he and the Bruins/Habs are very, very lucky, he got a 27th or 28th.
Matt: Of course, these guys are all impending UFAs.
Aaron: Sure. A lot of that list was for short periods of contracts, and it's kind of a bullshit comparison I'm doing, but it's still a list that is very depressing to a non-Pens fan.
Matt: Our guy is better than everyone else's guy.
Matt: Someone on Facebook is arguing: For everyone heaping praise on Shero right now, I have 2 words for them....Marion Hossa! [sic]
Aaron: Christensen was always a piece of shit, Colby Armstrong is fine, Angelo Esposito has still never played an NHL game, and who did the thrashers even spend that 1st-round pick on?
Matt: Pork rinds.
Aaron: Daultan Leveille
Matt: What does he do now?
Aaron: He's a Hamilton Bulldog? The Thrashers never even offered him a contract. The Canadiens offered him one a few months ago, and now I guess he's a Wheeling Nailer or something. Meanwhile, Pascal Dupuis is perfectly competent, Crosby likes him a lot and that's good enough for me. And Marian Hossa is a seminal talent who helped the team to the Finals. It is impossible to think of that trade as anything other than a win for Pittsburgh.
Matt: Pascal Dupuis is quite good at hockey. Better than anyone the Pens traded away in that deal.
Aaron: Yes. I think Christensen and Armstrong for Dupuis is a reasonable, everyone-wins deal. One guy gets two 4th-line pieces. The other gets a 2nd-liner (maybe).
Matt: Dupuis is a top-six guy.
Aaron: Dupuis is a top-six guy on the Penguins. Dupuis fits well with the Penguins' frustratingly elite scoring talent. What Dupuis himself brings to the table is good chemistry with your already incredible roster. If Dupuis shows up on the Rangers one day (which he actually did for a week once), I do not put him in the top six. The point is: I agree, Dupuis for Armstrong and Christensen is a good trade. And Shero somehow added to that a prospect and a pick, neither of whom have seen a day in the NHL in the five years since, for Marian Hossa.
Matt: The Penguins are kinda stacked right now. If he's a top-six guy here, I imagine he'd be a top-six guy a lot of places. Unless you think that his performance on this team is purely a function of the guys he plays with. I'd grant that he's made better playing on this team and he's more valuable to the Pens than to a lot of other teams, but I think he clearly has the skill to play a big role for someone.
Aaron: I don't think it's purely a function of the guys he plays with, but I do think it is in large part a function of the guys he plays with.
Matt: Has any GM ever done a better job than Shero of turning a bunch of crap into gold?
Aaron: probably? I'd have to do a lot more reading before i called Ray Shero the best GM in history, but I'm hard-pressed to find a GM since the lockout that has somehow turned more incidental pieces into more superstars-at-the-time. Like, it's not even precognition. He's trading for these guys while they're already great, again and again.
Matt: And he's done it by approaching GMs and saying, "I’ll give you ten mana of your choice for a Force of Nature and a Black Lotus."
Matt: How big is this trade vis a vis Boston's hopes at a run for the Cup this year? I have to think this solidifies the Pens as the favorite out of the East.
Aaron: Nils theorized that the best thing for the pens getting Iginla is that Boston doesn't get him. I don't hate that line of reasoning — Boston needs an Iginla more than the Pens do. I think the pens are Eastern favorites either way, by a considerable margin.
Matt: I don't disagree, but I think the best thing about the Pens getting Iginla is the Pens getting Iginla.
Matt: The best finals matchup, in my opinion, would be Pittsburgh vs. Chicago. Agree or disagree?
Aaron: I cannot imagine a different one.
Aaron: Puck Daddy just referred to the current Penguins as "all the hockey cards you don't throw away." What happened in that Chiarelli press conference? I thought [Bruins GM] Peter Chiarelli was supposed to give some kind of talk today. And the twitters are wondering if he is going to file some sort of "grievance"?
Matt: NOT FAIR! LEVEL PLAYING FIELD AND NO TRADE CLAUSE AND THE BLACK MAN DIDN'T WANT TO PLAY FOR OUR SHITTY OWNER IN A RACIST TOWN BUT INSTEAD WITH THE TWO BEST PLAYERS IN THE GAME FOR MAYBE THE BEST FRANCHISE IN THE GAME WHOSE PLAYERS DELIVER PIZZA TO STUDENTS WHO WAIT IN LINE FOR TICKETS FOR 9000 HOURS AND WHOSE FANS SIT ON THE LAWN OUTSIDE AND WATCH PLAYOFF GAMES ON A TV THE OWNER PAYS TO SET UP.
Aaron: That last bit isn't that special, but yeah, this was never up to Feaster. Iginla wanted to come to Pittsburgh because he wants to win the Stanley Cup. And Pittsburgh seems like a very good place to do that right now.
Matt: It's called Mario's TV. It's very special.
Matt: He was contractually empowered to make that choice.
Matt: If Jeremy Jacobs doesn't like that, he should think about being less of a douchebag.
Aaron: He wants to play for the Penguins because that is where he thinks the Stanley Cup will go, and the Stanley Cup is awesome. That was the beginning and end of the story.
Matt: ALSO IGINLA CAME HERE BECAUSE HE WANTED TO HELP DELIVER PIZZA TO COLLEGE KIDS.