PENS = DRAFT DODGERS
I hate to admit it, but a message-board poster made a good point. I won’t say who, or on what forum. The blind squirrel doesn’t get to grab headlines.
But even as the Penguins prepare to swap a defenseman for a forward yet again, their glut on D and their lack at wing could have been calibrated in the NHL entry draft. Just take Chicago’s Brandon Saad instead of Joe Morrow in 2010. Take San Jose’s Tomas Hertl instead of Derrick Pouliot in 2012.
I get and mostly endorse the concept of taking the best player available.
I understand most NHL teams lack D, making trades potentially advantageous for the Penguins: Witness Ryan Whitney for Chris Kunitz and Eric Tangradi, or Alex Goligoski for James Neal and Matt Niskanen.
I know the Penguins’ blue-line depth paid big dividends earlier this season when injuries at that spot should have been crippling.
But it’s also true that the Penguins won’t win the Stanley Cup with Brian Gibbons on Sidney Crosby’s line. It’s fact that Simon Despres does the Penguins zero good in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. It’s undeniable that the Pens just don’t/won’t need Pouliot and Maatta and Scott Harrington and Brian Dumoulin, etc.
The Penguins have one good, young forward prospect: Beau Bennett. That’s it.
The Penguins need balance. Maybe drafting balance would have been a good idea.