After the first day of the NHL Draft I am trying to devise a plan to elect Ray Shero as the next President of the United States. Shero managed to unload a lot of dead weight salary, trade a guy that no longer wanted to be in Pittsburgh, acquire some solid talent, and leave room to possibly sign a few solid free agents. What a great day to be a Pittsburgh Hockey fan!
The most notable deal Shero made was done early when he traded Jordan Staal to Carolina for the #8 pick in the first round, Center Brandon Sutter, and Defenseman Brian Dumoulin. The Pens then used the 8th pick to draft Derrick Pouliot. That move in itself made me smile, a lot, but then things got even better in my world when Shero managed to unload Zbynek Michalek. I didn't think they would find someone to take him let alone his salary.
What did they get for Michalek? Another young defenseman in Harrison Ruopp, Goalie Marc Cheverie, and a third round pick. I have not been a fan of Michalek so they could have got absolutely nothing for him and I would have been happy with just unloading his salary.
Lets get back to the Staal deal. Early on I really didn't want to see him go, not that he was irreplaceable but I liked the kid, I really did. When he turned down the Pens ten year contract extension something switched in my head and I knew right then he needed to go. I mean seriously, a ten year extension worth reportedly $6 million a year, how do you turn something like that down? You really don't unless you honestly don't want to be here anymore.
I won't hold a grudge, I wish Staal luck, just not against us. I hope he genuinely enjoys the wedding gift that Shero gave him.... a one way ticket to Carolina, where he still won't be the number one guy.